The number of active real estate agents plunged in cities like Dallas, Austin, and Houston, as housing demand has lowered across much of Texas.
A sharp drop of active agents, typically those who sell at least one house in a calendar month, occurred from August to September, according to AgentStory, a Miami-based tech firm that tracks housing metrics for real estate agents. AgentStory pulled aggregate trend data on real estate agents in Texas’ busiest housing markets at the request of the Dallas Business Journal.
In two months, Dallas had a roughly 20% drop in active real estate agents, falling from 947 in August to 745 by the end of September. Austin saw a decline of nearly 52%, dropping from 810 in August to 389 one month later.
Dallas and Austin had more than 1,000 active real estate agents between March and May before experiencing a drop-off over the summer when annual inflation hit its highest point at 9.2% in June.
Andrew Collins is a former agent from Austin who moved to Dallas in 2021 for the city’s growing housing opportunities and got his real estate license during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I thought it would be a good idea to change up what I was doing after I was laid off because of the pandemic,” Collins told The Dallas Express. “It was pretty competitive, as you can imagine, and it was a fun change of pace while it lasted.”
Collins moved away from residential housing this past summer and now works as a leasing agent for a commercial real estate company in McKinney.
“The headlines always get me,” Collins said sarcastically. “People want to say the housing market is only ‘cooling,’ but former colleagues tell me it has a very different vibe today than it did a year ago.”
The number of active agents in Houston, the state’s most populated city, fell by 16.5%, from 2,003 in August to 1,674 in September. Houston had its highest number of agents in April with 2,450 reported active, according to AgentStory.
“The rate of deceleration in Texas is profound,” said Jon Cardella, co-founder and CEO of AgentStory. “Volume is falling through the floor. [Deal] volume is going down, as you’d expect, because of the fact that rates are so high right now relative to the last few years.”
The housing industry saw an enormous influx of real estate agents over the last two years, fueled in part by demand from the pandemic shutdown and the low mortgage rates during the time. Last year, more real estate agents were active across the U.S. than ever before, according to data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), an American trade association for those working in the real estate industry.
During the housing boom, NAR membership grew from 1.48 million in 2020 to 1.56 million a year later. With a surge in housing demand, the typical member achieved higher sales volume, a higher gross income, and more completed transactions, according to the NAR.