About 1,700 newly licensed agents have joined brokerages in the Hudson Valley since January — well ahead of 2019’s pre-pandemic pace, which saw 1,763 for the full year — according to data from Corofy, a real estate intelligence platform.
Though the spring and summer typically see upticks in licensing activity, the number of new agents has accelerated this month, with 262 agents joining brokerages as of Sept. 13. Just two weeks in, September’s total has already eclipsed the 219 agents that joined in May, the second-busiest month recorded this year.
September’s sharp uptick signals a change that goes beyond normal seasonality, said Corofy CEO Eddy Boccara.
“This is more New Yorkers wanting more space, more people moving out of the city, meaning more activity, more opportunities and more buyers in the market,” Boccara said.
And it’s not just New Yorkers. Demand for Hudson Valley homes has been hot for a while now, with inventory shrinking as prices soar. Such strong demand has been driven in particular by Californians seeking lower prices than what they’re likely to find in their own backyard, where the median price of a single-family home in some markets has shot up as much as 40 percent year-over-year.
“Despite people coming back to the city, I think Hudson Valley and Long Island remain very attractive markets,” Boccara said. “There’s a lot of activity and agents can sense that. They want to be a part of this.”
Some agents want a taste of suburban real estate sales so badly, they’re willing to transfer their license from a New York City-based firm to a Long Island- or Hudson Valley-based firm, Boccara added.
Lower Hudson Valley, which consists of Westchester and Rockland Counties, have seen the largest influx of new agents this year, with 886 entering the market as of Sept. 13.
Mid-Hudson Valley, which includes Dutchess, Orange, Putnam and Ulster counties, had 518 new agents enter the space, while Upper Hudson Valley, which includes Albany, Rensselaer, Columbia and Greene counties, gained 304 new agents.
Leading the charge of newbie recruits is virtual brokerage eXp Realty, which had 145 new agents join.
That’s 8.5 percent of all the new agents in the area, soaring past Houlihan Lawrence and Howard Hanna Rand Realty, which usually have the most new agents headed their way. This year, 6.8 percent of new agents went to Houlihan Lawrence and 5.7 percent went to Howard Hanna Rand Realty.
“What’s been really interesting is seeing eXp quickly catching up and quickly gaining agent market share in that region,” Boccara said. Houlihan Lawrence and Howard Hanna Rand are still the top two brokerages in the region with the most agents, but eXp isn’t far behind, now claiming fourth place.
While eXp snatched up the most new agents as a single firm, most of the top 10 brokerages on the list with new agents are affiliated with Keller Williams: Across Keller Williams Realty, Keller Williams Capital District, Keller Williams Realty Partners and Keller Williams Hudson Valley Realty, 244 new agents joined.
Also making the top 10 were Coldwell Banker Prime Properties and Berkshire Homeservices Hudson Valley Properties, which was acquired by HomeServices on Sept. 1 after the franchise saw a 75 percent spike in closed sales in the 12 months ending June 30.