Feb 01, 2015

Industry Highlight: Real Estate Index

As the housing sector recovers, prices in many markets across the country have risen. RealityTrac reported that the median sales price of U.S. single-family homes and condos in October 2014 had reached its highest level since September 2008.

State of the 2015 Real Estate Market

Experts say that in 2015, real estate markets across the country will return to a state of balance. Stan Humphries, chief economist for Zillow.com, expects that home value growth will slow to around 3 percent per year, and negotiating power will move back to buyers and away from sellers. CoreLogic predicts that home sales will increase by 9 percent in 2015. Home prices are expected to grow by 4.5 percent nationwide.

Foreign investors will still find high-end American real estate appealing due to the economic turbulence in their home countries. Buyers from outside the U.S. may use their properties as a rental, a secondary residence used for travel, or a residence for children studying at American universities.

For years, many millennials postponed homeownership in favor of renting, but that might change in 2015 as a growing number of Gen Y-ers start families and seek more stability. Baby boomers are also more likely to move in 2015, downsizing their homes as they retire or moving closer to children and grandchildren.

“The growth expected in 2015 is widespread, but as we put together our forecast, ten local markets stood out as especially primed and ready for significant accelerations across housing metrics in 2015. The markets on this list range from big cities with older housing stock, big and mid-size cities with substantial levels of new construction, and up and coming markets appealing to young professionals for their job growth and high affordability. Los Angeles and Washington D.C., were selected for their anticipated increases in home sales and household formation. While Des Moines, Iowa may seem like an odd addition, it’s incredibly high affordability and high levels of home ownership among millennials set the stage for strong housing performance next year.” ~Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist at Realtor.com

Top 10 Housing Markets for Growth in 2015

Top 10 Housing Markets for Growth in 2015

Source: Realtor.com

Employment in the Real Estate Industry

DCR TrendLine Real Estate Employment Index

 DCR TrendLine Real Estate Employment Index

Real estate agents buy, sell or rent properties on behalf of their clients. They require a deep knowledge of the market and of the communities in their area, so they can advise their clients on matters ranging from how to accurately price their home to when is the right moment to invest in a new one. 

The terms ‘real estate agent’ and ‘real estate broker’ are often used interchangeably. The main difference between the two is that brokers are licensed to manage their own businesses, while agents are not. Agents may work under brokers, but their jobs are similar.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 11.1 percent job growth for real estate agents between 2012 and 2022, with an addition of 38,000 jobs. This, combined with a relatively low unemployment rate and upward turn of the housing market, provides a solid and positive outlook for the occupation.

Real Estate Business Prospects

Real Estate Business Prospects

Source: PwC


According to BLS, real estate agents earned a median salary of $39,800 in 2013. The highest salaries were around $98,090, while the lowest-paid earned approximately $21,240. The highest earners worked in the metropolitan areas of Lake County, Illinois; New York City; and Ocean City, New Jersey.

Annual Mean Wage of Real Estates Agents by State, May 2013

Annual Mean Wage of Real Estates Agents by State, May 2013

Source: BLS

“It’s so much more than sales. As opposed to selling stocks or insurance, there’s an emotional side to real estate that can be very rewarding.” ~Jason Townsend, Managing Broker of Capital Community Properties