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SAN FRANCISCO — The National Association of Realtors appears to have uncovered new evidence that a housing recovery is underway: More people signed up for its conference than it thought would sign up.
About 21,000 Realtors signed up to attend the Realtors Conference and Expo in San Francisco, 10 percent more than the organization originally anticipated, said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun at the conference’s “Residential Economic Issues and Trend Forum.”
Yun said the higher-than-expected attendance is in no small part due to the fact that home sales have jumped 20 percent and home prices have shot up 18 percent in the last two years.
“Your incomes are rising, you’re seeing more activity, that’s why more are here,” he said.
That’s particularly true, he added, because the number of Realtors has remained mostly flat even as market conditions have improved.
There’s been “no meaningful increase in membership so that means that there is a larger economic pie that is being shared by roughly the same number of people.”
But, he added, since the business is highly “entrepreneurial,” some people are wolfing down much bigger portions of that pie than others.
According to Yun, 20 percent of Realtors rake in six figures a year, while one-third make less than $10,000.
“Some people are making it big and others are still struggling,” he said. Many Realtors also work part time.