New York City brokers keeping the faith as market improves

Steven Spinola
President, Real Estate Board of New York

Residential and commercial brokers report a significant uptick in market confidence for the First Quarter of 2013, as well as an increased positive outlook for the next six months, according to the Real Estate Board of New York’s Broker Confidence Index.

Indicating an increasing faith in the economic recovery, the quarterly Index recorded a one-point increase to 8.87 in the Overall Confidence Index for the First Quarter of 2013 since the Fourth Quarter of 2012. This jump was largely due to the resolution of the fiscal cliff issue in Washington, D.C. with the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act.  Additionally, the legislative action alleviated much of the anxiety and uncertainty that the Index conveyed at the end of last year.

REBNY’s Broker Confidence Index—tabulated on a scale of zero to ten, with five being neutral—is a collection of data from anonymous online surveys given to REBNY’s residential and commercial brokerage division members.

The result for the First Quarter of 2013 emphasizes positive assessments of the current market and an optimistic outlook for the future. We saw a noticeable dip in confidence levels at the end of 2012 as New York City was put to the test by Hurricane Sandy and as national issues such as the fiscal cliff negatively impacted brokers’ views on the market. That hesitancy has clearly subsided in the First Quarter of 2013. Brokers surveyed say their market confidence has substantially improved this quarter and they remain optimistic in the pace of economic recovery.

On the residential side, the Overall Confidence Index in the First Quarter of 2013 was 9.02, a noteworthy increase from last quarter’s index of 8.57. This increase can best be attributed to the uptick in new developments emerging throughout NYC which reflect improving economic conditions. Another source of confidence has been the improved outlook for financing.  Positive responses boosted the Index for this question to 8.07 this quarter, which is more than a one-point increase compared to 6.39 in the Fourth Quarter of 2012.

In recent months, a chief concern among residential brokers has been the low supply of inventory. With more and more new developments underway, inventory is expected to rise, boosting our residential brokers’ overall confidence in the current housing market, as well as in the market six months from now.

On the commercial side, the Overall Confidence Index was 8.79 in the First Quarter of 2013, up from 7.67 last quarter. Commercial brokers remain optimistic that the economy is improving, with many identifying tech and media firms as the main forces pushing the market in a positive direction, as well as a continued strength in the sub-markets.

Although most commercial brokers remained confident that the market will improve, some brokers noted that lenders were still skittish about making acquisition loans, and question the effect it will have on buyers. Despite these concerns, however, broker market confidence remains high.

A full copy of the REBNY Broker Confidence Index can be found at


In other REBNY News:

Don’t miss a great networking opportunity at REBNY’s Finance Committee Cocktail party from 5:30 to 8:30 pm on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 230 Fifth Avenue Rooftop Lounge. The event includes open bar and hors d’oeuvre. Members are encouraged to bring a friend, guest or colleague. Ticket prices are $50. Register online at For more information, contact Ossie Shemtov at

Insight into lease negotiation is being offered by REBNY’s Commercial Brokerage Division Seminar Committee during “Lease Negotiation Seminar” from 8 to 10 am on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 in the Mendik Education Center at REBNY, 570 Lexington Ave.

Panelists are Steven M. Durels, EVP Director of Leasing & Real Property SL Green Realty Corp.; Jonathan L. Mechanic, Esq., Chairman, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, LLP; Craig L. Reicher, Vice Chairman, Tri-State Region, CBRE, Inc.; and Wallace L. Schwartz, Esq., Partner, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, LLP. Panel moderator is Michael R. Laginestra, Vice Chairman, CBRE Inc. REBNY members pay $10 and non-members are $15. Register online at For more information, contact Desiree Jones at

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be the keynote speaker at REBNY’s 10th annual Commercial Management Leadership Breakfast on Thursday, May 30th from

7:30 to 10 am at the Hilton New York, 1335 Avenue of the Americas.  Each year, commercial building owners and professionals recognize the achievements of the industry and superlative individuals. Edward V. Piccinich of SL Green Realty Corp. will receive the Edward A. Riguardi Commercial Manager of the Year Award.  We will also present nine other awards at the breakfast, including the: John M. Griffin Community Service Award; Outstanding On-Site Manager Award; Outstanding Portfolio Manager Award; Engineer (Small buildings) of the Year; Engineer (Large buildings) of the Year; Security Professional of the Year; Porter of the Year; Rising Star of the Year and a New Category – Best Engine Room. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Please register online at For more information, contact Cindy Ramotar at