U.S. Real Estate Broker and Agent Confidence Declines in February
Point2 Technologies (“Point2”) has released the findings from its February 2010 Real Estate Confidence Index (RECI) survey, which reflect a more favourable current environment and improved sentiment amongst brokers and agents across the United States compared to January 2010, with fundamental economic concerns weighing in on the long term outlook and pressuring the overall Index rating.
Accounting for seasonality, the national RECI, which tracks real estate professionals’ forward looking sentiment on a monthly basis was down by 2.26 percent, to 5.63 on the RECI scale of one to ten (1 being “bad” and 10 being “good”).
Two of the national RECI’s three variable components declined month-to-month, with the Long Term (12 – 18 months) outlook gauge dropping by 4.10 percent to 6.32 on the 1 – 10 optimism / pessimism scale. The component however continued to exhibit notable strength compared to the shorter term views within the Index, with 66.4 percent of the respondent base rating the variable at 6 or higher. 8.2 percent of the base was highly optimistic with a 12 – 18 month outlook rating of 10.
The Short Term component of the RECI, which measures respondent optimism / pessimism for the coming 3 – 6 months, held up relatively better, declining 2.89 percent to 5.71, from 5.88 in January.
Current Sentiment however rose versus last month, signaling improved business conditions for the February survey period. The RECI variable, which tracks broker and agent views of current market conditions, adjusted on a seasonal basis, rose by 1.04 percent, to 4.87. Drivers that fuelled respondents’ upbeat ratings in key markets include lower inventories in attractive price categories and, low interest rates. A feeling that the market has, or is leveling off also seemed to encourage real estate professionals in a number of areas around the U.S.
Key concerns highlighted by the February survey results include the looming April 30 deadline for the current federal tax credit program, which respondents in most states consistently credited for driving market activity in the mid to lower range home price categories.
The risk associated with interest rate hikes over the coming months was another major issue frequently pinpointed by survey participants around the country. Participants noted higher rates could further impede American consumers’ ability to service outstanding mortgages upon expiration and could lead to the extension of the residential foreclosures issue in the U.S.
Extending a familiar theme raised by RECI survey contributors over the past months, the jobs market was also recurrently cited as a key obstacle to market recovery, and reason for some respondents’ declining longer term optimism.
Apprehension was also expressed regarding foreclosure inventories held back by banks, which many believe will put more pressure back into the markets when released.
The complete RECI Report, including respondent commentaries presented by state, as well as an interactive state by state RECI score heat map, can be accessed at www.RealEstateConfidenceIndex.com.
More than 50,000 brokers and agents from the Point2 Agent software platform user community were surveyed for the February report, with 1401 usable responses aggregated to determine the RECI reading for the month.
RECI Survey Instrument and Methodology
The Real Estate Confidence Index (RECI) tracks the real estate market opinions of tens of thousands of licensed real estate professionals, brokers and agents, across the United States, accounting for seasonality,on a scale of one to ten (1 being “bad” and 10 being “good”). The RECI also rates respondent sentiment for market conditions 3 – 6 months and 6 – 12 months into the future on a ten-point scale (1 being “pessimistic” and 10 being “optimistic”). The median across all three time periods represents the Index measure for the month.
The RECI is open to the Point2 Agent membership and to tens of thousands of additional licensed real estate professionals across the nation at the beginning of each month. Respondents complete a simple, four question survey through third party survey solution providers, Survey Monkey. The data is tabulated electronically, median averages surfaced for quantitative questions, and qualitative feedback and respondent commentaries are captured and presented in Point2’s monthly RECI Summary Report.
About Point2 Technologies Inc.
Point2 Technologies develops and markets web-based inventory management and online marketing software solutions for the real estate (www.Point2Agent.com) and heavy equipment industries (www.Point2Manager.com).
Point2 also owns and operates the real estate consumer portal, Point2 Homes (www.Point2Homes.com), and the used heavy equipment marketplace, UsedIron (www.UsedIron.com). More information can be found at www.Point2.com. For ongoing news about Point2, please visit www.point2.com/news.asp.
Point2 Technologies Inc.
Vice President of Public Relations
Toll Free: 1-888-955-7900 (U.S. and Canada)
Toll Free: 1-888-955-7900 (U.S. and Canada)
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