It’s been an active year (to say the least) for New York City real estate, so it should come as no shock that the number of real estate agents and brokers licensed in the five boroughs has increased.
The rise was concentrated in Manhattan and Brooklyn. In Manhattan, headlines about mega-luxury apartments and reality shows about high-flying brokers who sling them prompted many to get into the business, while in Kings County the continuing tide of gentrification (and its attendant rising rents) may have brought on the nearly 10 percent increase in licensed agents.
The number of licensed real estate salespeople in New York City grew by 7.2 percent, to 29,503 from 27,530 since last year at this time, data from the New York State Department of State provided to The Real Deal show.
In Manhattan alone, the number was 15,798, up 7.4 percent from 14,708 last December. In Brooklyn, the ranks of salespeople burgeoned 9.2 percent, to 5,210 from 4,772, the data show.
In the Bronx, there were 54 new agents licensed with the state this year, bringing the total in the borough to 1200; in Queens the ranks of salespeople swelled 6.3 percent – to 5,887 from 5,538. Meanwhile, on Staten Island, the 1366 agents added less than 50 new licensees to their ranks, to reach a total of 1408 salespeople in Richmond County.
The volume of licensed brokers citywide ticked up slightly as well, to 23,690 from 23,134 last year –an increase of 2.4 percent. (Agents are typically greener salespeople, while licensed brokers must have at least two years of industry experience and pass a licensing test to earn the designation.)
While the DOS figures do not distinguish residential from commercial brokers, anecdotal evidence suggests that the bulk of agents are in the residential sector. And while commercial leasing had an up and down year and may have even shed brokers, the commercial sales industry thrived, said David Behin, head of investment sales at commercial and residential brokerage MNS.