Saturday, March 26, 2011

Housing market's struggles lead to fewer agents

Arizona's struggling housing market, still in recovery mode, has seen a continuing exodus of real-estate professionals.
Not surprisingly, the number of licensed agents and brokers statewide has declined almost 22 percent since 2007, just after the Valley's housing market peaked.
There are roughly 51,000 agents and brokers, according to the latest figures from the Arizona Department of Real Estate.

That is down from more than 65,000 in 2007.
On the flip side, the number of inactive license holders is 19,468, an increase of 48 percent since 2007.
The department does not categorize the license holders by city or county.
The Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors has about 8,000 members and 350 affiliate members.
The state's figures show that there is a 3-to-1 ratio of real-estate agents to brokers, with 38,044 agents and 13,040 brokers.
The number of active real-estate companies in Arizona is 8,748, which is up less than 1 percent from 2007.
The National Association of Realtors reported 1 million members in February, down 5.67 percent from earlier. Its membership in Arizona last month was 39,743, down 3.82 percent from 2010.
Agents fled as market cooled

A lot of people jumped into selling real estate in the mid-2000s, lured by the lucrative commissions on houses that were selling in days, if not hours, well above the listing prices.
But when sales flattened out and agents had to hustle to sell homes, many decided not to pay their $150 to $200 license renewal fees.
Scottsdale agent Rick Amos of Realty Executives said he has noticed there are fewer agents but "what makes up for less competition is more hassles with short sales and more phone calls and explanations to clients."
Those agents that are still at it are more seasoned, he said.
"It helps when you have an experienced person on both sides of the transaction," Amos said.
Exodus of agents worse in past

David MacIntyre, Arizona Best Real Estate owner-broker, said he is surprised there was not an even greater loss of agents.
In previous boom-to-bust cycles nearly half the agents would leave the business, said MacIntyre, who has been in Arizona real estate for 41 years.
His Scottsdale real-estate company still has 115 agents.
And while the luxury market in Scottsdale has been challenged, MacIntyre said he sees it recovering this year.
He sent a dozen of his agents to the Luxury Portfolio Summit in Las Vegas this month to learn about emerging opportunities in high-end real estate.
"The million-dollar buyers are coming back," MacIntyre said, adding that they are paying cash for exceptional values in the Valley.

by Peter Corbett The Arizona Republic Mar. 26, 2011 06:39 AM

Housing market's struggles lead to fewer agents

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