It’s been a while since we wrote about a hot HECM market bucking the national downtrend, but this month we have a very interesting one for you. As you might have guessed by the title of this report, we’re talking about Saint George, Utah. The city has more than doubled total Max Claim dollars year to date, and at 100 loans with two more months to go is on track to easily surpass its prior loans record of 104, set in 2007.
We’ve previously written about Baltimore, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and North Carolina, but as the housing bust has progressed there have been fewer growth stories to find. Saint George caught our eye as it rose to the top of our listing of cities by MCA growth on page 2 (bottom), finally taking the crown from Philadelphia.
Our first guess was that this might be another refinance driven surge as we saw in Baltimore and Philadelphia, but there hasn’t been a single HECM to HECM refinance yet in 2011 for the city. That of course got us even more curious, so we started looking at lenders – and hit the jackpot.
Cherry Creek Mortgage has created substantial business in Saint George as a new industry participant, in a place where the rest of the industry put together is essentially following the national volume trend. There are lots of ways to interpret the company’s success, and we won’t pretend to know their secret sauce. But we’ll hazard a couple of thoughts:
- Small, under-penetrated industries like ours still have niche opportunities that have not been fully understood nor harnessed by existing competitors
- Single companies with an innovative approach to the customer, product and/or market can change the shape of the industry in a city, state or even nationally
- Our industry is well served by new competitors that thoughtfully pursue new strategies
Congrats to Dan and the rest of the team on an amazing success story.
Click on the image below to view the full HECM Trends report for this month.