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Minyan Mailbag - California Dreaming



Note: Our goal in Minyanville is to remove intimidation from the financial markets and encourage an interactive dialogue among the Minyanship. We share this next discussion with that very intent.


Are There Enough California Real Estate Agents?

Gee... Enquiring Minyans just might want to know the answer to that question so let's take a look:

There are 411,000 licensees in California, up from 297,000 a decade ago, said Tom Pool, the department spokesman.

The California population is roughly 35 million.

That would make real estate agents roughly a 1:85 ratio among the entire population.

Of the California workforce real estate agents might yield a ratio of something like 1:50!

Of course we would need to subtract those with licenses that no longer practice while adding in aspiring agents to be.

All in all perhaps 1:85 is a reasonable number.

The state population grows about 10% per decade. The number of licensees grew by a mere 38%.

10 years ago was roughly the bottom of the southern California residential market, probably true for the rest of the state.

By June of this year, 425,000 people in California are expected to have real estate licenses, according to the state's Department of Real Estate.

Enquiring Minyans just might want to ponder an additional question:

Are all of these newly minted agents considered employed regardless of the number of properties they sell?

I would be guessing the answer to that question (but my guess is YES) .

Hopefully the answer to "Are There Enough California Real Estate Agents?" is pretty obvious.

Enquiring Minyans just might be curious about Real Estate prospects at the national level as well.

Is there any evidence?

Consider this.

More students sold on studying real estate

Like the market itself, real-estate education is hot. But some experts warn this industry is headed for a decline.

"If you went back to the late 1990s, you probably saw very similar situations with classes in the securities industry for stockbrokers or Internet-related enterprises," says Peter Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital, an investment firm based in Newport Beach, Calif.

"The real-estate industry is going to be one of the worst industries to be associated with in the next 10 to 20 years. We are in a major bubble." Instead, Mr. Schiff says, students should turn their attention to agriculture, horticulture, engineering, and foreign languages, such as Mandarin.

I am willing to hazard a guess that the entire U.S. is swamped with real estate agents and more are pouring out each and every day.

Does this sound at all like churning out thousands of telecom experts at the tip top of the fiber revolution?

Are we doing it again in real estate?

Seems like it to me.

Minyan Mike Shedlock


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No positions in stocks mentioned.

Todd Harrison is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Minyanville. Prior to his current role, Mr. Harrison was President and head trader at a $400 million dollar New York-based hedge fund. Todd welcomes your comments and/or feedback at

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