Florida Community Bank launches mortgage branch
Amerant Bank, one of Florida’s largest community banks, announced it is entering the mortgage business with the creation of Amerant Mortgage.
The company said the expansion was a direct response to the state’s growing demand for residential mortgages.
At the end of last year, the number of closed sales of single-family homes in the South Florida area jumped up almost 24% per year, according to the Florida Real Estate Association. The median selling price also rose more than 17% to $ 430,000.
“It is evident that the Florida residential real estate market is booming,” said Millar Wilson, vice president and CEO of Amerant. “The positive sales trajectory continues, associated with a generation interest rate, which are expected to continue through 2021, has created unprecedented momentum in residential mortgage creation. “
Amerant Mortgage is a joint venture between the bank and a team of residential real estate executives with “a long history of successful residential mortgage lending, most recently with one of the largest financial institutions based in Florida,” according to Amerant. The bank will retain the majority stake in the JV.
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Industry leaders include: Howard Levine, Tony Eelman, Marshall Martin and Joe Keel. Amerant’s existing residential mortgage team will be integrated into the new joint venture.
“With the creation of Amerant Mortgage, we have a tremendous opportunity to become increasingly active players in this industry,” said Levine, Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer of Amerant Mortgage. “This JV is a truly unique business model. This model combines robust product offerings with exceptional service – an absolute win / win for the consumer.
Amerant Mortgage will offer the full suite of residential lending solutions, including conventional, government, Jumbo, and unique product offerings.
“We are confident that this exciting JV will continue to strengthen Amerant’s footprint in the communities we serve,” said Wilson. “The businesses to be created under Amerant Mortgage are consistent with our strategy of diversifying and increasing non-interest income at Amerant Bancorp.”
There have been other southern community banks that have taken steps to capitalize on the mortgage boom. Last month, a subsidiary of First community bank in Tennessee has entered into an agreement to acquire A mortgage shop, which originated mortgages in Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Virginia and Ohio.