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Business Observer Friday, Sep. 30, 2022 2 months ago

Uncertainty in the mortgage market leads to 58 job cuts at Pinellas County bank

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BayFirst Financial is cutting jobs as mortgage volume declines.
by: Louis Llovio Commercial Real Estate Editor

The slowing housing market is beginning to cost people their jobs.

BayFirst Financial has announced that it is cutting 58 jobs in its Clearwater mortgage division “due to the continuing decline in mortgage volume leading to division losses, along with the uncertainty of the outlook of mortgage lending in the near- to mid-term.”

The layoffs, according to a letter to the state, will begin Nov. 25 and include employees working in or reporting to BayFirst’s residential mortgage division on Countryside Boulevard in Clearwater.

The bank did say that while it will discontinue its nationwide network, it “will continue to originate mortgages in its local, nine-county bank footprint.”

BayFirst announced the layoffs in a letter to the state to meet WARN requirements — companies must provide the state with Worker Adjustment Retraining and Notification notices when making job cuts according to federal law.

BayFirst Financial is the holding company for St. Petersburg-based BayFirst National Bank, formerly First Home Bank.

Mortgage rates have been rising the past few months as the Federal Reserve tries to slow inflation. This, as designed, has slowed housing sales both in Florida and across the nation as home ownership, particularly for those who rely on borrowing money for purchases, becomes more expensive.

The National Association of Realtors announced Sept. 28 that nationally home sales dropped 2% in August. (The report did not break down sales in Florida.)

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