Economic activity increased at a modest to moderate pace in April and May according to the latest Beige Book report released today by the Federal Reserve. Residential real estate and construction activity increased in all 12 regional districts.

In the Chicago region, home sales and prices rose along with residential rents. But contacts “noted that the still large number of underwater mortgages, extended foreclosure processes, and low level of new construction meant that the inventory of existing homes on the market was tight and that this was restraining sales.”

Demand for residential construction grew steadily and commercial real estate conditions also improved while vacancy rates remained elevated. Increased leasing demands are driving up commercial rents.

Read the full report for the Chicago District.