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 CHATSWORTH, Calif., Aug. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Real estate professionals are voicing a note of optimism when asked to rate their current residential real estate markets and predict future market conditions, according to the most recent findings from a survey conducted by Great Western Bank and its subsidiary, Great Western Mortgage.
 Great Western surveyed more than 400 Realtors during the company's semiannual GW Realty Confidence Survey, which gauges Realtors' perceptions about today's marketplace.
 When asked to rate their current residential real estate markets on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the best, Realtors gave an overall GW Realty Confidence index rating of 6.3. This figure is up from 6.0 in the second quarter of 1992.
 When asked to predict marketplace activity for the second quarter of 1994, Realtors gave a rating of 7.2. This figure mirrors the 7.3 rating predicted by Realtors for the second quarter of 1993 from the previous year.
 "Our survey results show that the majority of Realtors believe real estate sales and prices have bottomed out in many parts of the country, and many are beginning to experience a modest increase in business," said E.S. "Sam" Lyons, senior vice president, Great Western Bank. "The increase is due to a number of factors, including sellers who have adjusted their prices to fit the marketplace, pent-up demand from buyers and, most important, low interest rates."
 Current Market Conditions
 When asked to rate how their market had changed from the second quarter of 1992, 71.9 percent of the Realtors surveyed said they had witnessed an increase in business activity during the spring of 1993. Additionally, a significant indicator that the worst of the recent economic downturn might have passed was the number of Realtors who witnessed a decrease in their business during the second quarter of 1993. Compared to a year ago -- when 22.2 percent surveyed in the second quarter of 1992 saw a drop in business activity -- only 11.9 percent of this survey's respondents said that they had witnessed a similar decrease in business activity, a figure that is nearly half from the year before.
 "That the number of Realtors who experienced a decrease in business was halved from last year is a key statistic," added Lyons. "It portends an increase in the momentum for better economic times."
 California's Effect on the Results
 The survey results were affected significantly by the slow economy in California. Nearly half of the respondents from the Golden State (48.6 percent) felt that the economy was still in a recession. California Realtors do remain optimistic about the future, though, forecasting a market rating of 6.9 for the second quarter of 1994.
 Realtor Profile
 Three-quarters of the Realtors surveyed -- 75 percent -- were owners/managers/brokers of offices with sales volumes more than $5 million within the last six months. Respondents worked in offices with an average size of 40 Realtors.
 About the Survey
 Great Western conducted 444 in-person interviews during May and June 1993. Great Western managers who conducted these interviews average more than 10 years of experience in the residential real estate industry. Great Western conducts its regular GW Realty Confidence Survey twice each year.
 Great Western Bank and Great Western Mortgage are subsidiaries of Great Western Financial Corp. With assets of $38 billion, Great Western is a real estate-oriented, retail bank. One of the nation's leading residential mortgage lenders, the company operates 1,100 mortgage lending, retail banking and consumer finance offices nationwide.
 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.
 -0- 8/9/93
 /EDITOR'S NOTE: Great Western can provide names and phone numbers of local Realtors who participated in the survey for interview purposes. Contact John Tomakin at 818-775-3657 for more information./
 /CONTACT: Roger Cruzen, 800-523-4888, or John Tomakin, 818-775-3657, both of Great Western/

CO: Great Western Mortgage; Great Western Bank; GW Realty ST: California IN: FIN SU:

BP-LM -- LA003X -- 8106 08/09/93 13:32 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 9, 1993

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