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NYC brokers get their groove back as recovery takes grip

The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) today reported that broker confidence in the current real estate market rose to record levels during the second quarter of 2021. 

According to REBNY’s Q2 2021 Quarterly Real Estate Broker Confidence Index, the Current Conditions Index (CCI) for residential brokers rose to 60.0 in Q2, up from 23.8 in Q1, while the CCI for commercial brokers increased to 20.8 after spending five consecutive quarters in negative territory.

The residential sector’s Expectations Index (EXI) also jumped to 55.8 for the second quarter while the EXI for the commercial sector hit a record high of 52.5.


“This renewed and record-level optimism exhibited by brokers this past quarter is driven by increased vaccination rates and the return of domestic tourists and entertainment throughout the City, indicating that a strong recovery is underway,” said REBNY President James Whelan.

“Now is the time to build on this momentum with a focus on further boosting vaccination rates and adopting smart public policies that drive our recovery forward.”

For both residential and commercial brokers, issues relating to the real estate market, as well as economic indicators and policy, and quality of life, have been key issues in addition to ongoing efforts to address public health challenges and ensure a strong recovery.

According to a recent report from Miller Samuel, new residential lease signings have jumped to their highest level since 2008. CBRE recently reported that overall Manhattan leasing increased 20% in Q2 compared to the previous quarter. Midtown, Midtown South and Downtown all experienced an uptick in leasing activity since the previous quarter, a promising sign for the commercial market.

From an economic standpoint, recent data from the Times Square Alliance reports an increase in tourists as well as a surge in hotel occupancy, providing for a shift in sentiment.

The number of workers returning to the office on a regular basis has also been increasing steadily over the past few weeks, with about 24% of New York metro area employees back in the office as of July 28, according to data released by Kastle Systems.

In preparation for a safe and healthy return of employees, residents and building service workers to office and residential buildings throughout the City, REBNY joined SEIU 32BJ, the Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations, Inc., Local 94 International Union of Operating Engineers, and the Building Owners and Managers Association of Greater New York in issuing new comprehensive building safety guidelines.

REBNY’s Quarterly Real Estate Broker Confidence Index, New York City’s only broker confidence report, surveys REBNY’s residential and commercial brokerage members to measure their confidence in the New York City real estate market across the five boroughs. The Index uses a scale of -100 (uniformly negative responses) to 100 (uniformly positive responses) with a score of 0 representing either uniformly neutral responses or an equal number of brokers responding with positive and negative sentiment.

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