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Inventory Cited as a Top Concern Among Potential Buyers

Nearly 60% of Realtors note a lack of available housing in the nation’s supply prevented their clients from completing a transaction, according to the National Association of Realtors 2022 Member Profile.

NAR’s Member Profile also found that 16% of potential homebuyers cited affordability as an issue preventing them from achieving the American dream of homewonership.

“In the last year, Realtors continued to navigate a challenging housing market and cited the biggest factor holding back the housing market was tight inventory,” said Jessica Lautz, NAR VP of Demographics and Behavioral Insights. “As buyers relocated throughout the pandemic, housing affordability and lack of supply became a hurdle that agents and brokers found ways to overcome.”

In March 2022, NAR emailed a 97-question survey to a random sample of 176,494 Realtors. Using this method, a total of 9,220 responses were received. The survey had an adjusted response rate of 5.2%. The confidence interval at a 95% level of confidence is +/- 1.02% based on a population of 1.5 million members.

Despite the lack of homes available, in 2021, the rise of new members in the National Association of Realtors (NAR) continued to increase, as NAR membership grew from 1.48 million at the end of 2020, to 1.56 million at the end of 2021.

“Limited inventory continues to plague many housing markets in the U.S.,” said the study. “Fifty-seven percent of [NAR] members who practice as brokerage specialists cited the lack of housing inventory was holding back clients from completing a transaction, while 16% cited housing affordability. Due to the strong demand in housing, the typical member had 12 transaction sides, up from 10 sides in 2020 (when some areas of the country faced lockdowns in real estate activity). The typical sales volume increased from $2.1 million to $2.6 million in 2021.”

In terms of sales volume, the typical NAR member had a higher sales volume ($2.6 million vs. $2.1 million) and more transactions (12 vs. 10) in 2021 compared to 2020. Referrals also played a key role in driving business, as the typical Realtor earned 16% of their business from previous clients and customers in 2021, a slight increase from 15% the previous year. Experienced members–classified as those with 16 or more years of experience–reported an increased share of repeat business from clients or referrals (a median of 44% in 2021 versus a median of 37% in 2020), while members with two years of experience or less reported no repeat business. Overall, Realtors earned a median of 20% of their business from referrals, a slight increase from 19% in 2020. Referrals were also more common among members with more experience, with a median of 31% for those with 16 or more years of experience compared to no referrals for those with two years of experience or less.

“All across our nation, Realtors are dedicated to building, improving and serving their communities,” said NAR President Leslie Rouda Smith, a Realtor from Plano, Texas, and a Broker Associate at Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate in Dallas. “In competitive and ever-changing market conditions, Realtors demonstrate professionalism, a strong work ethic, and trusted knowledge as they guide consumers through the complex process of achieving property ownership.”

About Author: Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck has 20-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, he most recently served as Editor-in-Chief for The Mortgage Press and National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Peck graduated from the New York Institute of Technology where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books and has served as Copy Editor for Entrepreneur.com.
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