During the recent housing boom, which is broadly defined as starting in January of 2003 and taking a turn for the worst in April of 2006, the economy added 1.29 million housing-related jobs (according to Moody’s Economy.com). Since that April, the sector has so far lost about 300,000 jobs, but many fear the worst is yet to come.
Countrywide Financial's announcement Friday that it would send 12,000 employees packing was a dramatic hit to anyone even considering a career in anything related to buying or selling a house, but I don’t know that we’ve focused enough on other sectors being equally hard-hit. In just the past few weeks, two of the nation’s biggest title insurance companies have announce layoffs in the thousands (remember, you can’t buy a house without title insurance), and claims, which are filed often due to foreclosure or due to other liens on a property, are way way up.
Jobs will go in mortgage lending, title insuring, home appraising, home construction, and of course good old home selling. I asked the National Association of Realtors if they’d seen a drop in membership lately, and they reported back absolutely not, that the number of Realtors is still rising.