REBNY Research: Real Estate Broker Confidence Index Q1 2021

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Executive Summary

The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) surveys its residential and commercial brokerage members quarterly, measuring their present and six month forecasted confidence in New York City’s real estate market. Brokers reflect on their professional dealings and report their outlook on the future on an index of 0 to 10. The Commercial Broker Confidence Index covers all forms of commercial real estate, including but not limited to office, retail and industrial space. The Residential Broker Confidence Index reflects both the residential sales and rental markets.

REBNY issues and collects the survey responses in the last three weeks of each quarter. The most recent survey results for the first quarter of 2021 reveal that the overall commercial and residential real estate broker confidence is 6.66, the highest confidence level since the fourth quarter of 2019. This represents a 53% increase from last quarter (Q4 2020) and a 79% increase year-over-year.

The first quarter of 2021 represents the second consecutive increase in overall broker confidence following an all-time low in the third quarter of 2020.

Commercial broker confidence was 5.65 out of 10, a 96% increase since the fourth quarter of 2020 and a 75% increase year-over-year. The confidence level of 5.65 is the highest level since the fourth quarter of 2019.

Residential broker confidence reached 7.66 out of 10 in the first quarter of 2021, its highest level since the first quarter of 2016. This confidence level is a 32% increase since the fourth quarter of 2020 and an 82% increase year-over-year.

REAL ESTATE BROKER CONFIDENCE

In the first quarter of 2021, the present situation real estate broker confidence was 5.25 out of 10, a 55% increase since brokers were last surveyed in the fourth quarter of 2020 and an 85% increase since the same time last year. Present broker confidence has not been this high since the fourth quarter of 2019.

The survey results similarly indicated optimism that the market would continue to improve in the future. The forward-looking indicator that tracks expectations six months from now stood at 7.71, a 52% increase from the fourth quarter of 2020 and a 76% increase since the same time last year. Future broker confidence has not been this high since the third quarter of 2015.