• The Real Trends 500 report, which ranks the top 500 U.S. brokerages by transaction sides and sales volume, was released today.
  • The nation's top real estate brokerages are growing ahead of the market as a whole.
  • Realogy-owned NRT led the pack for the third year in a row with 342,300 transaction sides and $166.6 billion in sales volume.

Today REAL Trends released its annual analysis ranking the top 500 U.S. brokerages by transaction sides and sales volume.

According to the 2015 REAL Trends 500 rankings, based on data supplied by brokerages (companies that do not provide data are excluded), the nation’s top real estate brokerages are growing ahead of the market as a whole during one of the strongest housing market years since the economic downturn.

“Housing sales in the nation were up 9.5 percent in 2015 from 2014, marking one of the strongest years since the downturn in the 2005-2010 period,” said Steve Murray, president of REAL Trends. “However, firms ranked in the REAL Trends 500 were up 13.1 percent — well outperforming the national housing market.”

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 4.32.51 PM

Source: REAL Trends

This year, the 500 largest residential real estate brokerages closed over 2.9 million home transactions with a sales volume of over $934 billion, which is up from 2014’s $810 billion.

Moreover, brokerages’ transaction sides — each instance in which they represented either a buyer or seller in a home sale — was 2,918,175, up from 2014’s 2,579,715.

According to Fannie Mae, existing home sales were up 6.3 percent in 2015, while the median price of a home was up 5.8 percent to $220,000.

And according to Freddie Mac’s pertinent volume summary, total home sales volume increased 1.6 percent in 2015.

The growth rate of the 500 more than doubled the national growth rate — potentially an indication of consolidation in some of the nation’s most lucrative brokerages.

Top 10 brokerages based on transaction sides

NRT led the REAL Trends 500 for the third year in a row, with 342,300 transaction sides and $166.6 billion in sales volume.

NRT is owned by Realogy and acquires residential real estate brokerage firms and operates them as affiliates of Coldwell Banker, Sotheby’s International Realty, Corcoran and Zip Realty.

Source: Real Trends

Source: Real Trends

No. 2 on the list of the nation’s largest firms is HomeServices of America, with 230,813 closed transaction sides.

The Long & Foster Companies ranked third with 82,259 transactions; Hanna Holdings followed with 61,677 transactions.

According to Murray, this year’s list raised the bar for brokerage standards because it required 1,702 transactions to make the cut — 207 more than last year’s minimum of 1,495.

“In 2014, there were 170 firms recording over $1 billion in residential sales while there were 209 firms that accomplished this in 2015. It was an incredible year for the nation’s leading residential real estate brokerage firms,” said Murray.

Email Marian McPherson.

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