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Vanishing Realtors?


The new Hawai‘i State Data Book is out! And while a book of stats and numbers may not excite everyone, it gives journalists a certain thrill. For example, here’s a number that caught our eye: 7,830. That’s the number of active real estate licenses on O‘ahu as of March 2012.

For comparison’s sake, we dug through our old copies of past state data books, curious to see what that number was in, say, 1990. Readers of a certain age will recall that from 1986 to 1990, the median price of a single-family home here doubled, as the Japanese investment boom magnified prices. Real estate was hot, hot, hot.

How many realtors on Oahu then? 12,351.

We’re down 4,520 realtors, nearly 37 percent, from that peak.

How about more recently? The mid-2000s housing bubble was good for local realtors. The number of Oahu relators leaped nearly 16 percent from 2005’s 7,392 to 2006’s 8,561. We didn’t suffer the same crash the Mainland did soon after; so the attrition, to today’s 7,830—down nearly 9 percent—isn’t as dramatic as the drop since 1990.

Any realtors care to share stories of the good old days? The bad new days? Feel free to comment below or through Facebook!

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