Slump’s toll: Calif. real estate agents down 16%

Via the OC Register
April 25, 2011

The ranks of real estate agents have thinned in the face of the worst housing collapse since the Great Depression, dropping 16% since the subprime mortgage meltdown of 2007 caused home sales and prices to plummet, state Real Estate Department statistics show.

California had 462,809 real estate license holders as of January, the most recent data compiled. That’s the lowest number in more than 5 ½ years.

The data show also that the number of real estate licenses in California:

* Had climbed steadily for a nine-year period from January 1999 to November 2007, rising month in, month out in all but four months in that time.
* Peaked at 549,244 in November 2007.
* Dropped 16%, or 86,435, licenses, since the peak.
* Has dropped month in, month out for 36 straight months – and has fallen in 37 of the past 38 months. (In one of those 38 months, the number was unchanged.)
* Is now at the same level as in September 2005, just over 5 ½ years ago — and one month before the housing slump began.
* Is now equivalent to 84 agents for every man, woman and child, thanks to decreased agent ranks and population growth.

The change in the number of license holders also is reflected in the ranks of practicing Realtors. Membership in the California Association of Realtors, for example, has gone from around 196,000 in 2007 to around 160,000 now, an 18.4% decrease.

  • Michael Garcia

    This study may be flawed as their are alot of agents that do not ‘pay’ to join and be considered a REALTOR(R) because they do not see the added value that CAR and NAR bring to the table. We used to be represented and protected by these organizations and since the latest downturn in both the economy and our industry, we dont. We are forced to do many new tasks by the banks that the banks used to do for themselves, we are supposed to be protected from the banks lowering our commissions after the fact and we’re not. The banks re-invent the wheel every few months and adds more and more forms and our leaders look at this as a great thing! They think the banks by adding more forms or a form that looks like the other form but now needs to be added to an existing file that is about to close, os a great deal. Our leaders think it’s great how the banks dont have any responsibilities in disclosures. If they do, I havent seen any rebuttals. How in the world can the banks get away with non-disclosure? AND, commmand the new buyer(s) to sign a waiver of acceptance of this term? We cant make a living and anticipate a monthly income because the banks hire incompetant asset managers who dont know how to make a decision.