Membership in the National Association of Realtors (NAR) declined for the third straight month in December, closing out a 2011 that marks the fifth straight year of annual declines for the influential association.
According to the latest data from NAR, there were 1,009,940 members at the end of 2011, a decline of 5.3 percent from 2010’s ending membership total of 1,066,658, though December’s totals did represent a slight increase from the 2011 low in March of 1,003,462.
Membership has declined by roughly 26 percent, or 5 percent annually, from the association’s peak of 1,370,758 members in October 2006.
Tara Steele reported on AgentGenius that the latest batch of declines raises speculation on how agents across the country are performing.
“In the halls of many brokerages across America, people are jumping ship, while in others, agents are signing on,” Steele wrote. “The rapid shuffling of the deck has been cause for speculation about how the number of Realtors is performing. Membership is down from its October 2006 peak of 1.37 million members, but in recent months, no major decrease has been seen.”
Interestingly, declining memberships have done little to quell NAR’s lobbying efforts in Washington. As Daily Business News reported in November, the association spent $6.1 million in the third quarter of 2011 alone, up from $4.5 million in 2010’s third quarter but down from the $7.1 million in the 2011’s second quarter. NAR’s lobbying in the third quarter is thought by many to have been a key reason for the governments decision to increase the non-conforming loan limit for FHA loans.
For a more detailed glimpse of NAR’s lobbying efforts, you can view the association’s page at Influence Explorer.