Mike Fratantoni on the MBA’s mortgage market outlook

Fratantoni discusses the MBA's November forecast, which includes revised estimates for Q3 and Q4, as well as predictions for next year’s purchase market.

Housing market forecast: It’s about politics, not economics

COVID protections for households and support for financial markets are set to expire at the end of 2020. How will this impact the housing market in 2021?

Buying a home in a competitive market

We couldn’t be more thrilled about interviewing a real estate agent for the second episode of Girlfunds, a show where we give you our two cents on money.

Building the one-touch digital mortgage

As Katherine Campbell drives toward a one-touch mortgage, she’s taking time to share what she has learned along the way.


[PULSE] Are potential new agents holding off on entering the market?

Data suggests a slowdown, though overall agent count remains flat

An analysis of recent real estate licensing trends released by Agent Advice this week reveals that licensing rates are beginning to recover from a precipitous drop caused by COVID-19 in March and April. 

Guest Author, Jasen Edwards

Data pulled from California, Texas, and Florida (which together capture 36% of real estate licensees in the United States) indicates that prospective real estate agents, and the real estate industry as a whole, experienced a collective slow-down in March and April as COVID-19 began to spread across the United States. New home listings dropped by 44%, creating significant uncertainty among prospective agents about whether the timing was right to begin a real estate career. And of course, local and state “stay-at-home” orders further increased this uncertainty, as many State Real Estate Commissions experienced closures of their own that impacted new agents’ ability to get a real estate license.

As a result, the issuance of new licenses crawled to a halt in April. In California, new licenses issued dropped by 59%. In Texas, they dropped by a staggering 94%. And in Florida, things came to a near standstill, slowing down by more than 97% vs. the prior year. 

Thankfully, May, June, and July brought a strong recovery as agents (and the market more broadly) adapted to the new normal.  Even with the recovery, new licenses year to date are still down by 29% in Florida and 12% in Texas (California data from July was not available at the time of publication). That said, average monthly licensing rates are trending upwards and are likely to soon recover back to pre-COVID levels.  

Despite the COVID-19 driven starts and stops in licensing, the overall number of new Realtors has continued to grow year over year. According to the National Association of Realtors, there were 1,409,727 members at the end of this July, up 1.9% from the same time the prior year. And even just comparing July to June, the count has grown by almost 1% – a good sign that prospective agents are beginning to recover their confidence in the market and seek their licenses. 

Chris Heller, real estate industry veteran and member of the Agent Advice Editorial Board, puts it simply: “I can tell you that although some agents left the industry when the market saw weakness earlier this year, others used the disruptions caused by COVID-19 as a springboard to start a new career in real estate. The best agents are those that don’t let temporary market fluctuations disrupt their career trajectory, but instead use them as opportunities to improve their skills and prove to their clients that they are a trusted advisor, even when things get tough.”

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of HousingWire and its owners.

To contact the author of this story:
Jasen Edwards at jasen@jasenedwards.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Sarah Wheeler at swheeler@housingwire.com

Leave a comment

Most Popular Articles

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac conforming loan limits increase for 2021

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced new conforming loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for 2021. The increase is up 7.5% from 2020’s limit of $510,400 and marks the fifth consecutive year of increases.

Nov 24, 2020 By

Latest Articles

CoreLogic responds to investor groups’ initiation of written consent process

The battle for CoreLogic’s board continued on Tuesday after Senator Investment Group and Cannae Holdings, who attempted an unsolicited takeover bid of the company this summer, initiated a written consent process to remove and replace additional directors.

Nov 24, 2020 By
3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

Log In

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Please