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RISMEDIA, January 19, 2009-Brokers are optimistic that the change in administration next week will have an impact on the extremely sluggish housing market, according to a “Housing Beat” survey of its members by Leading Real Estate Companies of the World(r). Over three fourths of those responding felt that the changing of the guard will have a moderate to significant influence.

Nearly two-thirds (62%) indicated heavier activity since the first of the year, although it is too early to note whether increased property showings and Web traffic will translate to increased sales.

The consensus is that consumer confidence and concerns about the job market are the heart of the housing crisis, and the survey indicated that brokers see no movement in that confidence level, although there is hope that stimulus action, declining interest rates, absorption of some housing stock by investors, and affordability levels not seen in several years will gradually lure buyers from the sidelines.

An ABC News “Nightline” episode featuring LeadingRE broker Ron Shuffield of EWM Realtors in Miami demonstrated how compelling the opportunity is right now for buyers, with several examples of attractive homes and condos available for under $100,000.

“For buyers who do not anticipate having to move in the next two to three years, there has not been a better time to buy a home in decades,” comments LeadingRE President/CEO Pam O’Connor. “Selection, prices, and interest rates are very favorable to consumers, and sellers who may be frustrated with lower sales prices will make it up on the buying end. Regardless of how prices have declined in the last two years, the long-term viability of real estate as both shelter and investment remains high.”

LeadingRE brokers had various reactions to housing stimulus proposals, according to the survey, with most indicating that creating jobs, continued low interest rates, a true non-repayable tax credit, and some form of foreclosure moratorium to recast loans are at the top of the list of strategies which would be most effective.

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