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A Rush for Licenses as Real Estate Markets Boom With PM-Mortgage Madness

March 26, 1986

Undated (AP) _ Paul Harris, who operates a school for prospective real estate agents in North Little Rock, Ark., says inquiries are up by 50 percent lately, and every would-be agent who calls mentions falling mortgage interest rates.

″They are also asking whether we think the business will get better. We think it will,″ Harris said.

A rush is on around the nation for training and licensing as real estate agents or brokers, and it has escalated since mortgage rates dropped below 10 percent in most areas.

″Anytime you have a boom like this, the real estate schools fill up fast. That’s what’s happening now,″ said George Trautman, owner of a realty agency in Honolulu.

In Michigan, 1,500 people took the licensing exam for real estate sales licenses in February, up from about 1,000 a month in 1985, officials said. Indiana’s Real Estate Commission said 1,382 people took broker and salesperson exams in the first two months of 1986, compared with 1,032 in January and February of 1985.

In Miami, people have been turned away from overflowing real estate classes, and licenses were up 8 percent in January from a year earlier. Officials say some of those going into brokerage have been laid off from the aviation industry.

In states like Massachusetts, where the housing market has been strong for years, the ranks of realty agents were already full, but now the boom is spreading to neighbors such as New Hampshire.

Robert Authier, executive vice president of the New Hampshire Realtors Association, says his group a year ago had 2,700 members. Today it has 4,200.

In most states, anyone wanting to become a real estate salesperson must complete a training course, pass a test and pay a license fee.

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