Broker confidence in New York fell in the first quarter

May 19, 2022

Montana Mortgages

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Broker confidence in New York fell for a third consecutive quarter but remained in positive territory, according to the latest survey from the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY).

But the drop was largely due to the outlook for brokers in the residential market: the current confidence index for the sector fell from 50.63 to 31.41 in the first quarter, while the current confidence index for businesses was essentially stable.

Contrary to the latest reports, however, COVID-19 was not solely responsible for the decline in confidence. Residential brokers suggest that the residential market may moderate on the back of rising interest rates and mortgage rates; the latter metric hit 5% for 30-year mortgages in March, a record high since the fall of 2018.

On the trading front, brokers have expressed concern about a delayed return to work as well as quality of life issues, despite large employers recently signing up and executing first-quarter return-to-work plans. . Office occupancy in New York was 37% in mid-April, according to Kastle Systems, compared to 22% at the end of January. However, this figure still lags behind the average occupancy among the 10 largest metropolitan areas monitored by Kastle.

Six-month expectations were even gloomier, down 17% for commercial brokers and 20% among residential professionals, but the overall outlook was still better than at the start of the pandemic, when commercial and residential indices of REBNY were -33.74 and -64.32, respectively. .

Some factors suggest a positive trend for New York, including a narrowing of the gap between subway and bus ridership and ridership on the LIRR and Subway North and a doubling of gross ticket sales for Broadway shows between the last week of January and mid-April. Restaurant occupancy has improved from 70% below pre-pandemic levels in January to around 40% below new pandemic levels now.

Brokers say critical issues that need to be addressed to sustain progress this year include tackling quality of life issues such as crime, transit safety and sanitation management, local incentives supporting companies and the control of inflation.

“The major challenges facing the brokerage community have thankfully moved away from unprecedented public health concerns,” Keith DeCoster, REBNY Marketa’s chief data and policy officer, said in a statement.. “Economic momentum and broker confidence should remain in positive territory, particularly if policymakers continue to prioritize quality of life issues and empower homeowners and businesses to invest more in New York City. “

A “more consistent and sustained” returning to the office will also be necessary to boost the minds of trading brokers, according to the survey, but despite this, the demand for Class A assets and trophies with updated equipment remains high.

“Although the New York office market is experiencing significant headwinds, including a historically high availability rate, and many workers are still hesitant to return to the office, there is undeniably very strong occupant demand for space in the best office properties in premium locations,” said Bill Montana of Savills.