Florida’s housing market seems to have scared some real estate professionals off; in the past six years, real estate licenses issued in Florida have fallen dramatically, from almost 47,000 in 2005 to 11,700 in 2010.
According to the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation, total real estate broker and sales licenses increased slightly in the last two years, the data show, increasing from 10,437 in 2008 to 11,863 in 2009 and then slightly dropping to 11,746 in 2010.
The high unemployment rate in Florida has led some professionals from other industries to test the real estate waters, said Carole Smith, a member of the Master Brokers Forum’s board of directors and Realtor with Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell Realtors. When the housing bubble burst and took much of the market’s profits and appeal, led many part-time Realtors to exit and focus on other professions.
“But it’s a difficult business to break into right now because I think the voice of experience carries into every aspect of the industry,” Smith told Miami Today.
From 2005 to 2006, the state issued 12,235 fewer new sales associate and broker licenses, a decline that continued from 2006 to 2007, when 16,973 fewer licenses were obtained, according to the regulation department.
A Florida real estate license is valid two years and post-licensing education is required. So far this year, 2,030 licenses have been issued.