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Upstate’s mood on real estate improved in Q1

By Kevin Tampone


Upstate consumers raised their opinion of the real estate market in the first quarter of 2012, looking forward to a brighter future despite ongoing pessimism in the short term, according to a new survey.

The overall current Real Estate Sentiment score for upstate New York jumped 17.3 points to -21, according to a survey from the Siena (College) Research Institute (SRI). That’s a significant increase, SRI Director Donald Levy said in a news release.

“The overall current sentiment score remains negative, but this upturn demonstrates that along with stronger consumer confidence, the mood towards real estate has risen dramatically,” Levy said.

A negative overall score shows that more survey respondents felt pessimistic about the housing market than felt optimistic. A sentiment score of zero would show equal levels of optimism and pessimism, while a positive score would reflect more optimism.

Upstate consumers felt better about the housing market’s future. The region’s overall future Real Estate Sentiment score, which measures feelings toward the market a year from now, rose 9.7 points to 14.4.

It remains a difficult time to sell a home, survey respondents said. However, they offered hope that conditions are improving for homeowners with “For Sale” signs in their yards.

The survey’s current selling score for Upstate rose 17.7 points in the first quarter of the year, although it remained negative at -32.8. The region’s future selling score rose 9.7 points to 11.8.

“After a dismal view last quarter, the common wisdom is that difficult conditions for sellers have improved and will continue to move in a more positive direction,” Levy said.

Buying conditions were positive and changed little in upstate New York, according to the survey. The region’s current buying score edged up 0.1 point to 29.4, and its future buying score added 0.8 points to 19.8.

Statewide, consumers also adopted a brighter outlook for the real estate market. The state’s overall current Real Estate Sentiment score leapt 22.1 points to -19.6, and its overall future score climbed 18.4 points to 22.7.

SRI surveyed 2,409 New York residents over age 18 in January, February, and March to develop the Real Estate Sentiment scores.

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