The Real Deal New York

NYC’s brokers lose confidence, again

REBNY index falls amid economic, political uncertainty
By Konrad Putzier | August 15, 2016 11:50AM

Cat lionBrokers are increasingly worried about the state of New York’s real estate market amid slowing sales and the looming presidential election, according to a survey by the Real Estate Board of New York.

REBNY’s broker confidence index, which measures brokers’ optimism based on an online survey, fell again in the second quarter, to 7.04 from 7.23 in the first quarter. The number has been falling every quarter since the fourth quarter of 2014, when it peaked at 9.23. 

Residential sales brokers cited the possibility of rising interest rates and a lack of sales inventory as their chief concerns, according to REBNY TRData LogoTINY.

“Domestic financial markets disagree about future outlooks adding uncertainty,” one wrote. “With such an uncertain outlook, prices will not increase, and will start to decrease, as the volume of sales decreases.”

Similar concerns pervade on the commercial side, where brokers also cited the upcoming presidential election as a source of uncertainty. Meanwhile, retail brokers continue to bemoan the rise of online shopping.

“Many retailers are struggling and downsizing, the shift of retail real estate from traditional shopping centers to more urban and mixed use will keep the brokers busy,” another broker wrote.

On the flip side, some brokers noted that economic uncertainty in Europe and China could actually benefit New York’s real estate market by pushing foreign capital here.