Magazine article American Banker

Revived Massachusetts Market Is Magnet for National Lenders

Magazine article American Banker

Revived Massachusetts Market Is Magnet for National Lenders

Article excerpt

Robert J. Petrelli, regional vice president for American Residential Mortgage Co., Hingham, has seen "the good, the bad, and the ugly" of Massachusetts' economy.

Mr. Petrelli and other lenders like him have survived the high inflation, high interest rates, and thousands of layoffs that plagued the state in the late 1980s.

Now, Massachusetts is one of the nation's hottest sports for residential mortgage lending -- making it popular bandwagon for national lenders to jump on.

How far has the ecoomy around the state rebounded? In 1989, 8,223 single-family homes were sold in the Boston area, according to the Greater Boston Real Estate Board. Last year, a record 11,666 were sold -- a 42% increase in four years.

A 'Striving' Economy

Today's economy in Massachusetts is "striving," said Frances Burke, a professor at Suffolk University's school of management in Boston.

"It's not still down in the dumps."

According to John R. Adam, divisional senior vice president of Des Moines-based Northwest Mortgage Inc., Massachusetts is now experiencing a shortage of houses listed for sale.

In the past couple years, several national lenders have responded to opportunities by launching or expanding operations in Massachusetts.

Among those are: Country-wide Funding Corp., Pasadena, Calif.; PHH US Mortgage Corp., Cherry Hill, N.J.; Interfirst, a division of Standard Federal Bank, Ann Arbor, Mich.; American Residential, La Jolla, Calif.; and GMAC Mortgage Corp., Elkins Park, Pa.

Likely to Make Its Mark

North American Mortgage Corp., Santa Rosa, Calif., opened its Massachusetts shop just a month and a half ago, so it hasn't yet garnered much in the way of market share. But as one of the nation's largest mortgage banking companies, it is likely to make its mark.

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Its move was "not an attempt to be opportunistic," but was part of a "well-planned geographical expansion," said Peter M. …

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