In the go-go years of the housing boom, real estate was the place to be. The number of real estate licensees reached its zenith at 2.5 million in 2008, surging 56 percent from 1.6 million licensees in 2000, according to the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials.And membership in the National Association of Realtors flew past the 1 million mark in 2004, peaking at about 1.4 million in late 2006. But after rising for nine straight years beginning in 1998 -- and climbing 77.1 percent from 2000-06 -- NAR membership has declined for the past three years and is on pace for another drop this year.Last year, 645,899 real estate licensees -- 26 percent of the total -- failed to renew their licenses. From its October 2006 peak (1.37) million through August 2010 (1.09 million), Realtor membership has fallen 20.5 percent, though the association's budget projections anticipate fairly steady membership, at about 1.1 million, for the next few years, as the rate of decline has dimin...
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