Residential real estate firms expect marquee year

February 11, 2013 08:30AM

Residential real estate brokers in the city are preparing for a marquee year, and are investing in new offices and additions to their teams, Crain’s reported.

After a severe contraction in the wake of the financial crisis, the broker market is well on the way to recovery, with the number of brokers in the city rising 2.5 percent last year to 12,384, according to state records seen by Crain’s. Industry insiders predict that a new record will be set this year, as several hundred new brokers are poised to enter the market. There was also a 24 percent increase in the number of people taking the broker’s licensing exam, though the 2012 number of 17,493 is still a far cry from the 2005 high of 42,496.

“I think we’re at the start of a great one,” Diane Ramirez, president of Halstead Property, told Crain’s. “Last year was spectacular, and 2013 will be even more so.”

Growth seems to be the mantra for both the broker powerhouses as well as the up-and-comers. Citi Habitats President Gary Malin told Crain’s that the company will open two new offices in Soho and the Upper West Side in 2013, and hire up to 100 brokers, digital marketers, and other support staff. Citi, which is Manhattan’s most dominant rental firm, has recently seen a major shakeup and has lost some key executives such as Gordon Golub, as The Real Deal previously reported.

Town Residential also expects to expand its broker team by 50 percent, and recently opened its eighth Manhattan location, at 337 West Broadway in Soho. [Crain’s]Hiten Samtani