Guild Mortgage continues to expand in the Midwest
Guild Mortgage now has offices in Buckeye State. The publicly traded mortgage lender announced Tuesday that retail branches are now open in Dayton and Columbus, Ohio. This is the first foray into Ohio for the California-based retail lender.
This move marks another step in Guild’s growing expansion into the Midwest. It opened three new branches in North Dakota in 2017; acquired St. Louis-based Cornerstone Mortgage in 2018, an operation that added 17 offices in Missouri, Illinois and Kansas; and opened branches in Wisconsin in 2019.
Guild’s Columbus office will be led by Ohio-based loan initiator Aric French whose team worked on more than 500 mortgages last year, Guild said. French was previously a branch manager at Academy Mortgage Corporation, a direct lender. Guild’s Dayton office will be headed by Nick Angelo, who has four years of experience in the mortgage industry. Angelo was most recently branch manager at Geneva Financial. Previously, he worked as LO at Fairway Independent Mortgage.
Ohio is an affordable destination for potential buyers, even as house prices continue to rise – along with mortgage rates, which now sit above 3%. In Tuesday’s Case-Shiller report, Cleveland was the only city out of 20 tracked to see house prices drop month-over-month.
In total, Guild, which went public in the fall and is led by Mary Ann McGarry, made $ 35.2 billion in 2020, up 62% from the $ 21.7 originating in 2019. In fourth quarter alone, the company generated $ 10.6 billion in creations. Net revenue increased 77% to $ 454.2 million from $ 256.0 million in 2019, and 44% of its closed loan origination volume was from purchasing activities.
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Like other mortgage lenders, Guild’s margins narrowed in the fourth quarter. The lender’s selling profit margins fell to 436 basis points in the fourth quarter from 562 basis points in the third quarter, dragging profits down.
Still, it’s clear the company is interested in expansion – and not just geographically. In his quarterly earnings call last week, McGarry said the lender was on the lookout for acquisition targets.
“We see a lot of IMBs who are really thinking, maybe it’s time to cash in their tokens,” McGarry said. “So we’re seeing activity, the pipeline of sellers is growing and the key is going to be getting to the right valuation point … we’re very careful about pricing and want to make sure that whatever we envision is really reasonable.
Based in San Diego, Guild has approximately 4,400 employees serving customers at more than 200 retail branches in 32 states.