How did you join the Oregon Mortgage Association (OMA)? What was the track that led you to your leadership role?
My path began as a member of the Portland Chapter of OMA. I joined because they believe in doing business in an ethical, professional and profitable way, and they put a high standard on the industry. I became a Board Member of the Chapter, and later on, I became Statewide President of OMA in August 2015 for a two-year term.
Why would a mortgage professional in your state want to join OMA?
OMA is the best association for someone who wants to gain insight from other professionals. We have member-only events that allow you to network with other like-minded individuals at the highest level. You can talk with top-producing loan originators in our market, and their insight can help you gain knowledge. OMA is also providing NMLS continuing education classes to professionals in the mortgage industry.
How many members are currently in the OMA?
We now have about 80 members. In the past, we have had up to 140-plus members.
Is OMA actively involved in the legislative and regulatory environment?
We defer to NAMB and follow their lead. NAMB talks to the state of Oregon and, when needed, we jump right in. We do not have our own lobbyist, nor do we pay for a Political Action Committee in Oregon.
What do you see as the association’s most significant achievement?
Within each of our markets, we contribute to local charities. If we do an event–say, a mixer in Bend, Ore.—any money above our expenses goes to a charitable group in that market. These non-profit organizations look up to OMA because we give back to the community.
What is your relationship like with other industry trade groups?
We host events with the Oregon Realtors Association. We’ve put on an annual golf tournament in Eugene with them for a number of years. That is a huge event that turns out more than 150 people every year. We also do an annual Toys for Toys with the Eugene Association of Realtors in December, coordinated in conjunction with the U.S. Marines Corps.
Do you see young people in your state seeking careers as mortgage professionals?
We do. We have two OMA state Board Members who were recently featured in National Mortgage Professional Magazine’s 40 Under 40. We also have a number of professionals in our organization who are in their mid-20s and mid-30s.
Describe the current state of the housing market in Oregon?
It is better than most others. There is a problem: Because of all of the people moving to Oregon, we are seeing inventory drop and prices going through the roof. We see multiple offers from buyers on a property that was only listed for one day. And we have seen prices on houses going up, up, up.
The Great Northwest Mortgage Expo 2017 will be held Tuesday, June 13, 2017 at the Embassy Suites Washington Square, located at 9000 SW Washington Square Road in Tigard, Ore.
Don’t miss out on being part of the Northwest’s largest mortgage event, bringing together hundreds of mortgage professionals from throughout the region for an event full of education, networking and fun.
Mick Stapleton is finance officer with Norris, Beggs & Simpson Financial, a Portland, Ore.-based provider of commercial real estate capital, and president of the Oregon Mortgage Bankers Association (OMBA). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with Stapleton regarding his work with his state’s mortgage trade group.
How and why did you get involved with the OMBA? Can you share the track within your association that led to the leadership role?
I was originally involved with the association through attending commercial events throughout the year. Several years ago, a past president of the association asked if I wanted to get involved with the board. I originally served on the Commercial Committee, then as vice president in 2015, and president in 2016. I will be president through the end of the year.
Why do you feel members of the mortgage profession in your state join your association?
OMBA encompasses mortgage companies, individuals and organizations that are active in the mortgage industry in Oregon and southwest Washington. OMBA is an important organization for those involved in originating, funding and servicing loans, as well as the service providers to the mortgage industry because of the association’s dedication to ensuring a healthy environment for mortgage banking in Oregon and southwest Washington. In addition to this, we organize educational events, power breakfasts, happy hour networking events, an annual golf tournament in August, and our annual dinner in December.
What role does your association play in the state legislative and regulatory environment?
We actively work with legislators that have mortgage-related legislation under consideration. The OMBA Legislative Committee works directly with Matt Markee of Markee & Associates, who is the OMBA lobbyist in Salem, Ore., who meets with legislators to help them understand potential concerns that the association may have regarding bills. We also have a Political Action Committee called the Mortgage Industry for Responsible Government (MIRG) that was formed to support worthy candidates for public office who support the mortgage industry.
What do you see as your most significant accomplishments with the association?
The association is run by volunteers—as it has been for more than 60 years—so all accomplishments should be attributed to everyone involved in making the OMBA the strong organization that it is today.
What is the OMBA’s relationship with the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA)? In your work as OMBA president, have you been to Washington, D.C., to meet with the MBA leadership?
We have an association with the MBA, but operate independently, although we share the dedication in having a strong lending environment—we believe there is power in numbers. I have not been to Washington, D.C., although there have been committees within the MBA that have included members from our organization.
In your opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
I think the industry should get involved with students at colleges and universities through mentorship and internship programs. I don’t think that most students are aware of the various opportunities that are available in this industry. This is a profession where you are able to collaborate, build interpersonal relationships, help clients work towards achieving their long-term financial goals and have the potential to make a good living.
How would you define your state's residential and commercial real estate markets?
It is doing very well in both markets. On the residential side, Oregon has been the number one moving destination, according to a survey from United Van Movers, and in June, Portland saw a 12.6 percent year-over-year home price gain, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index. When I talk to people working in the single-family mortgage market, one reason they are not closing loans faster is because of the long turn time for appraisals. On the commercial side, we are seeing a lot of new developments coming online in the multifamily, office and industrial markets, as well as new development for retail.
Phil Hall is managing editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@NMPMediaCorp.com.
The Eugene Association of Realtors & OMA Annual Putt Putt-CASA Benefit will be held Tuesday, Aug. 16 at Roaring Rapids-Camp Putt/Great Bear Hall, 4006 Franklin Blvd, Eugene, Ore.
EAR has teamed up with OMA for the annual Putt Putt event to benefit CASA, featuring 18 holes of mini golf, pizza, raffle prizes galore, lots of fun, and you!
Michigan Mutual has named Mike McCarthy as an account executive in the state of Oregon, where he will manage accounts in Bend and Portland.
“Mike is a well-respected professional with a disciplined sales approach who has built strong partnerships across the board, exemplifying our dedication to providing an excellent customer experience,” said Scott Babin, executive vice president of Operations at Michigan Mutual. “We’re thrilled to have him join our experienced team of mortgage professionals out West, as we continue expanding our geographic footprint across the country.”
With several years in the mortgage and financial industries, McCarthy brings valuable account executive experience to Michigan Mutual. McCarthy previously worked with Freedom Mortgage, Amerisave Mortgage Corporation and First Cal, building their business in the Pacific Northwest.
“Becoming a member of the Michigan Mutual team is important to me not only because it means I’m joining one of the fastest growing and most respected mortgage lenders in the industry, but it is also a company dedicated to putting its core values into action,” McCarthy said. “What attracted me to Michigan Mutual was the company’s success, and its commitment to integrity and problem solving to ensure it meets the needs of every customer and employee alike.”
Guild Mortgage has selected its branch in Lake Oswego, Ore. as its "2015 National Branch of the Year." Branch Managers Patrick Welberg and Scott Starr led participation in a wide range of community activities and service levels that helped make Guild the number one lender in the state in 2015. Company executives reviewed 234 Guild branches and satellites using both quantitative and qualitative factors. The factors included customer satisfaction, volume, profitability, loan quality, audit scores, and the branch’s general spirit of teamwork, community involvement and ability to build and maintain strong relationships.
Mary Ann McGarry, president and CEO, praised the Lake Oswego team for setting a high standard for customer service and growth throughout the area. Mortgage industry veterans Welberg and Starr have been with Guild for more than five years and lead the branch. The two joined Guild in 2011 and have built a strong team of talent at the branch and six satellite offices throughout the state. They helped guide Guild to become the number one overall lender in Oregon in 2015.
“The Lake Oswego team is also packed with movers and shakers in their communities,” said Bob Engelke, Guild's Oregon state manager and regional vice president. “Over the past few years, the team has raised money for veterans foundations and the Children’s Cancer Association, supported efforts to combat human trafficking in Portland, and volunteered for Habitat for Humanity in various places around the state. This branch raises the bar at Guild.”
Oregon’s hottest housing market is facing a challenging seesaw scenario, as home prices rise dramatically while housing inventory faces record lows.
In a new Portland Tribune report, Regional Multiple Service Listing data puts December’s home sales at their strongest levels since 1992, despite having the lowest inventory since 1999 with only 1.2 months’ worth of properties available. Portland’s median sale price last month was $308,000, an 8.1 percent year-over-year hike from $285,500 in December 2014.
Complicating matters was the simultaneous increase in home prices in the areas outside of the city: December’s median home price in the Lake Oswego/West Linn market was $450,000, while $362,000 was the median home price in the neighboring Tigard/Tualatin/Sherwood/Wilsonville area.
“Appreciation and inventory continues to dwindle during the holiday season,” said Michelle Maida, managing broker of John L. Scott Real Estate’s Woodstock Portland Office. “The appreciation is hovering at about 7.5 percent for all close-in Portland except North Portland, which continues in double digits. “There is a little more on the market that is still in the affordable range of $300,000 to $450,000.”
Complicating matters is the shortage of affordable housing options in the Portland market. Several Portland-area lawmakers are backing bills in the state legislature that would require the inclusion of some affordable units in new housing projects, though it is not clear if these bills will gain traction when the legislature returns to session in February. Last month, David Schor, an assistant Oregon attorney general and candidate for mayor in Portland, made headlines when proposed a ballot initiative that would place an eight percent tax on Portland millionaires as a means of raising $200 million per year for affordable housing development.
“Right now, the city is adding a small number of affordable units each year,” Schor said. “It’s probably going to max out at around 600 units a year, and that’s not enough to keep up with demand.”
Mortgage professionals trying to forecast the best market for business may want to stay focused on the Northwest, as Oregon retained the title as “Top Moving Destination” for a third consecutive year in United Van Lines' 39th Annual National Movers Study.
During 2015, 69 percent of all moves to and from Oregon were inbound. The other locations in the top 10 for inbound migration were South Carolina, Vermont, Idaho, North Carolina, Florida, Nevada, the District of Columbia, Texas and Washington.
At the other end of the spectrum, the greatest amount of outbound moves came from New Jersey (67 percent) and New York (65 percent). Other states experiencing heavier than normal outbound migration were Illinois, Connecticut, Ohio, Kansas, Massachusetts, West Virginia, Mississippi and Maryland.
"This year's data reflects longer-term trends of people moving to the Pacific West, where cities such as Portland and Seattle are seeing the combination of a boom in the technology and creative marketing industry, as well as a growing 'want' for outdoor activity and green space," said Michael Stoll, economist, professor and chairman of the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. "The aging Boomer population is driving relocation from the Northeast and Midwest to the West and South, as more and more people retire to warmer regions."