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Number of Realtors up or down? It depends on how you look at it

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Real estate sign photography by Chris Griffith.

Membership sizes locally vary

Membership numbers are shrinking in some areas, for example, PressofAtlanticCity.com says of New Jersey’s Ocean City Board of Realtors, they “lost about a third of its members in the past four years. The board, once 800 strong, now has about 535 members, with another 19 out-of-state members.”

Ocean City is a small board to begin with, so losing hundreds of Realtors is a substantial change in circumstances.

Membership levels nationally

But how is it looking at the national level? According to the National Association of Realtors, at the end of March (the most recent data), there were 1,003,462 Realtors. Currently at the $80 dues rate, that’s a theoretical total of $80,276,960 in dues for the year.

At the current number of members, if NAR dues rise as proposed, that $80M would be an annual figure of $120,415,440.

But the pertinent question remains – is membership up or down nationally? From 2006, membership has dropped 10%. Uh oh, right?

March NAR stats compared between 2000 and 2011 reveals a 37% increase, so membership is up despite some outlets that are crying that membership is shrinking. It really isn’t.

What is it like in your area? Is membership up or down?

The American Genius is news, insights, tools, and inspiration for business owners and professionals. AG condenses information on technology, business, social media, startups, economics and more, so you don’t have to.

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21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. Colleen Sullivan

    May 3, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Hmmmm….according to this AG post* from back in 2007, NAR membership was around 1.35 million in the fall of that year, which was about the same as it was in 2006….going from that to just about 1 million is a drop of 26%, if I've not messed up on the calculator. Not sure where you're getting the 10% drop figure…hard to believe, if 2011 keeps going along the way it's going, that it won't continue to head down.

    *https://agentgenius.com/g-rants-insanity-more/real-estate/the-numbers-speak-for-themselves-nar-membership-info/

  2. Dunes

    May 3, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Seriously?

    July 2007..1,369,411…Membership Down every month since that date

    Jan. 2011..1,039,988…Feb. 2011..1,008,195…March 2011..1,003,462

    Numbers according to NAR Monthly Membership Report

    Last time Membership numbers this low..April 2004,,1,002,348

    Yep, there's a lot of doubt that the Membership has declined…..Not

    • Lani Rosales

      May 3, 2011 at 9:58 am

      Hey Dunes, long time no comment! I clarified for Colleen above, it should help make sense of your numbers as well. Thanks for coming back! 🙂

      • Dunes

        May 3, 2011 at 6:25 pm

        Oh I see now…
        Membership has increased or stayed the same…

  3. Matt Carter

    May 3, 2011 at 11:22 am

    NAR membership peaked at 1.37 million in October 2006, and has been on a steady downward trajectory ever since then. National membership is currently down 25.8 percent from peak (not 10 percent).

    To put the current membership in perspective, NAR never had more than 1 million members until 2004. It was in the 700,000 to 800,000 range for three decades.

  4. Ruthmarie Hicks

    May 3, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    God knows that we need a STEEP decline around Westchester – but so far all the dabblers and hanging in and they are in such concentration that they really do disrupt the ability of the serious agents to make a true living. I can't even find a neighborhood where a single agent dominates….No one seems to have a major footprint in any on area. We have been forced to extend our footprint and grab whatever we can.

    Raise that entry bar – and this will stop…but NAR won't ever do that.

  5. Joe Loomer

    May 3, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Membership in our local board – the Greater Augusta Association of Realtors – has dropped about 20% since 2007. Our market did not enjoy the huge increase in values seen in other markets, and consequently did not see the huge losses of equity experienced in the hardest-hit areas. We have, however, seen over a 25% increase in inventory and 50% decrease in sales since that same time frame. It's a land of opportunity to some, and the end of their real estate careers (even if temporarily) for others.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  6. Ben Fisher

    May 4, 2011 at 12:10 am

    Not sure of the exact numbers here locally. During the peak around 2007 we had about 1100 total members for our small ski resort town. Seemed like everyone had a family member here in the business. Now we are just below 650 which is much more reasonable.

  7. Matt Carter

    May 4, 2011 at 11:28 am

    No matter how you slice the numbers, the statement "From 2006, membership has dropped 10%," is incorrect.

    If you want to use March 2006 membership (1,265,270) as your starting point, membership is down 20.7 percent to 1,003,462 in March 2011.

    If you measure from the October 2006 peak of 1.37 million, membership is down 25.8 percent.

    In the last year, NAR membership has dropped 5.7 percent (from March 2010).

    If you look at the numbers NAR publishes at the state level, five states saw double digit annual declines: Georgia (-10.18 percent), Minnesota (11 percent), Washington (-15.91 percent), Nevada (-10.25 percent), South Carolina (-11.06 percent).

    Other states where membership declines exceeded the national average included North Carolina (-8.29 percent), Tennessee (-8.14 percent), Missouri (-7.83 percent), Oregon (-9.46 percent), Wisconsin (-7.43 percent), Utah (-8.48 percent), Alabama (-8.29 percent), Arkansas (-7.76 percent), Idaho (-9.02 percent), New Mexico (-9.13 percent), Montana (-7.08 percent), Delaware (-8.26 percent), and Wyoming (-7.01 percent).

    Only North Dakota (+4.16 percent) and Washington D.C. (+0.50 percent) showed year-over-year membership gains.

    NAR membership did not hit 1 million until 2004. It was in the 700,000 to 800,000 range for three decades

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Austin

Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?

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Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.

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aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.

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zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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