Real estate leaders show concern for the 2017 market

by Chip Bell


We are only a few weeks away from the New Year, and a little over a month away from a new president, but the future of the economy, and housing specifically, has never been more uncertain.

At least those were the sentiments expressed by real estate leaders in a new survey from Imprev, a provider of automated marketing services for real estate.

The company talked to nearly 240 brokers, and here is what we learned:

Overall economic outlooks are down, but split – In 2014, when Imprev conducted a similar survey to gauge real estate leaders’ 2015 outlooks, 47 percent anticipated the economy to improve. But this year that positive outlook has diminished. Now, only 32 percent expect improvement, while 24 percent are preparing for deterioration (compared to only 9 percent in 2014). “Real estate leaders are clearly less bullish about the coming year than they were two years ago,” said Imprev CEO Renwick Congdon in a statement accompanying the survey.

Improve Significantly Improve Stay the Same Deteriorate
2017 Economic Outlook 2% 30% 44% 24%
2015 Economic Outlook 2% 45% 44% 9%

Confidence is slipping on future housing demand – From 2014 to 2016, the percentage of real estate leaders confident in the future of housing demand dropped by 14 points, from 52 to 38 percent, while the share anticipating a decline more than doubled, jumping from 6 to 13 percent. Almost half of respondents agreed demand will remain stagnant in 2017.

Improve Significantly Improve Stay the Same Deteriorate
2017 Housing Demand Outlook 3% 35% 49% 13%
2015 Housing Demand Outlook 5% 47% 42% 6%

But most still believe in the overall housing market – One consensus that remained across the two surveys was that the housing market will be fine. Two years ago, 79 percent of real estate leaders were “somewhat” confident the market would improve over the next year. Today, only 74 percent agree. However, the amount that are “very” confident in the market is higher now (21 percent) than it was in 2014 (18 percent). Only 5 percent in Imprev’s survey expressed a lack of confidence.

Very Somewhat Not at All
2017 Housing Market Confidence 21% 74% 5%
2015 Housing Market Confidence 18% 79% 3%

Profitability may be down – But despite 95 percent of respondents being confident in 2017’s housing market, the amount expecting profitability to improve has dropped from 2014. The share of real estate leaders expecting to see, at least, a “somewhat” improved bottom line has fallen from 95 percent to 88 percent.

Very Somewhat Not at All
2017 Profitability Confidence 39% 49% 12%
2015 Profitability Confidence 43% 52% 5%

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