NEW YORK CITY – Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, new real estate license applications increased nationally in late spring and early summer, according to an Inman study.
Most of the 32 states surveyed saw a drop in applications in the first months of the outbreak before rebounding once many stay-at-home orders expired.
Texas Real Estate Commission data show a drop in number of license applications in March and April. However, that drop had already begun in February, making the pandemic's role in shaping the numbers unclear.
Either way, Texas' new application numbers saw a rebound in late spring.
The overall number of broker and sales licensees in Texas was up nearly 10,000 last month compared with June 2019.
Membership numbers for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) are also growing, at least for now.
"We’re seeing an increase in membership, and 2020 could set an all-time high, surpassing 1.4 million members," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. "In June 2020, NAR had 1.397 million members, up 1.7 percent from one year ago."
The increase in members may be due to people losing their jobs in other industries and opting to give real estate a shot.
"There’s always a strong inﬂux of real estate agents when there are higher levels of unemployment," said Victor Lund of WAV Group. "The income opportunity is great and the commitment is low."
The Real Estate Center has a wealth of economic information online for free.