Here’s what the Federal Reserve researchers had to say about real estate in today’s Beige Book

Beige Book real estate highlights:

Commercial Real Estate

“Commercial real estate fundamentals continue to improve in both Boston and Portland and are roughly flat in the Hartford area. One contact reports that office rents in Greater Boston are up an average of 7.9 percent over the year on the strength of high-demand submarkets such as Cambridge and the Seaport District. Strong sales activity for commercial properties in Boston continues to be fuelled by foreign institutional investors, many of which are increasing their allocations to real estate. Office construction increased modestly in the Boston area and includes a small, but increasing, amount of speculative activity. Multifamily construction is still increasing in metropolitan Boston but one contact says new completions may peak in 2015; construction in the hospitality and health care sectors is expected to increase in the coming year.”

Residential Real Estate

“Closed sales of single-family homes in February (reflecting sales under contract 30 to 60 days prior) increased year-over-year in Rhode Island, Maine, Connecticut, and Vermont, but declined in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. In Massachusetts, sales have declined year-over-year in eight of the last 10 months. Contacts attribute the decrease in sales to tight and declining inventories; only 3.4 months of supply are available in Massachusetts; supply in the Greater Boston area is at its lowest level in more than a dozen years.”

“Closed sales of condominiums increased in February in New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Vermont, while decreasing in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Maine. Condo median sales prices rose in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont while falling in Connecticut and Rhode Island.”