RealTrends Q32021 BrokerPulse sees brokers still optimistic about the market, wary of competition and wondering when inventory will rise.

2021 RealTrends Brokerage Compensation Report

For the study, RealTrends surveyed all the firms on the 2021 RealTrends 500 and Nation’s Best rankings, asking for annual compensation data for the 2020 calendar year.’s Sean Black on the transaction revolution

Real estate is on its third revolution, from the digital revolution of the early 2000s to the information revolution kicked off by Trulia and Zillow to today's transaction revolution.


The RealTrends BrokerSource and HousingWire OpenHouse newsletters deliver twice weekly information on trends, strategies, analysis, people, and news shaping the real estate industry.

Housing Market Update: Will We Recover This Year?

Low inventory, cyclical slowdowns mean a housing market functioning below capacity.

Pending sales were up through May, June, and early July. The level of closings for June was nearly as high as they were in June 2019 in many markets. The surge, which started in early May, seems set to continue through at least the end of July and maybe into August.

Record-low interest rates are fueling much of this surge, along with some indications that families are also rearranging where they live. Reports from suburban realty firms and agents—as well as from leading firms in the ex-urban and rural property markets—show an increased level of activity. While much of this anecdotal, it’s so widespread across the country as to give it credence. Much of the May-through-July surge can be credited to packing 90-120 days of buying activity into 60 days.

There will be a cyclical slowdown as autumn approaches. Reports from across markets indicate that listing inventory is down in most markets, below the level of last year when it was already low. Housing markets cannot function at full capacity when little inventory exists. Unless home builders can start adding 1 million or more new housing units a year, most markets will be faced with scarce inventory and rising prices—just when 20 million+ American workers and businesses are trying to reopen.

Economists from several sources, including NAR, and Zillow, believe that unit sales will not totally recover this year. A rough average of their forecasts indicates unit sales would be down 12%-15% from 2019 by the end of this year. Should they be on the mark, then sales in the fourth quarter will be softer than last year.

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