Portland realtors ranks may slim with economic downturn, KGW.com

By ERIC ADAMS, kgw.com Staff


PORTLAND — Area realtors are adjusting to new economic realities and cutting costs.

The Metropolitan Association of Realtors announced its cutting marketing and other costs as it anticipates that as many as 1,100 of its 7,800 members may not renew their licenses.

Realtors received their renewal notices earlier this month and have until Jan. 1 to pay their bill, which amounts to about $400 and includes local, state and national fees.

Kathy Querin, the association’s chief executive officer, said there is no way to know until New Years Day just how many agents will not renew their memberships.

She said sales have slowed, though, and that realtors may decide they can’t make a living selling houses in the metro area.

“What we do know is the market has seen decline,” she said.

Through September, 15,389 houses have been sold in the Portland area, a 32 percent drop from 2007, according to the association.

The state reports a 3.5 percent drop in real estate licensing since 2005, which many consider was the high-mark year for home sales.

Jim Homolka, president of Re/Max Equity Group, said he expects the number of realtors in the region to shrink by about 10 percent.

Re/Max recently closed its Bend office, where 55 people were employed. Offices that have closed around the Portland Metro area include Tualatin, Raleigh Hills and Vancouver Salmon Creek.

Most of those realtors have shifted to nearby branches, Homolka said.




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