Housing inventory might be tight, but the number of people who are helping sell those properties, are rising. According to The National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) 2018 Member Profile survey, its membership numbers jumped from 1.22 million in March 2017 to 1.3 million this April. The organization attributes some of that uptick to younger members joining the industry.
While the income and sales volumes recorded by NAR members dipped a bit over last year, the roster continues to expand as that younger demographic enters the fold, NAR explains. Twenty-nine percent of members have less than two years’ experience, which is an increase from 28 percent, last year, it noted.
“While inventory shortages continue and home prices remain high, NAR has seen a whopping 6 percent increase in membership over the last year,” said Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR. “Younger Americans are seeking business opportunities that working in real estate provides, but the overall trend is a slightly older age profile.”
As for their demographics, the median age of a realtor this year is 54, up marginally from the age (53) tallied for the last two years, NAR reports. Sixty-three percent are female, with the typical realtor being a 54-year-old white female who attended college and is a homeowner. Just 5 percent of Realtors said real estate was their first career, while 72 percent stated it was their sole occupation. That amount springs to 82 percent among NAR members who have 16 or more years’ experience, the survey found.
When it comes to business activities, survey respondents said the main factors hampering clients’ ability to complete transactions are difficulty finding the right property (35 percent), housing affordability (17 percent), and difficulty in obtaining mortgage financing (12 percent), NAR says.
Plagued by scant inventory, the typical number of transactions tumbled a tad from 12 in 2016 to 11 in 2017. Despite skyrocketing home prices again last year, the median brokerage sales volume ebbed to $1.8 million in 2017 from $1.9 million in 2016.
“A familiar story lingers from last year, as limited inventory continues to plague many housing markets across the country,” Yun said. “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.”