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NEW OPINION SURVEY OF LEADING REALTORS INDICATES BETTER TIMES AHEAD FOR RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE

          NEW OPINION SURVEY OF LEADING REALTORS INDICATES
           BETTER TIMES AHEAD FOR RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE
    BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Nov. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- A new survey of more than 480 leading Realtors in 18 states shows emerging signs of confidence by these opinion leaders in the strength of the residential real estate markets nationwide.
    The new Great Western Realty Confidence Survey showed that Realtors surveyed gave their residential real estate markets an overall GW Realty Confidence Index rating of 5.6 in the third quarter, on a scale of one to 10, 10 being the best.
    Realtors were far more bullish about the future when asked to rate their markets one year from now, giving their residential real estate markets an overall GW Realty Confidence Index rating of 7.4, on the same 10-point scale.  This represents a dramatic increase in confidence from the third quarter of 1991.
    Residential real estate markets have picked up during the 1991 third quarter, according to the Realtors surveyed, with 44 percent reporting improved real estate sales activity.  Thirty-three percent said their markets had decreased.
    "In general, most Realtors surveyed attributed on improving residential real estate market to lower interest rates, more realistic pricing of homes, and slightly improved consumer confidence," said E.S. "Sam" Lyons, senior vice president of Great Western Bank, which conducted the survey in the markets which it operates.
    Regional Difference -- Midwest Tops Areas
    The Midwest area topped the GW Realty Confidence Index, with Realtors in selected Midwest markets giving their residential real estate markets a third quarter GW Realty Confidence Index rating of 6.4.  Realtors forecast a rating for the third quarter of 1992 at a GW Realty Confidence Index of 7.8.  The Midwest area includes Realtors surveyed in such states as Illinois, Michigan and Texas.
    More than 35 percent of the Midwest Realtors surveyed said their markets remained unchanged during the third quarter, and 35 percent responded that their markets actually experienced some decline. Slightly more than 17 percent of Midwest Realtors said their markets improved significantly during the third quarter of 1991.
    East Coast Comeback
    Realtors in the Eastern area gave their residential real estate markets a GW Realty Confidence index rating of 6.0, with a GW Realty Confidence Index rating 7.4 for their markets a year from now.  The Eastern area includes Realtors in Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia.
    A majority of Eastern Realtors, 52 percent, said their sales activity improved during the third quarter.  About 21 percent said their sales activity remained unchanged, and 24 percent said their sales activity decreased slightly during the quarter.
    Western Area Sluggish, Better Times Ahead
    Realtors in the Western area provided weaker ratings for their residential real estate markets in the third quarter, posting a GW Realty confidence Index of 5.4.  However, their confidence is strong for next year as they gave their markets a GW Realty Confidence Index rating of 7.3 one year from now.  The Western area includes Realtors surveyed in Arizona, California, Colorado and Washington.
    More than 40 percent of the Western area Realtors surveyed saw their sales activity improve during the quarter, a strong signal that the Western area is showing signs of improvement.  Some 27 percent of the Western area Realtors noted their sales activity decreased and 23 percent found their sales activity unchanged.
    Realtor Profile
    Realtors were selected by local Great Western managers because they are key opinion leaders in the markets they serve.  More than three-quarters of the Realtors surveyed -- 77 percent -- were brokers/managers of offices with sales volume over $5 million within the last six months.  Their average office size was 37 sales agents.
    About the Survey
    Great Western conducted 489 in-person interviews during a six-week period from Aug. 19 through Sept. 30.  Great Western managers who conducted these interviews average more than 10 years of experience in the residential real estate industry.  Market selection was based on the cities and states in which Great Western operates Great Western Bank and Great Western Mortgage home loan offices.
    This is the first time the survey has been conducted and it will serve as a benchmark from which to compare future survey results and GW Realty Confidence ratings.  The Great Western Realty Confidence Survey will be conducted twice each year -- once during the first quarter and once during the third quarter.
    -0-                           11/6/91
    /NOTE: Realtor is a registered collective membership mark which may be used only by real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of Realtors and subscribe to its strict code of ethics.  Professionals surveyed were members of the NAR.
    Great Western can provide names and phone numbers of local Realtors who participated in the survey for interview purposes.
    /CONTACT:  Kevin Hawkins, 800-523-4888 or Linda Mueller, 213-385-3481, both of Great Western Financial Corp./ CO:  Great Western Financial Corp. ST:  California IN:  FIN SU: AL -- LA003 -- 1630 11/06/91 11:02 EST
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 6, 1991
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