More than half of the residential brokers working in New York City believe the housing market will get worse before it gets better.
And 85% said the recession has negatively impacted their personal situation, one even claiming it caused her divorce.
The findings are the result of a survey of 200 residential brokers working in New York City by Entitle Direct, the parent company of EnTitle Insurance Company, a direct-to-consumer title insurance service.
“The reason we conducted this survey was to find out how the recession has specifically impacted the personal situations and finances of agents and brokers directly, and to tell their stories,” said Paula DeLaurentis, CMO of Entitle Direct.
“Everyone asks them questions about the real estate industry, but nobody has asked them about their own personal economic situations. Our survey shows that both personally and professionally, they have had to make significant sacrifices to adapt to the new environment.”
Of the New York City brokers surveyed, 51% said that they believe homeowners are selling their homes because they can no longer afford them. Moreover, 60% said that they believe those who are in a position to buy are taking advantage of lower interest rates.
The weakened economy has significantly affected realtors’ finances. The survey results reveal that 92% of New York City brokers have lost money since the 2008 credit crisis began, and are now living off significantly less income or depending on savings to supplement their income.
Of the New York City real estate agents and brokers surveyed, 97% stated that real estate was their primary employment and 75% said that they were the primary income earner for their household.
The survey also reveals that the weak economy has made the real estate industry increasingly cutthroat for agents and brokers, with 63% of agents finding business to be much more competitive.
And 62% feel that they have been more negatively affected by the recession than their families and friends working in other industries have been.
According to the survey, 30% of respondents have had to get a second job. And 7% of those surveyed reported that they have been forced to sell their primary residence; 7% have had to downsize their housing; 72% indicated that the market downturn has negatively impacted their plans for retirement and; 89% reported that the economic downturn has impacted their commissions in a negative way.
Many of the 200 surveyed reported they have been left trying to figure out how to keep their homes, filing for bankruptcy to avoid losing their homes and income properties, or trying to avoid becoming underwater on a mortgage.
In some cases, the negative impact really hit home hard, with one realtor reporting that the economic downturn resulted in a divorce.
When asked about their outlook on the real estate market, 60% of New York City agents and brokers stated that things are only going to get worse — 6% felt we are in a market upswing.
DeLaurentis said, “Although the real estate industry continues to struggle, I remain hopeful that a combination of low interest rates and affordable homes will result in the market bottoming out and then turning up again.
“We at Entitle Direct stand ready to be as helpful as we can to brokers by lowering closings costs to consumers.”