Summary The survey projects expectations for the 2nd quarter of 2012. The scale ranges from 0-100 with 0 being much worse, 100 being much better, and 50 indicating no change expected.
The professional Real Estate community’s optimism continues to improve. The outlook for sales (yellow) this quarter is at the highest level recorded in the three years this survey has been conducted, 61, a five point improvement from last quarter. This is one point higher than last year at this time.
While all scores are up to new highs, the survey participants are still expecting continued declines in prices (47) and credit availability (48). The national score at 52, up from 48 last quarter, indicates that respondents are more constructive on the overall economic picture. The participants moved to positive sentiment on the statewide conditions at 59 up 5 points from last quarter. Sales expectations are more positive at 61 again up 5 points from last quarter. Inventory expectations improved to 52 from last quarter, the first time this indicator has been above 50 indicating improving conditions expected. Sellers are likely to be frustrated by pricing, and buyers will continue to have problems getting financing.
The sales expectations for each region are within 1 point of each other from 60-61.
This quarter showed an improvement in all measures and in all regions. To some degree this is a seasonal phenomena, the levels are at high points in the three year history of the survey. Of course the three years of the survey have been some of the most challenging in recent times. None the less the results are encouraging, and taken together with the early results of actual sales in the 1st quarter and the new ABRE sales projections for the remainder of the year that ACRE/Brander has recently released all point to improving conditions.
Commercial market participants (the majority of the respondents are from the Birmingham market area) moved to projecting a continuing improving market this quarter at 59 this quarter vs. 54 last for sales expectations. Price expectations are still soft, at 48 vs 45 last quarter indicating pricing pressure. The score for credit availability has turned constructive, at 54 up from 48 points from last quarter.
North Alabamaexperienced a consistent improvement in all scores. The total score of 53, up from 51, a 2 point improvement from last quarter. The Rural markets were an exception to the increasing sales expectations with a drop to 50 from 59 last quarter.
North Central Region
The North Central Region overall score improved to 54 from 50 last quarter, The sales score improved 6 points to 61. Inventory is continuing to improve at 53 with, pricing, and credit below the 50 mark at 47, and 49 respectively.
South Central Region
The South Central Region participants outlook for sales improved 6 points to 61. Rural participants sales expectations improved 10 points to 60.
The Southern Region sales score improved 4 points to 60. Rural participants sales expectations improved 7 points to 57.
About the Alabama Real Estate Confidence Index and Survey:
Almost 500 professionals responded to the 2nd quarter 2012 survey which was conducted during the month of March 2012. The survey, conducted by the Alabama Center For Real Estate now has the largest participation of any real estate survey. It provides important market insights. Full history and scores for each market segment are located here on the web http://goo.gl/n6o8O
The ACRE Leadership Council determined the need for a statewide industry confidence index and this was adopted as the Council’s first initiative. Tom Brander, Council Member, was selected by the Council and Grayson Glaze, ACRE Executive Director, to spearhead and work with the Center to conduct and produce its Alabama Real Estate Confidence Index (ARECI). The Council appreciates everyone who participated.