The real estate industry continues to attract talent from previous careers including management, business, and finance according to a new report from the US.

The National Association of Realtors says its membership rose in the year to April 2018 to 1.3 million (from 1.22m) with 29% of members having less than 2 years’ experience.

Young people still want to become Realtors but the median age of members continues to edge higher and in the past year reached 54 years.

The typical Realtor is a 54-year old white female who attended college and owns her own home.

Real estate is the sole occupation of 80% of members and this is more likely among those with at least 16 years in the industry. Most also expect to stay in real estate, although newer entrants are less certain.

The rise of membership comes at a time when conditions for Realtors south of the border are tougher due to fast-rising prices, interest rates, and a stubbornly low supply of homes.

“While inventory shortages continue and home prices remain high, NAR has seen a whopping 6% increase in membership over the last year,” Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist stated.

The challenges for growth
Along with supply, real estate agents and brokers say their clients are challenged by housing affordability and obtaining a mortgage.

With fewer properties to sell, Realtors’ typical transaction volume was down to 11 in 2017 from 12 in 2016. Despite higher home prices, brokerage sales volume was down to a median U$1.8 million from $1.9 million a year earlier.

A typical Realtor made 12% of their income from repeat clients and 17% from past clients and referrals, both of these percentages are 1 point lower than the previous year.

“A familiar story lingers from last year, as limited inventory continues to plague many housing markets across the country. For the fifth year in a row, the difficulty finding the right property has surpassed the difficulty in obtaining a mortgage as the most cited reason limiting potential homebuyers,” said Yun.

 

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