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Movement Mortgage says it’s more than doubling its Indian Land workforce

Visiting our Top Workplaces: Movement Mortgage

The Charlotte Observer recently visited our 2016 Top Workplaces to present awards. Movement Mortgage ranked No. 2 among the Charlotte region's large companies. Here, Chris Allen, Chief Talent Officer, talks about the culture at Movement Mortgage.
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The Charlotte Observer recently visited our 2016 Top Workplaces to present awards. Movement Mortgage ranked No. 2 among the Charlotte region's large companies. Here, Chris Allen, Chief Talent Officer, talks about the culture at Movement Mortgage.

Movement Mortgage, the Lancaster County-based lender, said Tuesday that it’s adding hundreds of workers at its headquarters over the next five years in its latest major growth spurt.

The company, which is led by former Carolina Panthers player Casey Crawford, is investing $18 million into its Indian Land facilities and building a new, 91,000 square-foot building at the Bailes Ridge Corporate Park on Highway 160, according to a news release from the S.C. Department of Commerce.

Movement plans to hire 700 new workers, more than doubling the number of workers it employs in Indian Land, where 650 currently work. The jobs will pay an average salary of $49,000.

Crawford said a recent uptick in interest rates that have hurt mortgage refinancing and prompted layoffs at some larger lenders such as Wells Fargo isn’t hurting Movement. That’s because Movement is mainly focused on originating new loans rather than refinancing existing loans.

“Folks are continuing to put houses under contract,” said Crawford, who added the company could hire some people who have lost their jobs at bigger lenders. “We’re looking to pick up some of that great talent in the marketplace.”

Nationwide, Movement Mortgage moved up 10 spots in 2016 to No. 31 in total mortgage loans originated, with about $9 billion in loans through the first 9 months of the year, said Guy Cecala, publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance. Movement’s year-over-year increase in originations was 57.6 percent, well above the overall mortgage originations increase of 8.9 percent, he said.

About three-fourths of the company’s business is for home purchases, with the remaining for refinancings. That “should position them well for 2017’s mortgage lending environment,” Cecala said.

Crawford said the company closed 55,000 loans for a total of $12 billion in 2016, and is projecting its volume will increase to $16 billion for 2017.

Although fast-growing, Movement still accounts for less than 1 percent of the mortgage market, according to Inside Mortgage Finance. Wells Fargo is the biggest home lender with $173.5 billion in loans, or about 12 percent of the market.

The state of South Carolina approved job credit incentives to help lure Movement’s expansion. The total amount of those credits was not immediately available. A Commerce Department spokesperson said she couldn’t provide the total amount the credits could be worth.

“This $18 million investment, and the 700 jobs it means for Lancaster, shows that Movement Mortgage is committed to our state and its people, and we couldn’t be more excited to see this fantastic company continue to grow and thrive here for a very long time,” said South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who was confirmed Tuesday as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Movement, founded in 2008 with four employees, broke ground in March 2015 on its Indian Land headquarters, which was built with the aid of $53 million in incentives from South Carolina. The company relocated from its former headquarters in Virginia Beach, Va., and also consolidated jobs that had previously been in nearby Ballantyne.

South Carolina has seen a boom in economic development projects close to the North Carolina border in recent years, including Fort Mill offices for brokerage LPL Financial and health care consulting company Lash Group.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo

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