The housing downturn and revised license-exam requirements are possible factors in the decrease.
By JEFF COLLINS
California real estate licenses dropped last month from the year before for the first time since March 1999, ending a 7 ½ upswing in which licensees increased by 81 percent.
The California Department of Real Estate reported that the state had 548,959 licensees last month. That's still the third highest number on record, and it's equal to one licensee for every 22 California households or one for every 1.4 homes sold last year.
But that's down 0.1% from the number of licensees in December 2006 and from last November.
The housing downturn and revised license-exam requirements are possible factors in the decrease. Local Realtor associations are budgeting for membership drops of up to 15 percent in 2008.
Local real estate executives say agents and mortgage brokers have left the business in droves, or taken other jobs to make ends meet as the number of sales fell to their lowest level in at least two decades. The count of licensees is slow to drop since they're good for four years before requiring renewal.
Agents have been saying for the past two years that too many people joined their ranks during the housing boom in hopes of making easy money. For the complete article see http://www.pwr.net/