Fear is mostly related to the future of the rental market

Brokers Are Now More Pessimistic

The Real Estate Board of New York said this week that brokers are more pessimistic about the future than at any time before, based on a recent poll.

Overall confidence fell to 3.72 out of 10, a 46-percent drop from the prior quarter.

“It’s the lowest value since REBNY began tracking broker sentiment back in 2012,” according to the report. “Given the difficulties in showing properties and transacting, it’s no surprise that broker confidence in the present situation checked in so low.”

Most brokers don’t think the market will return anywhere close to normal in six months, with confidence for that period extremely weak. When sentiment was broken out by sector, residential brokers were slightly more positive than commercial brokers.

As data rolls in it also becomes just how much the COVID-19 pandemic will hurt, especially its effect on the New York rental market.

“With the coronavirus pandemic, new lease signings fell to their lowest level in four-and-a-half years,” wrote Jonathan Miller in his weekly housing notes for New York City-based Miller Samuels Inc. “With awareness of COVID-19 breakout by mid-March, leasing activity fell sharply as landlords worked hard to retain existing tenants.”