As consumers nationwide begin to again feel a sense of safety and soundness in the American housing market, real estate executives may be echoing their sentiments.
A recent survey conducted during Akerman Senterfitt's fourth-annual U.S. Real Estate Summit in Miami saw housing officials report their levels of optimism, which have reached record high levels since the start of widespread economic downturn exhibited five years ago. A reported 86 percent of respondents shared a positive outlook after the first three months of 2012, marking a 4 percent increase over figures recorded the firm's third-annual summit in 2012.
"Each year the summit has served as an exclusive forum for the nation's industry leaders to exchange insights on the latest challenges impacting investment opportunities," said Richard Bezold, chair of the Akerman Real Estate Practice Group. "Volatile financial markets and government policies have tested optimism over the last few years, but industry executives are finding creative avenues for growth. Their inventiveness in core markets has led to the recovery of not only the real estate industry but also major cities across the U.S."
According to the survey, those housing executives that did report negative outlooks for the national residential sector credited government policies and global economic uncertainties as the main reasons for their waning confidence levels. In addition, the most pressing issue among respondents was determined to be the availability of credit, which represents a significant shift from concerns of previous years.
March sees decrease in number of credit defaults nationwide
Though high-ranking housing officials may worry of strict credit regulations hampering consumer involvement in the real estate market, many may be buying navigating the residential sector with little in March. Information recently released by S&P Dow Jones Indices and Experian for the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices shows a substantial decline in default rates nationally during last month.
The national composite was reportedly seen at 1.50 percent during March, exhibiting a drop from the previous month's reading of 1.55 percent. Additionally, mortgage records for both the first and second default rates moved down last month. The first showed a positive decrease from February's level of 1.48 percent, and was logged at 1.41 percent - while the second fell from 0.71 percent to settle at 0.69 percent.
"The first quarter of 2013 shows healthy consumer credit quality," said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee for S&P Dow Jones Indices. "The first and second mortgage default rates decreased, the bank card rate increased and the auto loan rate remained flat in March. All loan types remain below their respective levels a year ago."