New Zealand has more agents than homes for sale

The number of real estate agents across New Zealand has continued to grow over the past 12 months and the industry is doing its best to maintain high standards.

According to the Real Estate Authority (REA) Annual Report, 2597 new real estate licences have been issued over the period, up 54 per cent from 1687 in 2020-21.

Throughout COVID-19, many people pivoted to careers that were deemed essential, such as real estate. 

The increase in numbers has been so profound that there are now more licensed agents in New Zealand than there are listings.

A total of 15,503 agents and 909 companies have active real estate licences across the country, while there are currently only 12,250 homes on the market, a third fewer than last year, according to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ).

REA is also concerned the shortage of listings is likely to contribute to more pressure on agents in what has already been a very testing 18 months.

REA Chief Executive Officer, Belinda Moffat said with the high number of new entrants, it was vital the industry stepped up to ensure standards remained high. 

“With an increase of new joiners to the industry and a highly pressured market, REA has worked hard to support the new professionals to meet the standards expected of them,” she said.

“As an industry, we need to ensure that new licensees receive appropriate training and supervision to help them meet the high standards required of them as real estate professionals.

“Throughout the year REA has provided licensees with timely guidelines for conducting real estate business under different COVID-19 alert level changes.”

REA Chairwoman Denese Bates said the goal of the industry was to make sure both vendors and buyers were looked after appropriately, along with assisting agents.

“REA’s goal is to improve the wellbeing and living standards of New Zealanders and to see empowered consumers working with trusted real estate professionals,” Ms Bates said.

“The 2020-21 Annual Report shows the positive impact REA is making in the lives of everyday New Zealanders by educating licensed real estate professionals, informing consumers, and protecting buyers and sellers from harm during real estate transactions.”

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a freelance journalist specialising in finance and real estate.