Washoe County, Nev. real estate licensees at record highs

  • The number of active Salespersons licensees in Washoe County is at a ten-year high
  • The number of active Broker licensees in Washoe County is at an all-time high

The Nevada Real Estate Division (NRED) has released its latest statistics on the number of real estate licensees in the state (Table below).

source: Nevada Real Estate Division

The NRED tracks the number of both active and inactive real estate licensees across three licensee types – broker, broker-salesperson, and salesperson. The table above shows the numbers of each licensee type broken out by Nevada counties.

Drilling down and focusing on Washoe County (the county in which Reno, Nev. and Sparks, Nev. are located), we find that Washoe County currently has 3,157 total active licensees (across the three licensee types: broker; broker-salesperson; and salesperson), and 527 total inactive1 licensees.

Today I want to compare this most recent data with that of previous reports from the NRED. I would like to look at any current and historical trends in the number of licensees. I also want to take a look at how the number of licensees tracks with the median sales price. Is there a correlation? Let’s take a look.

The NRED has published real estate licensee statistic going back to June 2007. In the table below I’ve compiled this data into a stacked bar chart showing the number of Washoe County active and inactive licensees for all three licensee types (left Y axis). Additionally, I’ve overlaid a line graph showing the monthly median sales price for Reno and Sparks, Nev. over the same time period (yellow line and right Y axis).

From the chart above we can observe a correlation between the number of licensees and the median home price. Generally speaking, the higher the median sales price, the higher the number of licensees.

However, the chart also seems to indicate that the trends in the number of licensees tends to lag behind the behavior of the median home price (see the yellow line). For example, after the housing bubble burst in 2006 home prices plummeted for six years before bottoming in January 2012. The number of licensees also fell during this time, however it also continued to decline even as home prices turned the corner and began to increase.

It was not until November 2013 (nearly two years after home prices bottomed) that the total number of licensees hit it’s bottom. In November 2013 the number of Washoe County active and inactive licensees, across the three license types, totaled 2,998. Compare that number to the 4,458 licensees in June 2007 (the earliest data available). Over that 6-1/2 year period the number of licensees decreased nearly one-third (32.8 percent).

However, since bottoming in 2013, the total number of licensees has been increasing steadily (bar chart above) and currently totals 3,684. Though this current total is not as high as the numbers observed during the peak of the housing bubble, it does represent a 22.9 percent increase over that November 2013 bottom, and currently sits at a 9-year high.

Let’s look at only Salespersons

The bar chart below depicts only the Salesperson licensee data (both active and inactive) from the bar chart above.

Similar trends can be observed as were seen in the cumulative chart. Salesperson licensees totaled nearly 3,000 in June 2007; fell to 1,902 (a 36.1 percent decline) by November 2013; and currently total 2,584 (a 35.9 percent increase over November 2013) — again a 9-year high.

Drilling down a bit further, if we look at the number of active Salesperson licensees only, we see that the current 2,326 active Salespersons is at a ten-year high, and is on track to surpass the record high set in June 2007. I predict this June 2007 record will be broken with the next NRED report.

What about Brokers?

The chart below depicts only Broker licensees (both active and inactive) data.

Here a different picture emerges. Similar to the trend seen with the Salespersons licensees numbers, the total number of active and inactive Broker licensees was highest in June 2007 (the earliest date for which the NRED has published data), and then declined over the next several years until hitting bottom in November 2013. The total number of active and inactive Broker licensees fell from 675 (June 2007) to 517 (November 2013) — resulting in a 23.4 percent decline over that time period.

But, unlike the trend that was seen by the number of Salesperson licensees, the total number of Broker licensees did not go on to make a sustained recovery to historical levels. Instead the more recent totals have remained relatively flat.

However, if we drill down (as we did with Salespersons licensees) to look at only active Broker licensees, a wholly different picture comes to light.

The chart above shows the number of active Broker licensees since June 2007. What we see here is a relatively consistent number of active Broker licensees, hovering just above 400, throughout the years since this data has been made available.

That being said, one noteworthy observation from the above numbers is that the current number of active Broker licensees is at an all-time historical high — currently coming in at 430 active Brokers for September 2018. That number is up 5.4 percent from May 2018 and up 7.5 percent from December 2017. So, there appears to be a recent upward trend over the past year. This will be something to watch for in the next report from the NRED.

Thank you for reading. As always, I welcome your comment and questions.

1. Regarding “active” and “inactive” statuses — a license that is current (renewed), unsuspended or unrevoked, and is not affiliated with a broker, developer, or real estate company is an “inactive” license. The inactive status does not allow the individual to conduct any real estate transactions until the license is placed on “active” status.  Source NAC 645.040


About Guy Johnson

I am a licensed Nevada REALTOR® (lic.# S.0075262.LLC) living and working in fabulous Reno, Nevada. I cover Reno, Sparks, Incline Village, Carson City, and beyond. Give me a call at 775-722-4011 and I will be happy to assist you with your real estate needs. I'm your Guy!
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