City brokers see light at end of the COVID tunnel

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The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) today reported that broker confidence rebounded in the last quarter of 2020, after three consecutive record lows, as the COVID-19 vaccine continues to roll out throughout the City and State.

According to REBNY’s Q4 2020 Quarterly Real Estate Broker Confidence Index, the current real estate broker confidence index is 4.35 out of 10, a 41% increase since its lowest point on record in the previous quarter.

Additionally, the future broker confidence index is 5.07, a 44 percent increase from the third quarter of 2020 – signaling that brokers feel the market has already bottomed out and is beginning its slow road to recovery.

“Broker confidence rebounding at the end of 2020 illustrates that the industry has an increasingly positive view that we can overcome the immediate challenges we face, including vaccinating all New Yorkers, getting New Yorkers back to work and boosting our economy,” said REBNY President James Whelan.

JAMES WHELAN

“Increasing access to rapid testing sites and a successful rollout of vaccinations will be critical in determining how quickly business and economic activity can expand in the short-term.”

In the fourth quarter of 2020, both residential and commercial brokers witnessed an increase in confidence compared to the previous quarter. The Residential Broker Confidence Index increased 45% between Q3 and Q4 to 5.81 and the Commercial Broker Confidence Index increased 34% from Q3 to 2.89.

“There has been a spike in activity over the past few weeks, where the reasonably well-priced properties that have been sitting are now seeing significant activity and even getting multiple offers,” said one residential broker surveyed. “There seems to be a sense that the worst is over, and that things will begin to improve in the market over the coming months.”

Additional key findings from the Q4 2020 Quarterly Real Estate Broker Confidence Index report include:

  • The overall broker confidence index this quarter declined 37% year-over-year. Compared to Q4 2019, the commercial broker confidence index decreased 60% and the residential broker confidence index decreased 10%. 
  • The overall present situation broker confidence this quarter declined 51% year-over-year. Compared to Q4 2019, the commercial broker present situation confidence index decreased 76% to 1.83 and the residential broker present situation confidence index decreased 20% to 4.95. 
  • The future broker confidence index this quarter declined 26% year-over-year to 5.07. Compared to Q4 2019, the commercial broker future confidence index decreased 47% to 3.68 and the residential broker future confidence index decreased 3% to 6.45. 

REBNY’s Quarterly Real Estate Broker Confidence Index, New York City’s only broker confidence report, surveys REBNY’s residential and commercial brokerage members to measure their confidence in the New York City real estate market across the five boroughs. Launched in 2012, the index benchmarks key data and insights from the real estate industry to track critical economic indicators such as activity from renters and buyers, pricing and political climate. The survey captures broker attitudes about current market conditions as well as their projections on market conditions six months ahead. Survey results are published quarterly and include overall, commercial and residential broker confidence indexes. The report includes a maximum index of 10, with zero indicating the least confidence and 10 indicating the highest confidence. An index value above five indicates that broker sentiment is more positive than negative.

Download the complete Q4 2020 Quarterly Real Estate Broker Confidence Index here.

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