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The transition away from an unusually long period of historically low rates this year suggests that new consumer demands could in some cases reroute the employment needs of the disparate players in the mortgage industry.
Many experts expect that a different cohort of mortgage-related entities will be most active when rates rise, though there are several nuances and countercurrents to these trends.
Some, for example, expect to see differences in the way banks and nonbanks fund their loans and are regulated, potentially putting the former on relatively firmer financial footing. Others think banks could be more opportunistic given the broader range of financial services they offer, and that could result in a countertrend in which non-depositories recruit mortgage professionals from depositories.
Many mortgage executives suggest consumer direct could be hit by more layoffs if refinancing continues to drop, and they see business shifting more to traditional retail and third-party origination channels that tend to do better in a purchase market.
All this likely means that top purchase-oriented sales professionals from nonbanks will stay employed in a mortgage market that appears to be poised to contract overall. Housing finance firms will need to find creative ways to limit layoffs in a scenario where rates keep rising or economic woes and refi burnout limit business.
From recruiting opportunities in various loan channels and types of institutions, to an esoteric mortgage niche that nonbanks have used for retention, what follows are some ways companies in the housing finance business are coping with staffing challenges in an unpredictable interest-rate environment.