Seeking a higher level of transparency, the California Bureau of Real Estate recently released the fall issue of the bureau’s Real Estate Bulletin featuring a thorough and readable report of its activities for the fiscal year 2016-2017.

California Real Estate Commissioner Wayne Bell has focused on transparency and stated that he hopes the information. “…is of interest and worthwhile, and provides you with a fuller understanding of the fiscal state, operations, programs, and outcomes of CalBRE.”

According to the bureau, it maintains district offices in Sacramento, Oakland, Fresno, Los Angeles and San Diego. It has 332 employees. Its FY 2016-17 was $52,639,000. Revenue totaled $52,128,255 and expenditures were $51,639,000.

Bob Hunt, director of the California Association of Realtors, wrote in Realty Times recently that CalBRE’s income from licensing and examination activities is, not surprisingly, influenced by market conditions, although there tends to be some lag.

“Salespersons exam applications increase about 10 percent in FY 2016-17 from the year before. License renewals have remained steady with 81 percent for salespersons and 89 percent for brokers,” he wrote.

Moreover, total license population at the end of FY 2016-17 was 415,458. That is approximately one licensee per 94 Californians.

While legal actions and investigations can cover multiple years, there were a number of cases which concluded in FY 2016-2017 which are reflected in the statistics. This data includes 350 license revocations, 160 suspensions, 142 desist and refrain orders and 232 license denials.

According to CalBRE, the California Legislature enacted the nation’s first real estate license law in 1917. This statute set forth rules for the licensing and regulation of real estate licensees, this law continues to serve as a model for similar legislation in many other states.

Hunt noted that CalBRE is an arm of the state government, similar to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. As a result, it does not rely on the state’s general fund. CalBRE generates income through licensing and special activities. In FY 2016-17, CalBRE received $4,205,683 from examination fees and $37,641,210 for licensing. It collected $8,299,377 for processing subdivisions.

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