Confidence factor high among New York brokers

Steven Spinola

President, Real Estate Board of New York

Residential and commercial brokers remain confident in the market according to a recent monthly survey of real estate brokers by The Real Estate Board of New York.

The Real Estate Market Overall Confidence Index-- tabulated on a scale of zero to ten, with five being neutral -- for the first two months of 2013 was 8.86, almost a full percentage point higher than the average for 2012 which was 7.99. REBNY’s Broker Confidence Index is a collection of data from anonymous online surveys given to REBNY’s residential and commercial brokerage division members.

Brokers were most confident when asked about expectations of the financing market, particularly on the commercial side, for which an index of 10.0 was recorded for the first time since the survey was conducted in June 2012. This may be attributed to brokers’ hopes that the economy is improving and investors are becoming more active.

The overall confidence index for commercial real estate was 8.89 in February 2013, up from 8.80 last month.  Commercial brokers remain optimistic and this shows recognition of the improving economic conditions overall.

On the residential side, the overall confidence index in February 2013 was 8.93, which was the highest recorded index over the past nine months. This index result was surprising, given concerns raised by residential brokers in survey responses that the low supply of inventory could adversely impact the market. 

The survey showed that brokers expressed concern that housing prices will increase, making it difficult to appraise property in a changing market.  These appraisal difficulties will create lending issues, which makes it more challenging for buyers to finance. Yet, despite these inventory and lending concerns, residential brokers remain optimistic that the typically busy spring real estate market is just around the corner.

REBNY began collecting monthly data through the survey in June 2012. We created the Index as a way to assess the market by asking the experts -- our brokerage members -- who represent a cross section of the residential and commercial brokerage industry and are involved in the market daily to give us the first glimpse of positive and negative changes coming our way. The overall confidence index survey was modeled after the very popular and highly useful US Consumer Confidence Survey.

A full copy of the REBNY Broker Confidence Index can be found on the homepage of REBNY’s website at

In other REBNY News:

Don’t miss REBNY’s Commercial Division Sales Brokers Committee Luncheon featuring Michael Stern, Managing Partner of JDS Development from noon to 2 pm on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at The Cornell Club, 6 East 44th Street. Stern will discuss “Purchase of 616 First Avenue, Development of Walker Tower & Other JDs Project.” Registration is required. REBNY members pay $60. Non-REBNY members are permitted only as a guest of a current member. To register, contact Desiree Jones at

Join REBNY’s Sales Brokers Committee for the presentation of the real estate industry’s highest honors for commercial brokers. The Most Ingenious Deal of the Year Awards will be presented during the 69th annual cocktail party on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the 101 Club, 101 Park Avenue. To register, contact Desiree Jones at

“Snap Shots: Creative Deals Outside the Box” is the exciting topic for the REBNY Members Luncheon from 11:45 am to 2 pm on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at the Hilton New York, 1335 Avenue of the Americas. Panelists are Kenneth F. Bernstein, President & CEO of Acadia Realty Trust; Christopher Schlank, Managing Partner at Savanna; and Michael Stern, Managing Partner of JDS Development. Robert A. Knakal will serve as the panel’s moderator. Tickets are $90 per person; $900 for a table of 10 and $1,080 for a table of 12. For registration, contact Desiree Jones at