Nearly two out of three estate professionals rated current market conditions on the bottom half of a 10-point scale in July, but were considerably more optimistic about the near- and long-term outlooks.

That’s according to surveys of more than 3,000 agents in the U.S. and Canada who are clients of software developer Point2 Technologies Inc.

Asked to rate current market conditions in their area on a seasonally adjusted basis using a 10-point scale, 64 percent of agents rated conditions on the bottom half of the scale (from one to five). Only 36 percent said current conditions rated a score of six to 10.

But when agents were asked how optimistic or pessimistic they were about the near term — the next three to six months — they were more equally divided. Nearly 52 percent were optimistic, scoring the near-term outlook between six and 10, while a little more than 48 percent were on the neutral or pessimistic side of the scale (one through five).

The outlook for the next 12-18 months was even brighter, with 70 percent rating the long-term outlook as a six or better. Although 30 percent scored the long-term outlook on the neutral or pessimistic side of the scale, the percentage who were deeply pessimistic declined sharply.

Only 5 percent of agents rated the long-term outlook as a one or two, compared with nearly 10 percent who saw the near-term outlook that way and more than 13 percent who scored current conditions as a one or two. …CONTINUED

At the other end of the scale, just 3 percent said current conditions rated a score of nine or 10. But 9 percent said the near-term outlook rated a nine or 10, and close to 21 percent saw the long-term outlook in that light.

Point2 said it will use the survey to produce a Real Estate Confidence Index to provide "a window into the market that did not exist before," with the median response across all questions representing the index measure for the month.

With two months of surveys completed, the Real Estate Confidence Index for July was 5.5, a 16.5 percent increase from the 4.7 median response in June, Point2 said.

Builder confidence rebounded in July to a level not seen since September, but far more builders still see conditions as "poor" than "good," according to a survey by an industry trade group.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index rose two points in July to 17 (see story). When the seasonally adjusted index is above 50, more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.


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