People Still Pouring Into Real Estate Profession

Licensing officials expect the surge in real estate licensees to level off by 2007.

January 1, 2006

If it seems like everyone you meet is in the real estate business, you're not far off. According to new figures from Association of Real Estate License Law Officials, or ARELLO, there were more than 2.6 million licensees in the United States in 2005, up 4.1 percent over the year earlier.

With a U.S. population of about 298 million, that's one licensee for every 114 people.

Licensing officials say the increase in 2005 was in line with expectations, but they expect the number of licensees to level off over the next couple of years.

"Things are finally starting to cool down," says Craig Cheatham, CEO of ARELLO. "Either interest in real estate as a career is waning, or we've finally given a license to everyone already. I expect 2006 numbers will continue to go up, but then 2007 to return gently to 2004 practitioner levels."

Here’s a look at the states that had some of the biggest jumps in licensees last year, according to ARELLO’s figures:

  • Utah: 68 percent jump to 33,979
  • South Dakota: 46 percent jump to 4,969
  • Rhode Island: 42 percent jump to 7,561
  • Massachusetts:32 percent jump to 78,204
  • Nevada: 31 percent jump to 33,492
  • Connecticut: 26 percent jump to 28,281
  • Colorado: 25 percent jump to 52,646

These three states saw the biggest declines:

  • Oregon: 9 percent drop to 21,846
  • District of Columbia: 3 percent drop to 11,071
  • Washington: 2 percent drop to 50,528

Cheatham says it should be noted that California added more than 60,000 practitioners in 2005 alone. Percentage wise, that's only 15 percent growth, “but it’s interesting to look at it as more than 2 percent of all current real estate practitioners are California licensees with less than one year's experience,” he says.

(c) Copyright 2006 Realty Times. Reprinted with permission.

Learn More:

This Web site of the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials offers a state-by-state listing of regulatory agencies and their contact information, and provides an online tool to verify that someone holds a real estate license. There also is a listing of all national, state, and local real estate organizations, with links to their Web sites.

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Blanche Evans is a writer/editor and CEO of evansEmedia. Formerly, she was a senior editor with Realty Times, where she was named by REALTOR® Magazine as one of the most influential people in the real estate industry.