BELLEVUE, WA—Top real estate executives continue to be bullishabout improvement in the US housing market, but less than they have beenover the last two years and have grown significantly less confidentin the world economy since January, says a recent 2014 ImprevThought Leader Survey. “Housing enthusiasm among real estatebusiness leaders overall is still strong, but has definitely cooleddown during the last two years,” says RenwickCongdon, chief executive officer ofImprev, a locally based technology company.

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“What's most interesting is that leaders of larger brokeragefirms are typically far more bullish on the outlook for housing andthe US economy than leaders of smaller brokerage firms, butcomparatively less confident in their firm's ability to be moreprofitable in the next 12 months,” says Congdon.

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Respondents included more than 270 broker-owners and topexecutives at leading franchises and independent brokerage firmsthat were responsible for nearly half of all US residential realestate transactions last year.

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Key findings of thereport are below.

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US housing market demand: Approximately half(52%) of the real estate leaders surveyed say that housing marketdemand will improve or significantly improve over the next 12months, down from 58% last year. 42% say the housing market demandwill stay the same, up from 35% in 2013. Only 6% say it willdeteriorate. Optimism is significantly lower than reported twoyears ago in the 2012 Imprev Thought Leader Survey where 70% of topreal estate executives predicted that the housing market wouldcontinue to improve over the coming year.

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2015 housing market confidence: Confidence innext year's housing market is a little less bullish compared tolast year's survey: 18% are “very confident” in the 2015 housingmarket, down from 23% last year. However, 79% are “somewhatconfident,” up from 73% from last year's survey. Only 3% say theyare “not at all confident” in the 2015 housing market.

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World economy confidence: More than half thereal estate leaders surveyed say they have grown less confident(55%) in the world economy since January; that compares to 24% lastyear. Profitability concerns – size matters:When asked how confident real estate business leaders are thattheir brokerage businesses will be more profitable in the next 12months, 43% are “very confident,” down from 48% last year. Thelarger the brokerage, the lower the confidence in greater profitsahead: Only 32% of leaders of brokerages with1,000 or more agentsare “very confident,” compared with 51% of leaders of firms with 50agents or fewer.

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US economic outlook: For the second yearin a row, there's a split view among real estate leaders on whatwill happen with the national economy over the next 12 months: 47%believe it will improve (down from 50% in 2013), 44% say it willstay the same (up from 37% in 2013), and 9% believe it willdeteriorate (versus 13% in 2013).

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Economic confidence locally vs. globally:Overall economic confidence increased significantly when theexecutives look closer to home. Nearly 10 times as many real estatebusiness leaders say their confidence in their local economies hasimproved since January vs. overall confidence that the worldeconomy has improved: 48% are more confident in their local economysince January compared to only 5% for the world economy, 21% forthe US economy, and 39% for their state economy. A remarkable 55%are less confident in the world economy since January, versus 7%less confidence in their local economy.

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Size of firm and economic confidence: Leadersof the largest real estate brokerage firms were the most bullish onthe improvement in the US economy in the next 12 months, with 61%of top execs with firms of 1,000 or more agents saying it will“improve,” compared to 34% of leaders of brokerage firms with 51 to100 agents.

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The Thought Leader Survey was developed by Imprev to provideinsight on key business challenges top executives face, encouragingan exchange of ideas and solutions.

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The 2014 Fall Imprev Thought Leader survey was conducted October20 to 31, 2014. 68% are male, 32% are female. Approximatelyone-third (32.5%) of the 270 respondents are 61 years old or older;32.5% are ages 51 to 60; 25% are ages 41 to 50; and 12% are ages 31to 40. None of the respondents are under 30.

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Natalie Dolce

Natalie Dolce, editor-in-chief of GlobeSt.com and GlobeSt. Real Estate Forum, is responsible for working with editorial staff, freelancers and senior management to help plan the overarching vision that encompasses GlobeSt.com, including short-term and long-term goals for the website, how content integrates through the company’s other product lines and the overall quality of content. Previously she served as national executive editor and editor of the West Coast region for GlobeSt.com and Real Estate Forum, and was responsible for coverage of news and information pertaining to that vital real estate region. Prior to moving out to the Southern California office, she was Northeast bureau chief, covering New York City for GlobeSt.com. Her background includes a stint at InStyle Magazine, and as managing editor with New York Press, an alternative weekly New York City paper. In her career, she has also covered a variety of beats for M magazine, Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel, FashionLedge.com, and Co-Ed magazine. Dolce has also freelanced for a number of publications, including MSNBC.com and Museums New York magazine.