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Indeed, company officials said they were still hiring although at a slower pace than last year. “Our staffing levels have naturally migrated a little bit lower,” UWM’s CFO Tim Forrester said. “Because we’ve managed our head count and our hiring rate, our overall head count is a little bit lower, or we expect it to be lower, in the first quarter.”
Better news came in the area of originations. For the year, the company reported total volume of loan originations up 24% in 2021 to $226.5 billion – a new record for the firm. Among those across mortgage, 61% came from refinancing and another 39% from home purchases, officials said. In 2020, more than 76% of the company’s loans were derived from refinancing, while 23% were from home purchases.
Other industry players have not been able to avoid layoffs – a reality for which many are bracing in the coming months amid a shifting landscape triggered by rising rates. The online real estate marketplace company Zillow Group Inc. continues to lay off workers after the failure of its Zillow Offers home-flipping product, with 55 additional job cuts expected by April. In correspondence to state officials, the company wrote of plans to cut 19 jobs in Tampa, Fla., by April 18, and 36 more in Centennial, Colo., by March 21.
Similarly, California-based Winnpointe Corp., doing business as Interactive Mortgage, plans to lay off 51 employees by April, according to a WARN notice filed in its home state.