The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book report came out today.

First the somewhat good news: This past summer’s stock market volatility may not have harmed the economy as much as some feared. It’s still growing, though not at a level that will create a lot of jobs.

Second, the Boston region’s housing market is only performing so-so at best, with many real-estate professionals pessimistic about the immediate future. From the Fed report:

Notwithstanding substantial increases in home and condo sales in August compared to a year ago, residential real estate markets in New England remain weak and sluggish. …

Residential respondents throughout New England describe buyers as cautious and patient, reflecting fears over job security. Some contacts express concern about the ability of consumers to secure home-purchase financing. At the same time, several contacts note an increase in investors purchasing single-family properties to rent out.

Forecasts for the remainder of the year remain bleak, with contacts anticipating 2011 sales will fall short of last year’s total. Respondents do not expect a significant improvement in residential real estate within the next one to two years.

File under: There’s always next year

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