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Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Real Estate Agent Bust

by Calculated Risk on 5/20/2012 10:48:00 AM

Way back in 2005, I posted a graph of "the Real Estate Agent Boom". I saw the following article, and decided to update the graph of the number of real estate licensees in California.

Eric Wolff at the NC Times writes: Real estate agents bailing out, except in Southwest Riverside County

Real estate agents are getting out of the profession in California ---- except in Southwest Riverside County, according to the California Department of Real Estate and the Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors.

A housing crunch left real estate agents faced with selling houses for less than what homeowners owed in mortgages, working with lenders suddenly terrified to give out loans, and otherwise battling headwinds that dramatically reduced their sales.

For many agents, especially those attracted by a housing boom that made the profession seem like easy money, that meant it was time to leave. But in Southwest Riverside County, a few people decided a slow market was just the time to jump in.
California Real Estate Licensees Click on graph for larger image.

Here is a long term graph of the number of real estate licensees in California. The number of agents peaked at the end of 2007 (housing activity peaked in 2005, and prices in 2006).

The number of salesperson's licenses is off 29% from the peak, and has fallen to 2004 levels. But brokers' licenses are only off 7% and has only fallen to early 2007 levels. Even if activity and prices have bottomed, the number of agents will probably continue to decline.

Summary for Week Ending May 18th
Schedule for Week of May 20th