High unemployment rates and tight credit conditions were just some of the challenges that REALTORS® who practice commercial real estate faced last year, as data from the 2010 National Association of REALTORS® Commercial Member Profileshow. Despite current obstacles, NAR remains committed to restoring a strong and robust commercial real estate market.
Commercial real estate is the basis for much of the growth in the American industry and economy, said NAR President Vicki Cox Golder. Because of its vital role, commercial real estate must have access to adequate capital resources. NAR is continuing to work with legislators and regulators to increase market liquidity and promote national interest in a healthy commercial sector.
According to NAR's 2010 Commercial Member Profile, commercial members completed a median of five sales transactions in 2009, down from eight in 2008. The median sale volume was $1,767,900 among those engaged in sales transactions - 14 percent of NAR's commercial members did not complete a sales transaction in 2009. The median leasing volume was $330,200 in 2009 among those engaged in leasing business; 42 percent of commercial members had no leasing transactions in 2009.
Median gross annual income for REALTORS® practicing commercial real estate has been declining since 2006, when it was $115,600. In 2009 the median income was $68,600. Commercial practitioners with less than two years experience earned a lower median income than those with more than 26 years experience - $35,300 versus $112,500.
Land sales were cited as the primary specialty for commercial practitioners, which is consistent with past years. Investment sales and multifamily building sales were cited as the next two most popular specialties.
More women are entering the commercial real estate field. Although still in the minority - women comprise 26 percent of REALTOR® commercial practitioners compared with 18 percent last year - 37 percent of commercial members with two years or less experience are women. Nineteen percent of REALTORS® in commercial real estate who have more than 26 years experience are women.
Commercial practitioners account for more than 80,000 of NAR's 1.2 million members. Fifty-seven percent of commercial members have a broker's license, and 28 percent have a sales agent's license. More than half of NAR's commercial members - 56 percent - work for a local commercial real estate firm. The typical commercial member has been in real estate for 20 years, has practiced commercial real estate for 12 years, and has been a member of NAR for 15 years.
REALTORS® who practice commercial real estate help build communities by facilitating investment and promoting the sale and lease of commercial space, which supports millions of jobs nationwide, said Golder. REALTORS® are optimistic that the latter half of 2010 will bring improvements in credit availability to get the commercial real estate market moving again.