Real estate jobs in a sad state?
Paper says that as housing market slows, realtors, mortgage brokers and others feel squeezed.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - With signs pointing towards a slowing housing market, some workers in the real estate industry are already thinking about jumping ship, according to a news report published Monday.
Citing economists and recent national housing data, USA Today reported that some real estate agents, mortgage brokers and even appraisers will be squeezed as the housing market slows down. Some are even reconsidering their career choice after finding it difficult to drum up new business.
"At best people should prepare for no pay increase and no bonus, something they have been getting a lot of," Mark Zandi, an economist at Moody's Economy.com told the paper. "At worst they should be thinking they may need to change occupations."
Over the past four years, the housing market has been a big driver of job growth as almost four out of every 10 jobs created in the United States were housing related, the paper reported.
And some businesses are already tightening their belts including Washington Mutual (Research), which closed 10 mortgage processing centers last month and fired 2,500 employees, according to USA Today. In November, the mortgage firm Ameriquest trimmed its payroll by 1,500.
Even though existing home sales fell for the fifth straight month in January and home building companies are reporting cancellation of home orders, some factors may stem the loss of real estate related jobs, according to the paper.
Commercial construction is expected to absorb some workers from the residential side, as the industry appears to be picking up steam while a demand for construction and possibly new homes along the Gulf Coast may drive job growth in the region, USA Today reported.
And the large number of Americans with adjustable rate mortgages may provide some comfort for those working in the mortgage industry, according to the paper, as homeowners with outstanding mortgages will probably want to refinance at some point in the future, hoping to lock in a fixed rate, according to the paper.
"That will kind of prop things (up) for a while in terms of activity," Michael Montgomery, an economist at Global Insight in Lexington, Mass. told the paper.
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