Real estate brokers' pessimism in housing market reaches new low
Real estate brokers and agents are feeling negative about the outlook for the housing market, according to an index that measures current, short-term and long-term sentiment. The U.S. Real Estate Confidence Index dropped by 8.42% in September over August to 4.42 on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being the worst and 10 the best. When compared to September 2009, sentiment plunged by 23.5%. The seasonally adjusted index is at its lowest level since Vancouver-based Point2 began to track brokers' future expectations. Point 2 began tracking U.S. agents' future expectations for the real estate market in June 2009. The RECI’s only three-month drop to date was recorded between December 2009 and February 2010. Sentiment over current market conditions dropped to 3.94 on the scale, down 9.43% over last month and 22% over the same period a year ago. The short-term outlook (three to six months), hit a new low, settling at 4.2, down nearly 10% over last month and 26% compared to September 2009. The long-term outlook (six to 12 months) dropped for the third consecutive month and recorded a new low of 5.24. The average of all three variables makes up the overall RECI score for the month. Point2 said 1,139 brokers and agents completed the September survey. Write to Kerry Curry.