REBNY 4th Quarter 2019 Broker Confidence Index Report

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The Real Estate Board of New York’s (REBNY) Real Estate Broker Confidence Index for the fourth quarter of 2019 was 6.87 out of 10, an 18% increase since brokers were last surveyed about the third quarter of 2019. Both residential and commercial broker confidence indices experienced increases in the fourth quarter of 2019 when compared to the previous quarter. For both, this is the first increase in confidence since the first quarter of 2019.

REBNY regularly surveys its residential and commercial brokerage division members to measure their confidence in the New York City real estate market now and six months from now. Survey results are published quarterly with a maximum index of 10.

The Commercial Broker Confidence Index (which focuses only on the Commercial Brokerage Division responses) in the fourth quarter of 2019 was 7.28, a 22% increase since brokers were surveyed in the third quarter of 2019 and the highest since the fourth quarter of 2017. This increase in overall commercial confidence is due to a 31% increase in confidence about the market 6 months from now, from 5.34 to 7.00 and a 13% increase in confidence of the present market, from 6.78 to 7.66. The Commercial Broker Confidence Index increased 13% year-over-year, up from 6.46 in the fourth quarter of 2018. The boost in broker confidence appears to be derived from sustained economic growth and historically low interest rates. Although, there are looming concerns over dramatic policy changes and the upcoming presidential election. The Commercial Broker Future Confidence Index was indexed at 7.00, a 31% increase from the confidence in the third quarter of 2019 – indicating hope for a strong market in 2020. Confidence in the current commercial market also increased by 13% from the third quarter of 2019, from 6.78 to 7.66.

The Residential Broker Confidence Index (which focuses only on the Residential Brokerage Division responses) in the fourth quarter of 2019 was 6.46, an increase of 13% since brokers were surveyed in the third quarter of 2019. The Residential Broker Confidence Index increased by 23% year-overyear, up from 5.25 in the fourth quarter of 2018. Confidence in the market 6 months from now has increased by 20% from 5.55 to 6.67. However, residential brokers expressed continued concerns about New York City state and local taxes, the upcoming election period, and the possibility of a Pied-A-Terre tax. Brokers are also expressing hesitation they are seeing from buyers given a surplus of inventory, a trend that has continued over the last year.