The mortgage industry shed 2,500 jobs in June, as home sales continued to slow. The mortgage banker/broker sector had 246,500 full-time positions in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Even though mortgage rates are at record lows, many potential home buyers are waiting on the sidelines, either unwilling or unable to get mortgage loans, which decreases the need for workers in the mortgage industry.
Much of the activity in the mortgage sector involves refinancing, as homeowners look to get out of high-interest or adjustable-rate mortgages. For some homeowners dropping their mortgage rate just 1% has the potential to shave hundreds of dollars off monthly mortgage payments.
The average mortgage rate for a 30-year fixed loan is 4.49%, and 15-year rates are 3.95, according to Freddie Mac. Both mortgage rates are at all-time lows. But concerns about the slow pace of economic recovery has many potential home buyers steering clear of taking on a new home loan when the unemployment rate remains so high. Until the economy shows stronger signs of recovery, many people will continue to postpone their dreams of buying a home whether or not they can qualify for a mortgage loan.