HousingWire has released the HW Fast50 — a list of the 50-fastest growing companies in the housing economy — and the growth some companies have orchestrated in the midst of the stagnant housing recovery is nothing short of stunning.
Topping this year's list is American Homes 4 Rent, a publicly traded single-family rental (SFR) specialist that saw revenue grow nearly 3,000% during 2013.
Yes, that's three zeros in that percentage.
And they were joined by three other companies in the single-family rental market that made the top five: HavenBrook Partners with 1,402.3% revenue growth (the fastest growing privately held company on our list), Silver Bay Realty Trust Corp. with 1,271.5% revenue growth and American Residential Properties, Inc. with 1,248% growth.
"It's perhaps one of the most interesting times in recent history to be operating a business focused in some sector of residential housing and finance, with both incredible headwinds but also incredible opportunity for those willing to take risks," HousingWire CEO Paul Jackson noted.
That incredible opportunity wasn't just seen in single-family rental firms — the No. 2 spot on our list goes to NMI Holdings Inc., with incredible revenue growth of 1,857.7%.
National MI is a relatively new player in mortgage insurance, completing a successful IPO just last November.
"As a newer company with a solid capital position, National MI does not face the losses from the housing downturn that some competitors are dealing with," said President and CEO Bradley Shuster. "Because we're not distracted by rescissions and claims, we can concentrate on running the company with the goal of maximizing returns."
The only other mortgage insurer to make the list was Essent Guaranty, which ranked No. 9 with 169.7% growth.
Investment companies account for four spots on the list, all in the top 15: No. 6 is Home Loan Servicing Solutions, with 380.9% growth; No.7 is PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust, with 263.5% growth; No. 11 is New York Mortgage Trust Inc. with 118.8% growth; and No. 14 is Annaly Capital Management with 71.8% growth.
Despite the shrinking mortgage volume the industry has seen in the last several years, 13 homebuilders made the list and nine mortgage banking firms are also ranked.
"It's great to be the first trade publication to put together an awards program like this, not only because of the objectivity of the ranking process, but also because it demonstrates that there is plenty of growth taking place in U.S. housing finance and real estate," said Jacob Gaffney, executive editor at HousingWire.
More than 400 companies were considered for this year's program, spanning both private and public businesses representing all sectors of U.S. residential mortgage lending, servicing, investments and real estate operations. Roughly one-third of the companies recognized on the 2014 HW Fast50 are privately held.