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GW REALTY CONFIDENCE INDEX UP, NEW SURVEY SHOWS

 GW REALTY CONFIDENCE INDEX UP, NEW SURVEY SHOWS
 CHATSWORTH, Calif., Aug. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- A new survey of


leading Realtors from 20 states across the nation shows that Realtors have greater overall confidence in their residential real estate markets today than three quarters ago. However, the survey conducted by Great Western Bank and Great Western Mortgage revealed that Realtors are slightly less optimistic in their predictions about the future.
 Some 460 leading broker/owners of residential real estate firms gave their markets an average GW Realty Confidence index rating of 6.0 on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being best, for the second quarter of 1992. This is up from an average rating of 5.6 during the third quarter of 1991, when the survey was first conducted.
 Still bullish about the future, Realtors predicted an average index rating of 7.3, on the same 10-point scale, for their markets one year from now. This compares with a third quarter 1991 projection of 7.4 for the same period this year.
 "Most Realtors surveyed said that lower interest rates, more realistic pricing of homes and a perception of increased consumer confidence helped to increase sales activity during the quarter," said E.S. "Sam" Lyons, senior vice president, Great Western Bank. "But many added that they are going back to the basics -- working harder and smarter -- in response to today's market."
 Of the Realtors polled, 65.2 percent reported improved real estate sales activity from the previous quarter, compared with 44 percent of those surveyed during the third quarter of 1991. Only 22.2 percent said sales activity had decreased, compared with 33 percent from the previous survey.
 "Realtors said they are using their full arsenal of marketing and advertising tools," said Lyons. "They also are spending more time training agents, educating buyers and sellers, and cutting expenses."
 Mid-America Tops Survey
 Mid-America topped the GW Realty Confidence index for the second consecutive survey with an average rating of 6.9, up from 6.4 during the third quarter of 1991. Those surveyed forecast a rating for the second quarter of next year at an average of 7.6.
 One Realtor from Algonquin, Ill., near Chicago, characterized his business activity in today's market this way: "I'm working harder, relying more on direct mailings and increasing my market area of activity."
 Mid-America Realtors surveyed include those from Illinois, Michigan and Texas.
 Eastern Area Shows Improvement
 Realtors in the Eastern Area rated their residential real estate markets at an average of 6.4, up from 6.0 during the third quarter 1991 survey and forecast an index rating of 7.5.
 A Realtor from Westbury, N.Y. suggested finding the right financing partner is key to the process in today's market. "What we're looking for in a lender is consistent quality in service and underwriting," he said.
 Eastern Area Realtors include those from Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia.
 Western Area Looks to Brighter Future
 Realtors in the Western Area again gave weaker ratings than the rest of the nation for their residential real estate markets in the second quarter of 1992, posting a GW Realty Confidence index rating of 5.7. However, this is up from a 5.4 rating during the third quarter 1991 survey. Western Realtors remain confident about the future, forecasting a 7.1 index rating for the second quarter of 1993.
 In Poulsbo, Wash., near Seattle, a Realtor highlighted the reasons her market has picked up, saying, "Lower interest rates, an improved (local) economy and seasonal purchases contributed to increased sales activity in my market."
 Western Realtors surveyed include those in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington.
 About the Survey
 Great Western managers conducted in-person interviews over an eight-week period during the second quarter of 1992. Three-quarters of the Realtors selected to participate were brokers/managers of offices with sales volumes of more than $5 million during the past six months and an average office size of 38 agents.
 The GW Realty Confidence Survey is conducted semi-annually. Market selection is based on the cities and states in which Great Western operates Great Western Bank and Great Western Mortgage home loan offices. Survey findings are representative of market conditions as interpreted by selected key opinion leaders, based on their experience in these markets.
 Great Western Realty Confidence Survey Results 2Q 1992
 Top Realtors Rate Today's Real Estate Market
 Rank State 2Q 1992 Rating 3Q 1991 Rating
 1 Colorado 8.7 7.5
 2 Michigan 8.0 6.8
 Oregon 8.0 n/a
 4 Massachusetts 7.2 5.7
 5 Pennsylvania 7.0 6.0
 Texas 7.0 6.5
 7 Washington 6.9 6.4
 8 Georgia 6.8 6.8
 9 Arizona 6.5 7.5
 Florida 6.5 6.2
 Illinois 6.5 6.1
 12 New York 6.4 6.1
 13 Virginia 6.3 4.9
 14 New Jersey 6.2 6.0
 15 Tennessee 6.0 6.3
 16 Maryland 5.8 4.8
 17 North Carolina 5.7 n/a
 18 California 5.5 5.3
 Delaware 5.5 5.0
 20 Connecticut 5.4 5.8
 Ratings were on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being best.
 -0- 8/11/92
 /NOTE: Great Western can provide reporters the names and phone numbers of local Realtors who participated in the survey for interview purposes./
 /CONTACT: Kevin Hawkins, 800-523-4888, or Linda Mueller, 818-775-3652, both of Great Western/ CO: Great Western ST: California IN: FIN SU: ECO


KJ-LS -- LA005 -- 8803 08/11/92 08:04 EDT
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