Brokers express more confidence in market's future

December 08, 1991|By James M. Woodard | James M. Woodard,Copley News Service

Most real estate brokerage firm owners believe today's market is reasonably strong, a new survey shows. At least, they are not suffering from deep recession blues.

And they have a growing confidence in the health of residential real estate markets nationwide, according to a survey of 489 broker firm owners by Great Western Bank. The survey included brokers in 18 states across the country.

Realtors rated today's residential real estate market on a scale from one to 10, the best being 10. The most confident and optimistic Realtors were in the Midwest, where they reported an average rating of 6.4 for today's real estate market.

"Clearly, Realtors nationwide are optimistic about the prospects for improvement in residential real estate sales next year," said Sam Lyons, senior vice president of Great Western Bank.

"Realtors in markets that already rank as being strong -- like Arizona -- are confident their markets will improve, and Realtors in markets that are a little more sluggish, like California, also expect great improvement next year."

The survey also showed that the Realtors surveyed gave their current residential real estate markets a confidence rating average of 5.6.

Realtors were far more bullish about the future when asked to rate their expectations for local markets one year from now, giving their residential real estate markets an average rating of 7.4. This represents a dramatic increase in confidence indicated for the current market.

Residential real estate markets picked up during the third quarter of this year, according to the Realtors surveyed, with 44 percent reporting improved residential real estate sales activity. Thirty-three percent said sales activity in their markets had decreased.

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Q: Is it true that the maximum amount for conforming mortgage loans for financing residential properties will soon increase?

A: Yes. The maximum loan acceptable by Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Association) will increase Jan. 1. This means larger loans will be available to buyers of one- to four-unit residential properties because these loans will be salable to the secondary market.

The maximum loan will increase to $202,300 for a single-family conventional mortgage.

Limits for multi-unit loans will increase to the following: two-family homes to $258,800; three-family homes to $312,800; and four-family homes to $388,800.

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