Housing-related job cuts have climbed to new levels, reflecting the soft underbelly of the real estate industry’s progress at reversing sputtering home sales, according to Chicago-based Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., a leading international outplacement firm.
According to the company, planned job cuts announced by firms in the real estate, construction and mortgage lending industries reached more than 37,500 through the first six months of 2007 — 65 percent higher than the 22,800 layoffs for all of 2006.
Dismal though the July report may be, Fox Valley Realtors find themselves in somewhat of an insular position, said Peter A. Swaufield, executive officer of the Geneva-based Realtor Association of the Fox Valley.
The National Association of Realtors said existing home sales fell to a 4½-year low, while the Commerce Department reported new home sales declined 6.6 percent in June.
Even so, year-to-date sales in Illinois were down 15.2 percent to 72,551 homes sold January through June. That compares to 85,567 homes sold during the same period last year.