Shrinking buyer buyer pool has North Texas mortgage lenders sweating

Firms are reducing footprints, subletting office space

Texas Dallas /
Jul.July 11, 2022 03:15 PM
Mr. Cooper CEO Jay Bray (Mr. Cooper Group, iStock)

Mr. Cooper CEO Jay Bray (Mr. Cooper Group, iStock)

Last week, mortgage rates hit 2008 levels, and as mortgage rates rise, North Texas home lenders are trying to lower costs..

Here are some of the recent layoffs and office-space cuts made by mortgage lenders based around the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, according to the Dallas Business Journal.

Most recently, Franklin American Mortgage Company put 32,515 square feet of its office space in Irving’s Williams Square East Tower on the sublease market. Located on the 10th floor and part of the 13th, the space makes up more than half of the company’s 58,000-square-foot lease, which was last renewed in 2017.

Mr. Cooper Group is reportedly subleasing some of its space at Browning Place II along the Lyndon B Johnson Freeway. This is consistent with the firm’s 2021 annual report’s promise to “consolidate and dispose of facilities” it no longer needs.

Stearns Home Loans’ suite at 401 E. Corporate Drive in Lewisville is now also available for sublease. At the same time, residential and commercial mortgage loan servicer Ocwen Financial Corp. announced it would be completely shuttering its Addison office.

The biggest office cuts and layoffs come from New Residential and its subsidiaries, however. Back in February, it laid off 386 — 3 percent of its workforce. This was less than a year after acquiring the multichannel lender Caliber Home Loans for $1.675 billion. More recently, on June 30, New Residential closed its offices in Arizona, Florida and New York, according to Housingwire.

The very same day, First Guaranty Mortgage filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, owning more than $34.75 million to creditors.

Sky-high mortgage rates and a looming recession have shrunk the North Texas buyer pool to crisis levels for many of these lenders. However, DBJ reports that the region’s steady population and job growth could “serve as some insulation to those greater market forces.”

[DBJ] — Maddy Sperling





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