Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wells Fargo forms team to lend to homebuilders

Despite sluggishness in home construction, Wells Fargo has created a team of bankers to serve homebuilders on the East Coast, in Texas and the Midwest, the bank announced Wednesday.

The group of 14 will report to Charlotte-based executive Bird Anderson, a 27-year veteran of Wachovia and Wells.

“We’re starting to see some modest signs of increased demand in the homebuilding sector in many markets," Anderson said in a statement. "Our dedicated banking team is ready to help satisfy our homebuilder clients’ financial needs as the market begins its recovery."

Wells Fargo has a firm hold on the mortgage market in the U.S., originating 33 percent of new mortgages and servicing 18.5 percent, tops in both categories. The concentration has drawn attention from analysts and ratings agencies.

The new home construction market has been tepid since the mortgage bubble burst five years ago, and sales still indicate a less-than-healthy market, according to the Associated Press.

But builders began construction on more homes and apartments in June than in the past four years, and homebuilder confidence reached the highest since February 2007, according to National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index data released Wednesday.