Field Guide to Quick Real Estate Statistics

Real Estate and the Economy

A quick list of up-to-date Housing and Economic Indicators is available from NAR Research.

Even with signs that the economy is moving beyond the recession, the real estate market still confronts a challenging environment. Home sales rose quickly in late 2009 and early 2010 due, in part, to the availability of the home buyer tax credit. Since the expiration of the tax credit, however, sales have eased. One of the positive developments of the past year has been that a greater number of metropolitan areas have experienced stability in home prices.

Source: Real Estate and the Economy, Jan. 2010.

REALTOR® Statistics

Hours worked by all REALTORS® (nationwide): 40 per week

Gross personal income by hours worked: $54,900 (median for 40-59 hrs.)

Percent of business generated by REALTOR® personal web site (all REALTORS®):

  • 0 percent: 32%
  • 1-5 percent: 26%
  • 6-10 percent: 16%
  • 11-25 percent: 12%
  • 26-50 percent: 8%
  • More than 50 percent: 4%

Real estate experience of all REALTORS® (median): 13 years

REALTORS® by gender: Male 43%; Female 57%

Formal education of REALTORS®:

  • Some college: 30%
  • Associate degree: 11%
  • Bachelor’s degree: 30%
  • High school graduate: 9%
  • Graduate degree and above: 13%
  • Some graduate school: 8%

Sides per agent: For all REALTORS® in 2012, the typical brokerage specialist completed 12 transaction sides or commercial deals

Median tenure at present firm (all REALTORS®): 7 years

REALTOR® affiliation with firms:

  • Independent contractor: 81%
  • Employee: 6%
  • Other: 13%

Source: 2012 National Association of REALTORS® Member Profile

NAR Membership Statistics

Members to date: 997,148 as of May 30, 2013

Number of local associations: 1,377

Source: Monthly Membership Report and NAR Membership Statistics, 1908-present

Home Buyer


Active home search (median):

  • Number of weeks searched: 12
  • Number of homes seen: 10

First-Time vs. Repeat Buyers:

  • First-time buyers: 39%
  • Median age of first-time buyers: 31
  • Median age of repeat buyers: 51

Buyers who definitely would use same agent again: 84%

Actions taken as result of Internet home search:

  • Walked through a home viewed online: 62%
  • Found agent used to search/buy home: 32%
  • Drove by/viewed a home: 76%

Information sources used in home search:

  • Internet: 90%
  • Real estate agent: 87%
  • Yard sign: 53%
  • Open house: 45%
  • Newspaper ad: 27%
  • Home book or magazine: 18%

Source: 2012 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

Did You Know?

Signs of recovery in the for-sale market

The for-sale housing market remained depressed for much of 2011. House prices in most areas continued to slide, sales were lackluster, and single-family construction hit a record low. But as the year ended, steadier job growth and improving consumer confidence boosted sales of both new and existing homes

Source: State of the Nation’s Housing 2012 (Harvard University – Joint Center for Housing Studies)

For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Statistics

FSBOs accounted for 9% of home sales in 2012. The typical FSBO home sold for $174,900 compared to $215,000 for agent-assisted home sales.

FSBO methods used to market home:

  • Yard sign: 48%
  • Listing on Internet: 32%
    • For-sale-by-owner websites: 20%
    • Sites with real estate listings (e.g. Yahoo!, Google, etc.): 11%
    • Social networking websites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.): 10%
    • Video hosting websites (e.g. YouTube, etc.): 2%
  • Friends, relatives, or neighbors: 30%
  • Print newspaper advertisement: 14%
  • Open house: 12%
  • Direct mail (flyers, postcards, etc.): 2%
  • Video: 1%
  • For-sale-by-owner magazine: 1%
  • Television: <1%
  • None: Did not actively market home: 31%
  • Other: 2%

Most difficult tasks for FSBO sellers:

  • Understanding and performing paperwork: 18%
  • Getting the right price: 14%
  • Preparing/fixing up home for sale: 11%
  • Helping buyer obtain financing: 6%
  • Attracting potential buyers: 6%
  • Selling within the planned length of time: 6%
  • Having enough time to devote to all aspects of the sale: 1%

Source: 2012 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

Statistics on REALTORS® and Technology

  • 55% of agents and 49% of brokers spent between $501 – $2,000 on technology for their business in the last 12 months.
  • The top three tools that respondents plan on purchasing or replacing in the next year are: smartphone (18%); iPad (20%); and digital camera (10%).
  • The most frequently used operating system is Windows 7 (47%).
  • The most popular smartphones are Android OS (37%), iPhone (45%), Blackberry (5%).
  • 89% of REALTORS® use social media to some extent.
  • The top places where REALTORS® place their listings are®, Zillow and Trulia.

Source: 2012 REALTOR® Technology Survey

Recommended Sources for Data on Real Estate:

Hidden gems: