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REBNY Reports: Broker Confidence Hits All-Time Low... ...But Tax Revenue Slightly Up from Last Month

According to two market reports released by the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), NYC is facing some formidable challenges as the city finds its way out of the economic weeds it was thrown into by the coronavirus pandemic.  

 REBNY’s Monthly Investment and Residential Sales Report is a compilation of transaction activity for both investment sales and residential sales in NYC and the state at large. In an effort to quantify the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the City and the State’s ability to generate taxes needed for essential government services, REBNY tracks all revenue generated by each asset class and transaction on a monthly basis, analyzing official data from the NYC Department of Finance’s Automated City Register Information System (ACRIS) and capturing total sales volume, number of transactions and tax revenue.

This month’s report was released on July16, and showed tax revenue generated from investment and residential sales in New York City and New York State declined 62% from June 2019 to June 2020, but increased by 56% from May 2020 to June 2020. According to REBNY, “This represents a $120 million loss in tax revenue for the City and State year over year, but a $26 million increase from month to month. Last month, REBNY reported a 76% decrease in tax revenue year over year from May 2019 to May 2020, and 40% decrease month to month from April 2020 to May 2020.”

 REBNY’s Q2 2020 Quarterly Real Estate Broker Confidence Index surveys the organization’s residential and commercial brokerage members to measure their confidence in the real estate market across the city’s five boroughs. The index was launched in 2012, and according to REBNY, it “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.” 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.

The latest report, also released July 16, reported that broker confidence has hit its lowest point on record for the second quarter in a row. According to the report, “The current real estate broker confidence index is 3.30 out of 10, down from 3.72 last quarter, representing an 11% decrease since brokers were last surveyed in the first quarter of 2020 and a 50% decline since the same time last year. Additionally, the survey results indicate a decline in brokers’ outlook on the future market six months from now - that index is 3.91, an 11% decline from the first quarter of 2020 and a 35% decline since the same time last year.”

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