While reverse mortgage volume remained fairly flat during the last month of 2010, overall units for the year painted very different picture.
The number of HECM endorsements fell slightly to 6,554 units during December, down 0.1% according to data from Reverse Market Insight. However, reverse mortgage volume fell 35% during 2010, with 72,748 units being endorsed in 2010.
Lower home values have played a role in the drop in endorsements, but the number of lenders originating reverse mortgages fell 28.9% during the year said RMI. In December, the number of active lenders fell to 560, down 47% from last year and the lowest since September 2006. While the numbers might seem depressing, the lenders who remain —or its fair to say survived — are starting to reap the benefits.
The number of units per lender rose to 11.7 in December, the highest since July 2007 according to RMI. As far as industry sentiment goes, John Lunde, President of RMI said it’s improving. “As a simple indicator of the health of our industry, we would suggest that over 10 loans per month is a good reflection of the general sentiment,” he said.
When it comes to the leading reverse mortgage lenders, not much changed except for one new company breaking into the top 5. During December, Wells Fargo remained the top lender with 1,820 units, followed by Bank of America with 864 units and MetLife rounding out the top 3 with 638 units.
Quicken’s One Reverse Mortgage was the fourth largest lender with 386 HECM units and 1st AAA Reverse Mortgage out of Austin, TX broke into the top 5 for the first time with 129 units in December.
For a full report, see here.