MetLife has grabbed a 2 percent share of New York’s residential mortgage market just as rock-bottom lending rates and rising consumer confidence begin to spur home sales, according to Crain’s. The nation’s largest life insurer, with $55.9 billion in revenues, is planning a measured approach to growth in its hometown.
“As a new lender, we don’t have the baggage of the past,” said Tony Clintock, northeast regional sales leader for the residential mortgage division of the bank.
The move into the residential market has been in the works since 2008 when MetLife acquired the residential mortgage business from Tennessee-based First Horizon National.
Since then, the sales force has grown to 40, covering all five boroughs. Most of its volume comes from financing sales at dozens of new condo developments where the bank acts as the projects’ preferred lender,
such as Extell Development’s the Aldyn and the Rushmore.
The company is slated to open an office in Park Slope this summer and another in Queens, by the end of 2011.
“Right now, MetLife is doing everything right,” said David Lykken, managing partner at consultant Mortgage Banking Solutions. “New York is one of the hardest markets to crack, but they will be one of the dominant lenders here.” [Crain’s]