The U.S. housing market is so crazy right now that real estate agents are literally going broke as sales activity freezes all over the country. As it turns out, the Federal Reserve’s bid to cool inflation by leaving interest rates higher for longer is absolutely choking the nation’s real estate market, not only by pushing millions of prospective buyers out of the market, but also by forcing realtors to rethink their place in the sector.

New reports highlight that high borrowing costs for home loans have depressed demand for homes in the U.S., a trend that has started to be observed in throughout 2022 and 2023, and continued to accelerate in 2024. Last year, sales of previously occupied homes actually fell to their lowest level in 28 years, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Consequently, tens of thousands of real estate agents have abandoned the industry in recent months, data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows.

As recently as 2021, when the average long-term mortgage rate was around 2.6%, 549,000 people worked full-time as real estate agents. Today, there are less than 440,000 real estate brokers and sales agents in America, a decline of more than 70,000 professionals.

At the moment, mortgage rates are more than double what they were just a few years ago, the supply of homes is at historic lows and prices are at record highs, dissuading buyers from getting into homeownership.

The sluggish housing market means business has slowed, and now many realtors that earned hefty sums in commissions during the pandemic are struggling to make a living.

During an interview with The Washington Post, Florida-based real estate agent April Strickland revealed that there are more realtors working in her Gainsville market than homes being sold. “Quite frankly, realtors are running out of money,” Strickland stressed.

An analysis by the Consumer Federation of America in January found that nearly half of the real estate agents sampled had sold one or no homes the previous year. Part of that is because many realtors work had to take a second job to make ends meet, researchers noted.