Report: Broker Confidence on the Upswing Cautious Optimism After a Brutal Year

In a report released on January 28, NYC-based trade association the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) notes that after three consecutive record lows, confidence among the city’s real estate brokers appears to have rebounded in the last quarter of 2020, 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% increase from the third quarter of 2020, suggesting that brokers feel the market has already bottomed out and is beginning its slow road to recovery.

Allowing that improving access to rapid testing sites and a successful, broad-based rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines will be critical in determining how quickly business and economic activity will return to pre-pandemic levels (or at least somewhere close), the report asserts that “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,” chief among them vaccinating all New Yorkers, making it safe for them to participate in all facets of life in the city - economic and otherwise. 

The uptick in broker optimism is not limited to residential activity; according to the report, “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.”

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