Photo: Chris Brown/Flickr
For the first time in two years, New York City real estate brokers’ confidence about the local market’s state edged upwards despite admitted unease about financing and rising interest rates. Still, both commercial and residential brokers were reportedly more optimistic about the market’s future, according to the recently released Q4 report by the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY).
The Real Estate Broker Confidence Index published by REBNY measures overall broker confidence in both the present and future (six months from now) NYC market. The index rose to 6.00 in the fourth quarter of 2016, up from 5.79 recorded the previous quarter. This was the first increase in overall broker confidence since the fourth quarter of 2014, when the index measured 9.22.
But while overall confidence was rising, commercial and residential brokers had differing views of the market. Residential broker confidence declined to 6.14 in the fourth quarter of 2016 from the 6.37 recorded the previous quarter, says REBNY data. Brokers pointed to vacancies and a softening luxury market during the fourth quarter, which may have contributed to the dip in confidence.
On the other hand, commercial brokers were more confident about the current NYC market. Commercial broker confidence jumped to 5.85 in the fourth quarter of 2016 from the 5.21 recorded the previous quarter.
The Future Real Estate Broker Confidence Index — which only measures broker confidence in the NYC market six months from the present — also recorded gains. The index rose to 5.97 in the fourth quarter of 2016 from the 5.29 recorded the previous quarter. The increase in the future index resulted in the overall uptick in broker confidence, according to REBNY.
Both residential brokers and commercial brokers recorded more favorable future outlooks on the NYC market — the Future Residential Broker Index rose quarter-over-quarter to 6.54 in the fourth quarter from 6.26, Meanwhile the Future Commercial Broker Index soared to 5.39 in the fourth quarter from the 4.32 recorded the previous quarter.
“Confidence among our brokers is on the rise after being strained with uncertainty throughout the last election cycle,” said REBNY President John Banks.
Banks added that in spite of the uneasiness about interest rates and financing, both commercial and residential brokers expressed strong prospects for the future, as demonstrated by the spikes in both the future indexes.
One residential broker told REBNY that, “Inventory is rising, mortgage rates are rising, and buyers feel more entitled to negotiate or wait before purchasing.”
Commercial brokers have remained optimistic about the market, taking a wait and see approach on the new administration in the White House. “Retail leasing is on hold for now, but should improve after retailers assess the actual direction of the new administration,” a commercial broker predicted to REBNY.
Click here to read the entire report.