WASHINGTON, DC -- (Marketwired) -- 05/13/13 -- The business activity and income of Realtors® are up for the second year in a row following nine years of decline, according to the 2013 National Association of Realtors® Member Profile.
The study's results are representative of the nation's Realtors®; Realtors® are members of NAR and account for about half of the approximately 2 million active real estate licensees in the U.S.* Many non-member licensees are inactive or part time. Realtors® go beyond state licensing requirements by subscribing to NAR's Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice and committing to continuing education. NAR members also have access to professional resources to better serve their clients' needs.
Paul Bishop, NAR vice president of Research, said growth in the housing market has improved the earnings of real estate professionals. "The median gross income of a Realtor® rose to $43,500 in 2012 from $34,900 in 2011, which is only the second gain in the past 10 years," he said. "To put that in perspective, the median Realtor® income had fallen by 35 percent during the housing downturn, but with the help of sustained increases in both home sales and prices, it's recovered to the highest level since 2006."
Members licensed as brokers typically earned $54,900 in 2012, while the median for sales agents was $34,000.
Median gross income tends to increase with experience; NAR members in the business for 16 years or more earned $57,300. Realtors® working 60 hours a week or more earned $85,700, and 21 percent of all members earned a six-figure income.
There are two sides to every real estate transaction - one each for the seller and the buyer. Among Realtor® members the median number of transaction sides or commercial deals handled in 2012 was 12, up from 10 transaction sides in 2011.
NAR President Gary Thomas, broker-owner of Evergreen Realty in Villa Park, Calif., said the real estate business is cyclical. "Realtors® have some way to go to surpass the peak income recorded back in 2002. Interestingly, the peak wasn't during the bubble years because there were way too many people in the business," he said. "To help smooth out the peaks and valleys associated with residential sales, many Realtors® are diversified into related services. As a result, changes in Realtor® income don't exactly parallel changes in home sales and prices."
Eight out of 10 NAR members focus on residential sales and 73 percent have secondary real estate specialties. Eighteen percent of residential specialists also offer commercial property management, 17 percent relocation services, 15 percent commercial brokerage, 8 percent counseling and 7 percent land development. Smaller percentages were also in residential appraisal, residential property management, auctions, international or commercial appraisal.
For Realtors® who have other primary specialties, 37 percent listed residential brokerage as a secondary business.
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