Monday, November 01, 2010

Real Estate Brokers' Commissions Lowest since 1982 as Percent of GDP

by Bill McBride on 11/01/2010 05:45:00 PM

More from the Q3 2010 GDP underlying detail tables ...

Note: Residential investment (RI), according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), includes new single family structures, multifamily structures, home improvement, broker's commissions, and a few minor categories.

Residential Investment Components Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows the various components of RI as a percent of GDP for the last 50 years. Usually the most important components are investment in single family structures followed by home improvement.

Investment in home improvement was at a $146.6 billion Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) in Q3 (1.0% of GDP), significantly above the level of investment in single family structures of $110.0 billion SAAR, or 0.75% of GDP.

Brokers' commissions also declined sharply in Q3 as the number of existing homes sold fell off a cliff in Q3. This has pushed brokers' commissions (0.33% of GDP), to the lowest level since 1982, as a percent of GDP.

Brokers' commissions peaked at 0.91% of GDP in Q3 2005. In nominal terms, commissions have declined from an annual peak rate of $116.5 billion in Q3 2005, to an annual rate of $48.2 billion in Q3 2010 - a decline of over 58%.

And investment in multifamily structures - already at a series low as a percent of GDP (since 1959) - declined further in Q3. This might be the low for multifamily structures since multifamily starts increased in recent months.