NAR Membership Remains Steady Notwithstanding Slower Home Sales

Membership to the National Association of REALTORS® remained above 1.5 million at the end of May, falling 2%—or by about 45,000 members—from a year earlier. NAR membership continues to be at historical highs and is higher than originally projected for 2024—especially considering home sales have dipped to 30-year lows.

“Even though home sales have fallen for the last two years, a significant drop in membership has yet to occur,” says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “REALTORS® appear resilient. It may be that entrepreneurs understand that there are business cycles. They also may be hoping the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates soon and believe that will help revive the market in the next six months or onward. So, they’re holding onto their licenses.”

NAR membership has remained mostly steady month to month as real estate professionals prepare for practice changes to take effect Aug. 17 regarding communicating offers of compensation. (NAR’s legal team has developed a series of “Window to the Law” videos to help members prepare and comply with practice changes.)

Here are answers to some FAQs about NAR’s membership numbers.

Is NAR anticipating a drop in membership?

NAR originally forecasted a 10% drop in membership for 2024, believing that high inflation and interest rates, as well as cooling home sales, would prompt some real estate licensees to leave the business. “Since that didn’t occur this year, that may possibly occur next year,” Yun says.

Changes in NAR membership numbers often occur in tandem with real estate cycles. For example, during the pandemic-fueled homebuying frenzy, NAR membership bloomed to a record high of 1.6 million in October 2022. But when home sales drop, membership often does, too. For example, NAR membership hit a decade low in February 2013, clocking in at 963,478 members, just as the housing market was recovering from the 2008 financial crisis. “The cyclical nature of membership can be huge,” Yun says.

Is there a lag in membership data from current market conditions?

There’s typically an 18- to 24-month lag time before NAR membership reflects market conditions, says Yun. “That’s because people who have paid membership dues for the year remain members, even as they leave the business for other opportunities,” Yun explained in an article highlighting April’s NAR membership data. NAR membership fees are due Jan. 1 of each year.

Any potential impact the lawsuit and settlement may have on NAR membership likely will not become evident until mid-2025 or later.

Are there markets where REALTOR® membership is growing?

New members continue to join the REALTOR® organization, particularly in Southern states that have benefited from an influx of new residents and where home sales tend to be higher, Yun says. States where REALTOR® membership has seen a 1% to 3% uptick include Arkansas (a net percentage gain of 3.4%), West Virginia (up 3.05%), South Carolina (up 2.19%), Alabama (up 1.75%), Indiana (1.43%) and Florida (up 1.11%).

How will NAR report on its membership data going forward?

NAR remains committed to releasing membership data. Watch for the latest numbers and related information, which will be released on a bimonthly basis at

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