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REBNY Broker Confidence Index Shows Tentative Optimism

Rendering of 55 Hudson Yards, a supertall office building on Manhattan's Far West Side
A rendering of 55 Hudson Yards

The Real Estate Board of New York has released its Broker Confidence Index for the second quarter, and it reflects a minor boost in optimism for the city.

The overall broker confidence index sits at 5.89 out of 10, just barely on the positive side. It is only a 0.02 increase from the first quarter, due to divergent opinions on the current market (where optimism has increased by 0.23) and the future (which dropped by 0.24). Overall, not much has changed since the third-quarter report of 2016, which was a major dip from the already-declining Q2 report.

Commercial brokers overall are more optimistic than their residential counterparts, as the latter's confidence index dropped a half-point from Q1 to Q2, even though both sides agree that deal velocity has slowed considerably. Leasing activity has been buoyed on the commercial side by the fast-moving Hudson Yards megaproject, and what development opportunities remain reflect optimism in future new construction.

Some older office buildings, most notably 666 Fifth Ave., have been left in the dust by new deliveries, while the most expensive residential buildings have seen their own share of struggles. Overall, no one is singing the happy tune they were at the end of 2014, when the index peaked at a 9.22 confidence rating — signaling that the cycle may be ready to end soon.