Banker & Tradesman's Fast 50
Relationship Building And Gateway Cities Play Role In Loan Growth
Financial Institutions Big And Small, Public And Private Enjoy Commercial Loan Growth
By Bram Berkowitz
Banker & Tradesman Staff
The Federal Reserve has hiked interest rates twice this year, but that hasn’t done anything to slow the pace of commercial and residential lending.
The Fast 50, compiled from data collected by The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman, reveals the 50 fastest-growing lenders in Massachusetts for the first six months of the year, compared to the same time period a year ago.
In the first six months of 2017, six financial institutions in both the residential and commercial rankings saw their portfolios increase more than 1000 percent in volume from the same time period in 2016.
In comparison, between the first six months of 2015 and the first six months of 2016, only one financial institution in both the residential and commercial side saw an increase over 1000 percent.
Commercial Real Estate
On the commercial side, community banks continued to close on commercial real estate loans at high volumes, enjoying success in an area that they expect to be a big profit driver throughout the rest of 2017.
Connecticut-based Webster Bank grew its commercial real estate loans in Massachusetts from $18.7 million in the first half of 2016 to more than $277 million through the first six months of this year. Other community banks, such as Watertown Savings Bank, Wellesley Bank and Cape Cod Co-operative Savings Bank, also found themselves in the Fast 50.
Sam Pepper Jr., president and CEO of UniBank, which ranked fourth in commercial real estate growth by volume, attributed the bank’s success to past years of relationship building.
The bank, with a market area in greater Blackstone Valley and Worcester, went from making a measly $900,000 in commercial real estate loans through the first six months of 2016 to more than $23.5 million in loan volume this year.
“We are operating in a market that is extremely competitive with significant pricing pressure,” Pepper told Banker & Tradesman. “We developed a good network of contacts over the years and very solid referrals on the real estate side. We have a solid commercial real estate team.”
Pepper said the bank is actively pursuing industrial warehouse projects, office space (class A and B) and loan deals in life science, but is a little more cautious regarding loans in the retail, multifamily and hospitality space.
“Those markets are mature and saturated,” he said, adding that the bank would still consider the right opportunities should they arise in those areas.
Although community banks and credit unions performed well, the most recent Fast 50 also welcomed financial institutions that had been mostly absent at this time last year, including big banks and the nonprofit and public sectors.
The Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation and the Massachusetts Housing Partnership Fund, both nonprofits, as well as MassDevelopment, the state’s quasi-public economic development and financing arm, joined the fray.
MHPF went from originating just over $18 million in commercial real estate loans in the first half of 2016 to more than $43 million in the first half of this year. MHIC jumped from a little more than $2 million to nearly $8.5 million and MassDevelopment went from roughly $3.3 million to $8.8 million this year.
Laura Canter, executive vice president of finance programs at MassDevelopment, said the agency saw significant loan growth in the state’s Gateway Cities.
“There has been more demand for housing and more migration to these cities,” she said, adding that this has made more projects financially feasible for developers.
The city of Brockton, for example, has seen several market rate rental housing projects that would not have been possible a few years ago because rents in the area couldn’t support construction costs, she said. And banks are bullish on the market, she said, offering more opportunities to partner with MassDevelopment on economic development projects.
“The economic outlook remains good and rents have been there to support that,” Canter said.
Big banks were another group that flexed their muscles this year, as they increased their small business lending nationwide.
J.P. Morgan was the only big player to make the Fast 50 last year, lending roughly $40 million in commercial real estate loans in the first six months of 2015 and $53 million for the same time in 2016. This year, Wells Fargo, RBS Citizens Bank and Bank of America all cracked the list, and in big ways.
Wells Fargo went from making around $155 million in commercial real estate loans in Massachusetts during the first six months of 2016 to more than $1.1 billion through the same time this year. BofA went from over $536 million in 2016 to more than $1.1 billion this year.
Residential Real Estate
Although perhaps not making the same noise as commercial real estate, residential real estate had another strong showing.
There were a lot of mortgage lenders and out-of-town institutions in the mix, and no Bank of Americas, but Massachusetts community banks such as KeyBank, Bank of New England, MutualOne Bank, Methuen Co-operative and Randolph Savings Bank, among others, made the list.
Steve Lowell, president and CEO of Monson Savings Bank, which saw its residential lending in 2017 reach nearly $60 million, almost doubling from the same time period in 2016, said the preparation the bank did in prior years is now paying dividends.
“We knew the refinancing market was going to disappear and it finally has. Everybody has been refinancing for last five or seven years because interest rates are so low,” Lowell said. “It’s been a challenge because inventory is low and the refi market has finally disappeared, but we have been focusing on building strong broker relationships. … We are trying to stay ahead of the game.”
Looking ahead, Lowell said he thinks the economy will get “hotter and hotter,” with some getting priced out of the market and qualified applicants becoming harder to find.
The Fast 50 ranks the 50 fastest-growing loan providers in Massachusetts, including mortgage and financial companies, banks, credit unions and other financial institutions. Rankings compare the number of loans through June 2016 to the number of loans made through June 2017, and the volume of loans through June 2016 to the volume of loans through June 2017. Rankings include purchase and non-purchase loans. Commercial rankings had a minimum of three loans in 2016 and a minimum of $1 million in loan volume in 2017. Residential rankings had a minimum of 10 loans in 2016 and a minimum of $2 million in volume in 2017. Residential includes one- to four-families and condominiums. All rankings are statewide. All data is sourced by The Warren Group from public records, which may contain errors. For more information please contact Data Solutions at 617-896-5365.
Residential: Volume of Loans
|1.||Branch Banking & Trust Co.||$225,408||$30,151,130||13276.25%|
|2.||Sun Mortgage Co. Inc.||$216,000||$12,686,389||5773.33%|
|3.||Huntington National Bank||$1,382,810||$61,719,700||4363.35%|
|4.||Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp.||$1,201,000||$32,661,499||2619.53%|
|5.||Key Bank N.A.||$2,109,140||$30,988,852||1369.26%|
|6.||Florida Capital Bank||$442,611||$5,222,854||1080.01%|
|7.||Grand Coast Capital Fund 1 LLC||$767,000||$8,365,000||990.61%|
|8.||Energy Credit Union||$737,000||$5,794,100||686.17%|
|9.||BBMC Mortgage LLC||$912,650||$6,873,230||653.11%|
|11.||Homebridge Financial Services Inc.||$33,277,636||$196,017,483||489.04%|
|13.||eMortgage Management LLC||$9,105,578||$47,346,841||419.98%|
|14.||Bank of New England||$6,830,401||$35,286,700||416.61%|
|16.||East West Bank||$8,128,200||$32,077,644||294.65%|
|18.||First Boston Associates||$1,597,000||$5,691,648||256.40%|
|19.||Stage Point Fund LLC||$1,566,000||$5,570,000||255.68%|
|20.||Equitable Cooperative Bank||$4,486,600||$15,882,175||253.99%|
|21.||Dunegrass Capital LLC||$1,790,000||$5,369,000||199.94%|
|23.||Methuen Cooperative Bank||$3,090,500||$8,622,800||179.01%|
|24.||Randolph Savings Bank||$63,398,278||$174,231,502||174.82%|
|25.||Land Home Financial Services Inc.||$4,125,103||$11,299,073||173.91%|
Residential Number of Loans
|1.||Homebridge Financial Services Inc.||116||595||412.93%|
|2.||East West Bank||15||63||320.00%|
|4.||eMortgage Management LLC||45||171||280.00%|
|5.||Stonegate Mortgage Co.||13||48||269.23%|
|6.||Equitable Cooperative Bank||20||72||260.00%|
|7.||Land Home Financial Services Inc.||14||47||235.71%|
|8.||Summit Capital Management LLC||10||29||190.00%|
|9.||Randolph Savings Bank||214||618||188.79%|
|10.||Lowell Community Loan Fund Inc.||15||41||173.33%|
|12.||Movement Mortgage LLC||69||168||143.48%|
|13.||Broker Solutions Inc.||29||67||131.03%|
|14.||Caliber Home Loans||148||341||130.41%|
|15.||Mortgage Lender of America LLC||15||34||126.67%|
|16.||Methuen Cooperative Bank||15||34||126.67%|
|17.||First National Bank||13||28||115.38%|
|18.||St. Michaels Credit Union||15||31||106.67%|
|19.||Envoy Mortgage LTD||161||314||95.03%|
|20.||County Mortgage LLC||19||36||89.47%|
|22.||Paramount Residential Mortgage Group Inc.||45||84||86.67%|
|23.||Boston Redevelopment Authority||22||41||86.36%|
|24.||Southcoast Health Federal Credit Union||22||41||86.36%|
|25.||Global Equity Finance Inc.||21||39||85.71%|
Commercial Volume of Loans
|1.||Huntington National Bank||$640,000||$107,100,000||16634.38%|
|2.||St. Michaels Credit Union||$108,500||$5,455,000||4927.65%|
|3.||UniBank for Savings||$901,000||$23,677,663||2527.93%|
|4.||Newtek Small Business Finance Inc.||$271,000||$6,516,000||2304.43%|
|6.||Troy Security Corp.||$1,725,000||$19,120,040||1008.41%|
|8.||Wells Fargo Bank NA||$155,622,551||$1,136,478,813||630.28%|
|9.||RBS Citizens Bank NA||$131,863,855||$862,747,200||554.27%|
|10.||Greystone Servicing Corp||$6,989,000||$45,555,000||551.81%|
|11.||Watertown Savings Bank||$1,005,000||$5,557,000||452.94%|
|12.||Rockland Credit Union||$3,142,000||$15,838,000||404.07%|
|13.||Walker & Dunlop LLC||$21,498,000||$103,873,100||383.18%|
|14.||M&T Bank NA||$14,600,000||$65,723,750||350.16%|
|15.||Massachusetts Housing Investment Corp.||$2,035,000||$8,485,000||316.95%|
|16.||Pawtucket Credit Union||$1,977,750||$8,180,601||313.63%|
|17.||New England Certified Development Corp.||$3,095,000||$12,489,001||303.52%|
|18.||Red Mortgage Capital LLC||$30,828,800||$119,703,800||288.29%|
|19.||Savers Cooperative Bank||$10,559,100||$39,433,450||273.45%|
|21.||Cape Cod Cooperative Bank||$6,429,226||$20,392,115||217.18%|
|22.||The Savings Bank||$2,729,100||$8,527,650||212.47%|
|25.||Merchants Bank & Trust||$5,456,180||$15,847,400||190.45%|
Commercial Number of Loans
|1.||United Shore Financial Services LLC||3||13||333.33%|
|2.||Greystone Servicing Corp.||4||15||275.00%|
|3.||Rockland Credit Union||4||15||275.00%|
|4.||Randolph Savings Bank||7||26||271.43%|
|5.||Cape & Islands Community
|6.||Webster First Federal Credit Union||7||21||200.00%|
|7.||New England Certified
|8.||Braintree Cooperative Bank||3||7||133.33%|
|9.||Coastal Heritage Bank||7||15||114.29%|
|11.||Merrimack Mortgage Co. Inc.||3||6||100.00%|
|13.||Workers Credit Union||6||12||100.00%|
|14.||Belmont Savings Bank||11||22||100.00%|
|15.||Residential Mortgage Services Inc.||14||27||92.86%|
|16.||RBS Citizens Bank NA||34||65||91.18%|
|17.||Bank of New England||17||32||88.24%|
|19.||The Savings Bank||10||18||80.00%|
|20.||Cape Cod Cooperative Bank||17||30||76.47%|
|21.||Boston Community Loan Fund Inc.||4||7||75.00%|
|22.||Watertown Savings Bank||4||7||75.00%|
|23.||Pawtucket Credit Union||7||12||71.43%|
|24.||Red Mortgage Capital LLC||3||5||66.67%|
|25.||Metro Credit Union||12||20||66.67%|
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