Real estate brokerage Compass lays off workers in WA

A New York-based real estate firm with a significant presence in Seattle is cutting jobs as the housing market cools. 

The brokerage Compass is laying off 84 Washington employees, plus another 187 remote workers spread across the country, according to the company and a notice filed with the Washington state Employment Security Department. 

A Compass spokesperson declined to offer details about the Washington jobs being cut, but in an Securities and Exchange Commission filing Tuesday the company said “a significant portion” of recent layoffs reflect “reductions in head count on the Company’s product and engineering team.” The move is part of a company cost-cutting plan announced in August.   

The cuts are just the latest to hit the local real estate industry as fewer buyers are searching for houses and prices are leveling off. 

Seattle-based Redfin laid off nearly 500 employees in June, about 6% of its total workforce. The local startup Flyhomes, which promised to turn home shoppers into all-cash buyers, laid off 20% of its staff in July. Compass announced an earlier round of layoffs in June.

Like Zillow and Redfin, Compass’s share price has plummeted since the heady days of last year, when home prices were climbing and buyers faced more competition. Shares dropped from $20.15 the day the company went public in April 2021 to $2.53 on Tuesday.

Compass surged in prominence thanks to venture capital funding, but it has never generated a profit, according to Bloomberg. The brokerage has 10 offices in Washington, including in Seattle and Tacoma.

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