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Delaware County real estate firm lays off 166 as housing market slows – The Philadelphia Inquirer

Whenever the the housing market slows significantly, layoffs in the mortgage industry follow.

And that’s what happened Tuesday at Radian Group Inc., a Wayne firm that sells mortgage insurance and provides other services in the residential real estate industry.

Radian told state regulators that it planned to lay off 66 employees at its Delaware County headquarters and 100 more at an office in Allegheny County. The company employed 1,800 people overall at the end of 2021.

“The across-the-board slowdown in the U.S. housing market has affected all mortgage-related and real estate companies, and Radian is no exception,” Radian spokesperson Rashi Iyer said in an email. “These changes are deeply difficult, but they are a necessary reflection of current market conditions that will enable us to manage expenses and maintain our strong position over the short and long term.”

The real estate slowdown was evident in the third quarter financial results Radian released Wednesday. Radian said it sold $17.6 billion in new policies in the third quarter, down from $26.6 billion in the same period of 2021, before rising interest rates started putting a damper on home sales.

Private mortgage insurance like the policies Radian sells are designed to protect lenders from payment defaults when borrowers make a down payment of less than 20%.

Defaults are on the rise, Radian reported: up 18% during the quarter on its portfolio of insured mortgages compared to a year ago.

Mortgage-industry layoffs have been steady since the spring, when the Federal Reserve started raising interest rates.

Wells Fargo started trimming mortgage-related jobs in April, CNBC reported. Zillow recently cut 300 jobs, according to news reports. Last month Finance of America Holdings LLC, a Plano, Texas, company, announced that it would lay off 101 and close an office in Conshohocken as it exited the business of making new home mortgage loans, according to a state regulatory filing.

Across the economy, corporate layoffs are increasing as the economy slows. U.S.-based employers announced 33,843 job cuts last month, 13% more than in September and 48% more than in September 2021, Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., a Chicago outplacement and executive coaching firm, reported Thursday.

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