A leading economist has issued a grim warning to the real estate industry that a plunge in sales will mean many will need to find new jobs.

In his weekly newsletter, BNZ chief economist Tony Alexander said the bank had been “subtly” trying to get the message to the industry regarding employment levels.

“Perhaps a few missed it, so here it is in black and white. Many of you in the coming year will have to find something else to do.”

According to his figures in the year to June 30, 2016, 95,000 houses were sold by registered agents, while in the 12 months to July 2017, that number had eased to 80,000.

READ MORE: Warning to Auckland home buyers: ‘The game’s over’


BNZ chief economist Tony Alexander has issued a grim warning about employment prospects in the real estate industry, warning sales are likely to fall by a third from the recent peak.