Federal Reserve bank regularly polls business people in its 12 districts to get an anecdotal picture of how the economy is doing in each district. It publishes the results in a report called the Beige Book. The name is a holdover from the quant old days when the report was actually a book. Now of course the info is available online.

We here in St. Pete are in the 6th Fed District. Here’s what the Beige Book said about commercial real estate in January.

“The outlook among District commercial real estate contacts remains fairly optimistic.”

You read similar statements in various trade and local publications. Basically the commercial real estate looks “fairly optimistic.”

Comme ci, comme ca. I’m making a living. It’s better than it was.

However, I’m seeing a different picture.

Demand for Office Space?

I recently took a contract to an owner of a small office building thinking that I would be welcomed with open arms. She politely told me that she had two other offers! I was stunned. This building has attracted almost no interest in five years that I know of.

I am making no predictions here. Just reporting the facts. If the people from the beige book call ask me for my opinion, I’ll tell them what I just told you.