National lender Waterstone Mortgage announced Wednesday that it has opened a new Southwestern regional office in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The Albuquerque branch will be the largest property and office for the company, and will be home to more than 100 employees, including a variety of closers, processors, underwriters, loan assistants, marketing and administrative professionals.

“This is a significant growth opportunity for Waterstone Mortgage. The addition of the Albuquerque branch, which will make up our Southwestern region, will allow us to more effectively serve homebuyers in this area of the country,” CEO Eric Egenhoefer said. “With the product variety of a bank-owned organization – as well as the local expertise our Albuquerque office will offer – we hope to bring a new level of expertise to customers in the greater New Mexico area.”

The Southwestern region will be led by Regional Vice President Sue Millspaugh, who has more than 30 years of experience in the mortgage lending and finance industries.

“My team and I are very excited to join Waterstone Mortgage,” Millspaugh said. “The organization’s sterling reputation, ability to close loans on time, substantial list of product offerings, and company culture will fit perfectly with our overall goals. The team is also looking forward to the opportunity to grow professionally within a well-respected and forward-thinking company.

While Waterstone continues to extend its reach, decreasing origination rates are forcing several mortgage companies to reduce ranks.

The Money Source abruptly laid off 60 staff members on Monday, a source close to the matter told HousingWire. The company says the layoffs will encourage growth, but the move seems to contradict its goal of servicing more than one million loans by 2022.

Movement Mortgage is also experiencing challenges in a lethargic mortgage industry. In May, the company was forced to lay off 100 employees.

“This year, we are growing slower than we expected. This is a challenge, not just at Movement, but across the entire mortgage industry,” Movement Mortgage CEO Casey Crawford said. “We believe our decision to adjust our operations is in the long-term best interest of our entire Movement community.”

If origination rates do not increase, unfortunately downsizing may be a reoccurring trend for the industry.