February 7, 2023
Residential Brokers Optimistic for Cooling Interest Rates and Inflation; Layoffs Dampen Commercial Sentiment
NEW YORK, NY – The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), the City’s leading real estate trade association, today released its Real Estate Broker Confidence Index report for Q4 2022. While residential and commercial broker confidence in current conditions fell for the fifth consecutive quarter, residential brokers’ six-month outlook entered positive territory for the first time since Q1 2022.
REBNY’s Quarterly Real Estate Broker Confidence Index is the City’s only broker confidence report and surveys residential and commercial brokerage members to measure their confidence in the real estate market across the five boroughs. In line with findings over the last four quarters, macroeconomic factors like rising interest rates, continued inflation and equity market volatility drove current commercial and residential confidence down. In this most recent report, brokers also expressed concerns on recently announced layoffs at some large employers. Looking forward beyond the next six months, residential brokers expressed some optimism that the market would improve as a result of less volatile macroeconomic factors.
The complete Q4 2022 Quarterly Real Estate Broker Confidence Index report can be downloaded here.
“High interest rates and inflation underlie ongoing broker malaise but residential brokers were encouraged by recent signs of moderation in these key indicators” said REBNY Director of Market Data Keith DeCoster. “Residential broker confidence could see further improvement in 2023 - if the moderation persists in mortgage and inflation rates. Substantive and widespread momentum in office leasing, and clarity regarding conversion guidelines, will be needed for commercial confidence to turn around.”
In negative territory for the third consecutive quarter, the Residential Current Confidence Index dipped from -17.41 to -19.43 in Q4 2022. Brokers contributing to the report noted that Wall Street underperformance, layoffs and smaller year-end bonuses for clients, in addition to high interest rights and inflation, were responsible for disappointing home sales. Residential leasing was characterized as slower than a year ago but generally healthy.
Commercial real estate brokers remained more pessimistic than their residential colleagues. The Commercial Current Confidence Index (CCI) shifted from -40.58 to -45.61 in Q4 2022. While retail and hospitality capped off an impressive 2022 recovery with a strong holiday season, weak demand for Class B and C office space continues to tamp down current broker confidence.
Looking forward, brokers’ six-month outlook improved from the previous quarter for both residential and commercial respondents, with findings for the former entering positive territory
for the first time in three quarters. The Commercial Expectations Index (EXI) rose from -22.83 to -20.57, and the Residential EXI increased from -5.46 to 12.85.
Factors influencing these responses include:
Moderating inflationary pressures including tumbling gas prices
Fewer interest rate hikes expected in 2023
The strongest retail leasing demand in several years
Improved tourism activity in 2022
Stronger activity among Class A office properties in back-to-back years
For more information about REBNY research reports, visit www.rebny.com/research-and-reports.
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ABOUT THE REAL ESTATE BOARD OF NEW YORK
The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) is the City’s leading real estate trade association. Founded in 1896, REBNY represents commercial, residential, and institutional property owners, builders, managers, investors, brokers, and salespeople; banks, financial service companies, utilities, attorneys, architects, and contractors; corporations, co-partnerships, and individuals professionally interested in New York City real estate. REBNY conducts research on various civic matters including tax policy, city planning and zoning, rental conditions, land use policy, building codes, and other city, state, and federal legislation. REBNY regularly publishes market data, policy reports, and broker surveys. In addition, REBNY provides for its members: informational, technical, and technological resources; networking and charitable service opportunities; qualifying and continuing education courses; professional education programs, seminars, and designations; career-changing awards; legal advice; and a wide range of additional member benefits. For more information, please visit www.rebny.com.