The 2021 annual existing-home sales1 of 6.12 million hit their highest level since 2006. This year also showed the strongest home price appreciation of 16.9% as the median existing-home sales price reached $346,900, a gain of $50,200 compared to the prior year. According to the Nation Association of Realtors®.
In December membership in the National Association of Realtors was 1,559,537 strong. That is down half a percent from November but up from 1,458,661 in December of 2020.
Not all members sell real estate but the number of homes on the market is declining as the number of real estate salespeople is on the rise and on average each real estate agent is selling fewer houses.
The last time membership peaked was about a year after home sales peaked. I was selling real estate during the great recession and housing market crash. Real estate agents were quitting real estate and working in other jobs or retiring. Membership hit a low around 2011. The best years for real estate agents were 2013 and 2014 when home prices started to rise again and demand was up but at the same time, there were fewer real estate agents.
I am going to go out on a limb and predict we will start to see a decline in the number of Realtors between 2021 and 2022.
Home sales are likely to be lower in 2022 than they were in 2021 but it won’t be because people are not buying houses it will be because fewer people want to sell their houses.
2021 was one of the best years ever to sell a house. Even in December, even during the holidays. 2022 will be a great year for sellers and not sure a good year for buyers as they compete with more buyers and have fewer choices.