Mortgage employment is down at its lowest rate since 1997, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data compiled by the Mortgage Bankers Association, as reported by the L.A. Times. Numbers of home-lending jobs are down as much as 50% over five years, the report states, since the peak of the housing and commercial real estate bubble.
The data includes all home lenders, including those in the reverse and forward markets, which totaled 500,000 in late 2005 and fell to 248,000 in February, and the L.A. Times attributes a possible overstatement of data to BLS categorization.
The L.A. Times writes:
“Mortgage employment also may have been affected by new licensing requirements for employees of nonbank lenders, adopted as part of regulations cleaning up the mess from the financial crisis. The licensing has made it more expensive for these independent brokers and mortgage bankers to maintain their payrolls, people in the industry say.
Chicago Bancorp, a large mortgage-banking firm, completed its purchase of Generations Bank, a Kansas City, Kan., savings and loan, last week to gain access to a nationwide lending market without the added licensing costs, Chicago Bancorp founder Stephen Calk told the Kansas City Star.”
Similar trends in the reverse world have stemmed from large lender exits and rising regulatory costs throughout the industry.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker