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NYC Brokers 'Deeply Shaken' By Crisis, Confidence Hits All-Time Low


New York City broker confidence hit an all-time low in March as measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus were put into place.

Overall real estate broker confidence hit 1.89 out of 10 on the day Gov. Andrew Cuomo initiated a statewide stay-at-home order March 20, according to the Real Estate Board of New York’s quarterly Real Estate Broker Confidence Index report

Average confidence during Q1 was 3.72 out of 10, down 46% from the end of Q4 in 2019. The index also dipped lower than this average, to 2.4 on March 13, when President Donald Trump declared a national emergency, the report shows.  

“It’s no surprise that, along with everyone else confronting the current humanitarian crisis, our industry is deeply shaken,” REBNY President James Whelan said in a statement. “We will need strong policies at the city, state and federal levels to get our economy back into shape and working for all those impacted by this unprecedented crisis.”

The report also shows commercial real estate brokers are less confident in the market than residential brokers, with most brokers in both sectors saying they were more hopeful for the future than the present. 

This is in part because the industry hopes to adjust to the new reality by moving work online and conduct virtual showings, according to REBNY. 

New York City brokers have told Bisnow that they see this moment changing the market for years to come, but that they don’t doubt the market will bounce back. 

In an interview for the second installment of Bisnow’s ongoing series My New NormalCompass Vice Chairman and longtime broker Robin Abrams said that while most viewings have been on hold or canceled, there have been a few that have continued and that she believes deals can continue now with an eye toward the future.