Active resi agents rise with housing market 

Agent counts remain down from pandemic-era highs despite Q1 growth

US sees increased residential sales resulting in more active real estate agents
(Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)

Agents returned to markets across the country in the first quarter, following a bump in home sales. 

The number of active agents in South Florida, Los Angeles, the Texas Triangle and Chicago grew by thousands in recent months, according to new data from AgentStory, a company that tracks agents and transactions. 

AgentStory defines active agents as those involved in residential transactions as listing, co-listing, or buyers agents in a quarter. Across these regions, active agents were up 21.5 percent at the end of the first quarter. 

Year-over-year, however, active agents were down 23.8 percent. Analysis by The Real Deal shows the growth barely makes a dent in recouping the thousands more agents that have left these markets since rising mortgage rates put an end to the pandemic’s real estate honeymoon.

But the data show agents finding their footing after the Fed’s mortgage rate hikes stopped short of the frenzy that was a defining feature of pandemic life in America’s hottest residential markets. 

The recent rallying of active agents across markets tracks with quarterly growth in home sales. Similar to active agent counts, home sales remain down year-over-year, but are beginning to tick back up. 

South Florida saw a 28.1% increase in active agents in the first quarter, the biggest jump of all the regions included in the data set. Palm Beach County had the biggest surge in the Sunshine State’s tri-county region –– quarterly growth hit 33.4 percent, the highest shown in any individual county in the dataset. 

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Across South Florida, the pool of active agents shrunk by 25.4 percent, year-over-year, by the end of March. Once again the outlier, Palm Beach County only saw a 16.8 percent dip in that time, while Miami-Dade and Broward dropped by 35.4 percent and 21.6 percent, respectively. 

Of the more than 90,000 South Florida agents tracked by AgentStory at the close of this year’s first quarter, only 13.5 percent were involved in a transaction since the start of this year. 

The greater Los Angeles area saw similar figures. Just 12.5 percent of the nearly 80,000 agents in Los Angeles and Orange counties closed sales by the end of the first quarter.

The region’s year-over-year comparison of active agent counts revealed a 26.3 percent decline across both counties. The first quarter showed active agents rallying, closing March with 18.4 percent growth. Month-to-month growth was even stronger for brokers in Los Angeles and Orange counties, between February and March active agent counts rose 35.3 percent and 31.8 percent, respectively. 

The Texas counties included in the data set were Harris, Dallas, and Travis, the seats of powerhouse cities Houston, Dallas, and Austin. Of the almost 62,000 real estate agents registered and tracked by AgentStory in the three counties, transaction data shows just 14.1 percent of those agents closed deals in the first quarter. 

Across the region, the pool of active agents grew 19.4 percent in that period, but was down 21.6 percent year-over-year. Harris County showed the strongest gains, expanding its active agent herd 23.3 percent by the end of March. 

In Cook County, Illinois, home to Chicago, 20.5 percent of its nearly 30,000 agents were active by the end of March. Year-over-year, the Chicago area’s active agent pool experienced the smallest contraction of any region included in the data set, shrinking by 19 percent in that time. In the first quarter of this year, active agents grew 14.6 percent.

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