The population of Canada in 2015 was 35.9 million people¹. The number of REALTORS® nationwide is currently 115,000 (per Canadian Real Estate Association). That's a lot of Real Estate Agents. Going by that per capita rate, you would expect the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) with its population of 6.13 million¹ would have about 19,700 REALTORS®. But there are currently 45,000 REALTORS® per the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB). That's 39% of Canada's Agents for 17% of the population!
The red line goes with the left axis and shows the breakdown of the 35.9 million Canadians. The bars go with the right axis and show the breakdown of the 115,000 Canadian REALTORS®.
Using the population breakdowns from above, and expressed another way, you can see the concentration in the TREB territory, where there are about 2.3 times the national average about 320 REALTORS® for every 100,000 people outside of Ontario.
When people hear about Toronto's RECORD SALES years and CLIMBING PRICES, many figure REALTORS® are living large. Certainly, top agents are definitely rolling in it. But even the big transaction growth in the last couple of years (to an extrapolated 111,000 for 2016²) are no match for the number of agents hopping aboard. There are about 100 new agents joining every week now. Over the 15 years shown below, transaction growth has been 2.9% per year, but the growth in the number of agents has been 7% per year. Hence, the red line below has declined from 4.3 transactions annually back in 2002, to only 2.5 transactions annually year for the past couple of years. Given that each transaction has a buy and a sell side, effectively the average agent would be involved in a transaction about 5 times a year, or one every 73 days.. Did that saturation lead to less transactions than you would have guessed?
1 - 2015 figure, per Statistics Canada
2 - 2016 numbers are extrapolated from TREB July 2016 YTD data compared to July 2015 YTD data and multiplied by 2015 year-end transaction numbers