Low inventory may be hurting buyers, but it’s certainly not a problem for realtors. According to the 2017 National Association of Realtors Member Profile released on Thursday, Realtors reported jumps in both sales volume and income in 2016, with volume reaching its highest point in years.
Overall, NAR Realtors saw 12 more transactions in 2016 than in 2015, and sales volume per agent jumped from $1.8 to $1.9 million for the same period. Realtors also enjoyed an 8-percent higher median gross income than in 2015, with the typical Realtor making $42,500 versus 2015’s $39,200.
According to Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, the uptick in realtor activity was due to high market demand.
“The return of pre-recession market levels and rising home sales and prices have led to increased business activity among Realtors and an increase in Realtor membership,” Yun said. “It is a highly entrepreneurial business, with some members earning six-figure incomes, while others were barely scratching out less than $10,000.”
Yun isn’t exaggerating about the discrepancy between earners, either. According to NAR, 24 percent of realtors make less than $10,000, while the same share makes more than $100,000. The majority of high-income earning realtors come with experience; those will more than 16 years in the business earn an average of $78K, while those with two years or less earn just under $9K.
About 28 percent of NAR’s membership falls into that category, with just two years or fewer as an agent. This is up from 2015, though, when only 17 percent had two or fewer years, indicating an influx of new entrants to the field.
“It has become evident over the last few years that individuals are realizing the many benefits and business opportunities that working in real estate provides,” said NAR President William E. Brown. “The increase in business Realtors are experiencing reflects the continued value they bring to their clients and communities across the country.”
But while newer agents may be joining the field in droves, the median age of Realtors is 53—the same it was in 2015. The typical agent is also a female homeowner with at least some college education.
Read the full report at NAR.Realtor.