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Number of brokers far off record



  • InsideRealEstateNews. tracked real estate brokers in state.
  • Information came from DORA’s Division of Real Estate.
  • There were more brokers in the state a decade ago.
Peter Niederman speaks at a CU Real Estate Center Forum.

Peter Niederman speaks at a CU Real Estate Center Forum.

Last year was a record one for the Denver housing market by most measures.

However, the strong demand for housing did not result in a huge jump in the number of licensed real estate brokers in the state.

In fact, there were almost 5 percent fewer active brokers in Colorado in 2013 than a decade earlier, according to data from the Division of Real Estate, which is part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies, or DORA.

There were 29,553 active real estate brokers in Colorado at the end of 2013, compared with 30,939 in 2003.

There were 7,886 inactive brokers in the state last year for a total of 37,439, still lower than the 41,696 inactive and active brokers in Colorado in 2003.

The numbers peaked in 2007, when there were 37,775 active and 11,235 inactive brokers for a total of 49,010.

Last year, the number of active brokers was 22.8 percent lower than in 2007. The summer of 2007 was the beginning of the first national real estate recession in the U.S. since the Great Recession that began in 1929.

The number of Colorado brokers, starting from 2003, hit bottom in 2012, with 28,647 brokers.

As of March 1, there were 29,160 active brokers in Colorado, down 1.3 percent from 2013 and 8,959 inactive brokers, for a total of 38,119.

Independent Realtor Gary Bauer isn’t surprised by the numbers.

”The fact is that when the recession hit, some licenses were not maintained,” and a number of people left the business, he said.

Bauer said he suspects many part-timer brokers decided to exit the home selling business when demand for houses dried up.

Other brokers said the harsh real estate environment during the downturn “weeded out” the brokers who were not committed to the business, which they say has improved the quality of the remaining brokers, which is good for consumers.

“It is true, though, that new people are coming into the business as others leave,” Bauer said.

Bauer calculated that 16,952 of the active, licensed brokers are in the Denver area, which accounts for 58 percent of the total. (InsideRealEstateNews also calculated the number of Denver-area active brokers and came up with a number almost exactly the same as Bauer’s estimate.)

“I do think that 17,000 number is a little inflated, because all the big brokers have their office in Denver, so the brokers are counted as being in Denver, even though they might be working in Colorado Springs or Grand Junction,” Bauer said.

For example, all the brokers for Coldwell Banker are listed on NRT, its corporate owner, at its headquarters building at 600 Grant St.

A Coldwell Banker Broker in Colorado Springs would also be listed there, too. “There will be some duplication,” in the numbers, Bauer said.

Bauer estimates the number of brokers in the Denver area is in the 12,000 to 15,000 range.

Bauer said he doesn’t think the number of active brokers will rise to the 38,000 range it hit in 2007.

“I don’t believe we will ever get back to those levels,” Bauer said. “Like I said, there are new people coming in all the time and people leaving because they are retiring, changing careers or for some other reason. I think we are likely to stay in this current range for the forseeable future.”

One of the pushes in the industry has been to convince young, bright, tech-savvy to join the ranks of residential brokerages. Peter Niederman, CEO of the Kentwood Co., for example, recently was a keynote speaker at an all-day CU Real Estate Center Forum, marking the first time residential real estate has been represented at the event that drew 500. Following his speech, Niederman said he knows many of the bright MBA students at CU are planning careers in commercial real estate, but he would encourage them to consider selling homes.

DORA also licenses appraisers and mortgage brokers.

There were 2,571 licensed appraisers in Colorado on March 1, about 4.4 percent down from the 2,694 in 2013. The number of mortgage brokers peaked in 2008 with 3,381, 24 percent more than as of March 1.

There were 7,230 licensed mortgage brokers in the state as of March 1, 24.4 percent fewer than 9,563 in 2008, when the number of mortgage brokers peaked. The number of brokers in March is down slighlty from teh 7,182 at the end of 2013.

As of March 1, 201429,1608,95938,119

Have a story idea or real estate tip? Contact John Rebchook at  JRCHOOK@gmail.com. InsideRealEstateNews.com is sponsored by Universal Lending, Land Title Guarantee and 8z Real Estate. To read more articles by John Rebchook, subscribe to the Colorado Real Estate Journal.