September 7, 3:45 pm

New York sees fewer new brokers

As the housing market cools, fewer people are becoming real estate brokers in New York.

At the end of 2006, the New York State Association of Realtors had 73,737 members, a figure that dropped to 66,788 by August 31.

Nationally, the association said only 11,679 housing agents became members in the first half of this year, compared to 129,552 in the first half of 2005.

Barry Hersh, associate director of Baruch College’s Steven L. Newman Real Estate Institute, said far fewer people are switching to real estate from other fields than two years ago. Hirsh said the real estate field was overcrowded during the boom.

“We had 28,000 sales people in Manhattan and 12,000 transactions to make,” he said, referring to the 2005-2006 peak period.

Kathy Braddock, a partner at real estate consulting firm Braddock and Purcell, said new agents who were part of the 2005 flood had unrealistic expectations.

“For a moment there everybody said, ‘Oh, I can make a million dollars in real estate,’and you can’t,” she said.

Along with the slowdown, another issue aspiring brokers must contend with is required class time to obtain a license, which is slated to increase from 45 to 72 hours. By James Kelly

ed note: it was not unusual to go by any Hamptons brokerage during the month of August and see it empty. Guess the beach was calling…md