‘The Fed’s new Beige Book reports that the regional housing market seems to be improving, albeit in a rocky and unpredictable way:

“Residential real estate results were mixed across New England in December, with some states experiencing year-over-year sales declines while others saw modest increases. Home sales continued to decline significantly in Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Maine, while Massachusetts and New Hampshire posted modest increases in sales volume compared with a year ago. Contacts in Massachusetts and New Hampshire note that part of the increase in year-over-year sales stems from especially weak sales in December 2009, attributable to the (initial) expiration of the homebuyer tax credit in November 2009. Nonetheless, contacts throughout the region note an increase in activity in the past month and express cautious optimism about 2011.”

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