NYC brokers worried about slow sales, sluggish leasing: REBNY

“The market is currently slow and deliberate."
By Kathryn Brenzel | September 12, 2017 12:50PM

While buoyed by current financing conditions, brokers are wary about how the residential rental and commercial leasing markets will play out in the next six months.

The Real Estate Board of New York’s broker confidence index, which measures overall residential and commercial real estate broker outlook, rose .02 from the first quarter of 2017, hitting 5.89 in the second quarter. The future index, however, which measures confidence in the next six months, fell .14 from the last quarter to 5.56.

“While our members report slower decision-making and price sensitivity, they remain positive about the market with optimism for improved financing conditions,” REBNY President John Banks said in a statement.

Residential sales are slow, though new development projects are “experiencing good absorption,” one broker noted.

“The market is currently slow and deliberate,” another broker said in the survey. “Buyers are holding back for exactly what they want, although there is not a great deal of inventory. Sellers are becoming more flexible.”

Respondents were optimistic about current and future financing, indexing the two at 8 and 8.7, respectively.

Meanwhile, some commercial brokers are nervous about leasing activity in the near future, especially when it comes to retail. The city has been grappling with rising rents and vacant storefronts, forcing landlords to offer significant concessions to lure tenants. According to the survey, expectations of the leasing market six months from now had an index of 3.78, a 1.01 drop from the first quarter of 2017.