REAL ESTATE SURVEY SHOWS STRONGER REBOUND, ESPECIALLY IN COMMERCIAL MARKETS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The FDIC's most recent Survey of Real Estate Trends, conducted in
late April, indicates that real estate markets nationwide
strengthened substantially for the second quarter in a row.
Particularly encouraging were sharp improvements in assessments of
commercial real estate. Views about California real estate were
much more positive for the second straight survey.Since the
inception of the survey in April 1991, the FDIC has asked senior
asset managers and examiners from federal bank and thrift
regulatory agencies around the nation to report on developments in
the local real estate markets they follow in their work.
More than 450 participants were polled in late April 1994 regarding
developments during the prior three months.Under the scoring system
used by the FDIC to summarize the results, values above 50 indicate
that more respondents thought conditions were improving than
declining. The higher the reading, the higher the proportion of
positive assessments. The composite index covering all types of
real estate bounded to a new high of 78 in April, up from the
previous record of 73 in January.
"Both recent surveys clearly suggest that the recovery in real
estate is gaining strength and is widening geographically," said
James L. Freund, chief of industry and financial analysis at the
Division of Research and Statistics. "Historically low interest
rates and the pick-up in the economy likely are important factors
underlying the improvement.
"Of particular note are the much more positive reports on
commercial real estate across the nation. Nearly half of the
respondents reported of building space and improvements in the
sales and prices of commercial properties."
Assessments of housing markets also improved in April. With almost
70 percent of the participants seeing further gains during the
prior three months, the index for housing rose to 82 in April from
77 in January.
"These survey results leave no doubt that a robust housing recovery
is under way," Freund said.
The professionals surveyed in all regions were upbeat in April.
Reports were particularly strong in the Northeast, where 74 percent
of those surveyed noted improved housing conditions, up from 54
percent three months ago. Forty-two percent saw improvements in
Northeast commercial markets by late April, versus only a third of
those surveyed in January. "These were by far the strongest
readings for the Northeast to date," Freund noted.
Over 40 percent of the California respondents in April said that
housing markets there were on the mend, compared to only 12 percent
six months earlier. In the troubled commercial sector in that
state, two-thirds of the respondents said that conditions had
stabilized in their local markets and 23 percent reported improved
conditions. Only 10 percent noted further deterioration.Copies of
the survey are available in the lobby of the FDIC's headquarters at
550 17th Street, N.W., Washington. They also can be ordered from
the Office of Corporate Communications.