The rapid unfolding of the COVID-19 pandemic has created grave concerns for the health and welfare of the U.S. population and the economy. The economic worries are very apparent in financial markets. 

At present, we simply don’t know the extent of the overall disruption to the Boston real estate market. We are still months away from confidently gauging COVID-19’s impact on the Boston condo for sale market. However, the latest wave of results from the largest Boston real estate companies indicates that firms are bracing for a huge negative impact on their businesses. 

The following is press release from Redfin:

Less than two weeks after making news for temporarily suspending its iBuying program in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Redfin has furloughed – and in some cases permanently let go – just over 40 percent of its agent workforce.

“The great majority will go on furlough until Sept. 1, with a transition bonus and health care benefits through the summer,” said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman in a statement yesterday. “But we’re also asking some to leave for good, including new hires who hadn’t met a customer or completed their training before our offices closed a month ago.”

The furlough applies to nearly 600 salaried Redfin agents across the country, a total of 7% of the company’s staff. CEO Robert Reffkin reducing his own salary to $0.

And Refin is not the only one announcing layoffs;

In the last month, countless real estate firms have announced layoffs, cutbacks, and even the closure of entire offices and lines of business. Opendoor and Zillow stopped buying houses. Lenders stopped issuing non-qualifying mortgage (non-QM) loans. Zillow even pulled back on contracts already in progress,even offering sellers thousands of dollars to back out of a contract.

Here’s a quick synopsis of some of largest Boston real estate companies making big moves as of late:

Boston Real Estate Compass

Real estate brokerage Compass announced the layoffs of about 15% of its total workforce last week. The move impacted around 375 employees and came despite The rest of the company’s executive team also agreed to 25% reductions in pay.

Realogy, the nation’s largest brokerage

Realogy’s brands include Better Homes and Gardens Real EstateCentury 21Coldwell BankerCorcoranERASotheby’s International Realty.

Recent press release:

The company’s most recent 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission states that the company had approximately 10,150 employees as of Dec. 31, 2019. And according to a new SEC filing, the company is reducing both the salaries and work weeks of a majority of those employees.

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