Reverse Mortgage Applications Up 5% in July

Applications for Federal Housing Administration-insured reverse mortgages rose 4.9% in July to 7,374 applications, up from 7,032 applications in June. While the change represents an uptick from the previous month, application remain down 3.5% year-over-year, according to the latest FHA housing outlook report. 

Of Home Equity Conversion Mortgages endorsed by FHA in July, all products saw a decline. HECM Saver endorsements declined more than 40% to 247 loans, while the HECM for Purchase count fell from 173 to 137 loans. 

Chart: Reverse Mortgage Application Trends


Reverse Mortgage Application Trends

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To date, HECM applications for fiscal year 2012 lag the 2011 fiscal year by close to 15% following the exit of MetLife from the reverse mortgage business in June, as well as sustained home price declines across the United States. 

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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  • While there has been a dramatic decline in FHA case numbers assigned (applications), there has also been a significant decline in their conversion rate into endorsements as well.  This is a double whammy to endorsements.

    The trend is down and continuing to go down.  The loss of the latest lenders will not improve that trend.  While the number of endorsements and percentage loss may not be as drastic as with this fiscal year, fiscal year 2013 does not look like a year we will see the proverbial 100,000 endorsements.

    Based on preliminary information, the expectation is we will see somewhere less than 50,000 endorsements for the fiscal year 2013.  The total for 2012 should be about 55,600 endorsements.  While a few talk in terms of 60,000 endorsements and most talk in terms of 70,000 endorsements, they are all living in the past.

    While our future is bright, the immediate picture is not nearly so.

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