A Seattle real estate startup that promised to help turn average home shoppers into all-cash buyers will lay off a fifth of its staff as the housing market cools.
Flyhomes spokesperson Justin O’Neill confirmed the company laid off about 20% of its employees, but he declined to answer questions about the layoffs, including how many affected employees were based in Seattle.
The company said in a statement on LinkedIn it needed to “operate in a manner that is both fiscally prudent and sustainable in the face of uncertain economic conditions.”
“The extremely difficult, but necessary, step we took today was necessary to address market conditions that have not been seen in the recent past,” the statement said.
Flyhomes offered homebuyers short-term loans to allow them to offer all cash for a house. That gave buyers an edge in a frenzied market with constant bidding wars but is likely to prove less useful in the coming months as buyers face less competition.
The company announced a $150 million infusion of investor cash last year. At the time, the company had about 400 employees, 127 of them in Seattle.
Flyhomes isn’t the first real estate company to see layoffs as the market turns.
Nationally, various mortgage companies have laid off staff. Seattle-based Redfin said last month it was laying off nearly 500 employees, or about 6% of its total workforce. The company’s stock price has dropped dramatically since the start of the year.
Late last year, Zillow laid off a quarter of its staff. That decision predated the housing market cooldown, but came after the company shuttered its failed attempt at house-flipping.