Industry NewsMortgage

Mortgage co. goes public amid market downturn

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The company that began two decades ago as the mortgage arm of HomeBanc Federal Savings is transitioning into its new status as a publicly traded real estate investment trust. Atlanta-based HomeBanc Corp. went public July 14, during the same time many mortgage lenders are warning of lay-offs and declining revenues because of the drop off in refinancings. In announcing the completion of its initial public offering of 34.5 million shares of its common stock, the company said it was the largest REIT IPO ever. Yet the circumstances other lenders find themselves in apparently haven't deterred the company, which closed $5.92 billion in mortgage loans last year. "We believe that going public at this point as a real estate investment trust should present timely opportunities to grow our company, should increase our access to capital and should provide opportunities to develop new mortgage products," said Kevin Race, HomeBanc's president and COO. "Additionally, as a REIT, HomeBanc will hold an...