Cities With the Most (and Fewest) Real Estate Agents

real estate agent realtor
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This story originally appeared on Inspection Support Network.

Like many other sectors of the economy, the real estate market was shaken in 2020 due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Shutdowns and social distancing measures slowed down real estate transactions in the spring, bringing home sales down to their lowest levels since 2007. As time has gone on, the real estate market has produced both challenges and opportunities for buyers, sellers, and their real estate agents, making it difficult to predict trends moving forward.

On the buyers’ side, low mortgage interest rates have continued to spur demand overall, and the new normal of work-from-home has made more workers reconsider the value they place on where they live, commute times, and home amenities. Meanwhile, some households have lost jobs and income due to the economic repercussions of the pandemic, while others are in a position to enter the market due to decreased spending and increased savings this year. For sellers, health concerns and economic uncertainty have kept many homes off the market, leading to record low inventory—but this constrained supply is driving up home prices to record levels for those who do decide to sell.

For real estate agents, a high number of buyers in a hot market is a significant draw, but limited supply can create a competitive—and potentially lucrative—environment for working with sellers. Even as the pandemic shifts buyers’ and sellers’ behavior, agents will continue to be drawn to active markets with strong home values.

Large Metros With the Most Real Estate Sales Agents

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Using 2019 employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), researchers at Inspection Support Network evaluated which states and localities have the highest per capita concentration of real estate agents. Some of the states with the highest concentration of real estate agents, like South Carolina, Oklahoma, Florida, and Georgia, are Sun Belt states that are experiencing consistent population growth—which means more demand from potential buyers. Other states with high concentrations of real estate agents include Washington and Virginia, where typical home prices are well above the national average, especially in their big metros (Seattle and the D.C. area, respectively).

Data at the local level shows these patterns even more precisely. Researchers looked at the BLS data at the metro level to find the concentration of real estate agents compared with the national average, the number of agents per thousand employees, and agents’ median annual wages. They also pulled home price data from the Zillow Home Value Index.

Keep reading to see the cities with the most—and fewest—real estate agents. Up first are the large metros with the greatest concentration of professionals in this field.

1. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

Seattle house neighborhood
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  • Concentration of real estate agents (compared to U.S. average): +179.0%
  • Number of real estate agents per thousand employees: 3.082
  • Median wage for real estate agents: $60,430
  • Median home price: $567,205

2. Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC

Virginia Beach, Virginia
JoMo333 / Shutterstock.com
  • Concentration of real estate agents (compared with U.S. average): +177.0%
  • Number of real estate agents per thousand employees: 3.062
  • Median wage for real estate agents: $51,120
  • Median home price: $259,731

3. Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma City
Henryk Sadura / Shutterstock.com
  • Concentration of real estate agents (compared with U.S. average): +175.0%
  • Number of real estate agents per thousand employees: 3.037
  • Median wage for real estate agents: $39,780
  • Median home price: $171,213

4. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA

Gill Copeland / Shutterstock.com
  • Concentration of real estate agents (compared with U.S. average): +129.0%
  • Number of real estate agents per thousand employees: 2.527
  • Median wage for real estate agents: $48,470
  • Median home price: $255,109

5. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL

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  • Concentration of real estate agents (compared with U.S. average): +120.0%
  • Number of real estate agents per thousand employees: 2.432
  • Median wage for real estate agents: $46,670
  • Median home price: $312,574

6. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL

Quiet neighborhood in Orlando
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  • Concentration of real estate agents (compared with U.S. average): +107.0%
  • Number of real estate agents per thousand employees: 2.288
  • Median wage for real estate agents: $39,440
  • Median home price: $268,806

7. Raleigh, NC

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  • Concentration of real estate agents (compared with U.S. average): +90.0%
  • Number of real estate agents per thousand employees: 2.100
  • Median wage for real estate agents: $37,930
  • Median home price: $299,764

8. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL

Tampa, Florida
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  • Concentration of real estate agents (compared with U.S. average): +89.0%
  • Number of real estate agents per thousand employees: 2.084
  • Median wage for real estate agents: $41,510
  • Median home price: $240,308

9. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

Washington, D.C.
Christian Hinkle / Shutterstock.com
  • Concentration of real estate agents (compared with U.S. average): +86.0%
  • Number of real estate agents per thousand employees: 2.058
  • Median wage for real estate agents: $48,830
  • Median home price: $459,656

10. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC

Home surrounded by greenery in Charlotte,NC.
Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com
  • Concentration of real estate agents (compared with U.S. average): +74.0%
  • Number of real estate agents per thousand employees: 1.924
  • Median wage for real estate agents: $40,760
  • Median home price: $259,012

Large Metros With the Fewest Real Estate Sales Agents

A real estate agent posts a for sale sign in front of a brick house that is under construction
Sean Locke Photography / Shutterstock.com

Some cities have significantly fewer real estate agents. Here are the large metro areas with the lowest concentration of workers in this field.

1. Rochester, NY

Rochester New York
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  • Concentration of real estate agents (compared with U.S. average): -73.0%
  • Number of real estate agents per thousand employees: 0.298
  • Median wage for real estate agents: $73,100
  • Median home price: $169,546

2. Providence-Warwick, RI-MA

Providence, Rhode Island houses homes
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  • Concentration of real estate agents (compared with U.S. average): -71.0%
  • Number of real estate agents per thousand employees: 0.319
  • Median wage for real estate agents: $55,800
  • Median home price: $342,548

3. Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI

Grand Rapids Michigan homes houses
Fsendek / Shutterstock.com
  • Concentration of real estate agents (compared with U.S. average): -61.0%
  • Number of real estate agents per thousand employees: 0.428
  • Median wage for real estate agents: $42,890
  • Median home price: $243,990

4. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

Homes in San Jose, California
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  • Concentration of real estate agents (compared with U.S. average): -55.0%
  • Number of real estate agents per thousand employees: 0.502
  • Median wage for real estate agents: $75,650
  • Median home price: $1,236,298

5. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

Los Angeles neighborhood.
Andriy Blokhin / Shutterstock.com
  • Concentration of real estate agents (compared with U.S. average): -54.0%
  • Number of real estate agents per thousand employees: 0.513
  • Median wage for real estate agents: $61,160
  • Median home price: $726,379

6. San Diego-Carlsbad, CA

San Diego
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  • Concentration of real estate agents (compared with U.S. average): -53.0%
  • Number of real estate agents per thousand employees: 0.515
  • Median wage for real estate agents: $67,190
  • Median home price: $649,474

7. Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY

Buffalo, New York
Atomazul / Shutterstock.com
  • Concentration of real estate agents (compared with U.S. average): -53.0%
  • Number of real estate agents per thousand employees: 0.518
  • Median wage for real estate agents: $43,140
  • Median home price: $187,090

8. Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, CA

Home in Sacramento, California
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  • Concentration of real estate agents (compared with U.S. average): -51.0%
  • Number of real estate agents per thousand employees: 0.540
  • Median wage for real estate agents: $63,450
  • Median home price: $458,805

9. Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT

The skyline of Hartford Connecticut, where median rents are relatively low
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Concentration of real estate agents (compared with U.S. average): -49.0%
  • Number of real estate agents per thousand employees: 0.564
  • Median wage for real estate agents: $38,720
  • Median home price: $250,566

10. New York City-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

New York City homes neighborhood
Tupungato / Shutterstock.com
  • Concentration of real estate agents (compared with U.S. average): -47.0%
  • Number of real estate agents per thousand employees: 0.585
  • Median wage for real estate agents: $81,660
  • Median home price: $505,569

Methodology & Detailed Findings

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The employment data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2019 Occupational Employment Survey, which covers wage and salary workers in non-farm establishments. Home price data is from the Zillow Home Value Index.

To identify the locations with the highest concentrations of real estate agents, researchers calculated the number of real estate agents per thousand employees. These results were then expressed as a percentage difference from the national concentration of real estate agents. Researchers also included the median annual wage for real estate sales agents and the median home price for each location.

Only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 residents and available data from the BLS were included in the analysis. Additionally, metros were grouped based on population: small (100,000–349,999), midsize (350,000–999,999), and large (1,000,000 or more).

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