NAR Report: Inventory, Affordability Hurting Sales Volume

May 9, 2019

Inventory shortages are continuing to dig into agents’ home sales volume. In 2018, the typical agent completed 11 transactions, the same as 2017, according to the 2019 Member Profile, released by the National Association of REALTORS® and reflecting 12,700 member responses. However, REALTORS® did see a slight uptick in incomes last year. The median gross income of REALTORS® was $41,800 in 2018—an increase from $39,800 in 2017.

For the sixth year in a row, REALTORS® cited a difficulty in finding the right property for their clients as the top factor limiting their client pool, followed by housing affordability.

REALTORS® also continue to face a lot of peer competition. Total REALTOR® membership has bloomed from 1.23 million in 2016 to 1.36 million in 2018. However, it has shown some signs of leveling off in recent months—as of April 2019, NAR counted 1.32 million REALTORS®.

Here are some additional highlights from NAR’s latest Member Profile report:

Compensation: In 2018, 36% of REALTORS® were compensated under a fixed commission split (under 100%), followed by 23% with a graduated commission split (increases with productivity).

REALTORS® with more experience tended to earn higher incomes. REALTORS® with 16 years or more experience had a median gross income of $71,000, down from $78,800 in 2017. REALTORS® with two years or less of experience, on the other hand, had a median gross income of $9,300, up slightly from $8,330 in 2017.

NAR member profile - income. See report for detailed information.

© National Association of REALTORS®

Sales volume: The median sales volume of residential specialists posted an increase in 2018 to $1.9 million—compared to $1.8 million in 2017.

NAR member sales volume. See report for detailed information.

© National Association of REALTORS®

Business expenses: The total of median business expenses of REALTORS® was $4,600 in 2018, similar to the year prior ($4,580).The largest business expense for the majority of REALTORS® was vehicle expenses (averaging $1,370).

NAR member business expenses. See report for detailed information.

© National Association of REALTORS®

Work experience: The typical REALTOR® had eight years of experience, down from 10 last year. The median tenure for REALTORS® with their current firm is four years. Fifty-three percent of REALTORS® surveyed were affiliated with an independent company, 42% with a franchised company. Nearly nine in 10 members were independent contractors at their firms.

Demographics: The typical REALTOR® is 54 years old. Females continue to dominate in the profession. Sixty-seven percent of REALTORS® are female, up from 63 percent a year prior.