Some Reverse Mortgage Regions Buck Downward Trend, on Road to Recovery

Some reverse mortgage markets are starting to make a comeback in terms of loan amounts, according to a report Tuesday from Reverse Market Insight. In spite of a national trend downward, three markets—Atlanta, Pensacola and Orlando—have risen to the top three spots for max claim amount, RMI finds, after treading water in the rankings for many months. Pointing to Atlanta in particular, RMI notes the area’s high average loan amounts above $300,000 in the region in July compared with less than $200,000 from a year earlier.

“There is some volatility to these averages even in the biggest cities, but the trend is leading up here for over a year now,” RMI writes.

The other top two markets for loan amount show a strong growth trajectory with Orlando’s average rising from $119,000 on average monthly to more than $340,000 in 2012; as Pensacola has risen from $133,000 to $167,000 over the last year.

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The max claim growth seems to be aligning with signals of recovery, RMI writes, particularly as these areas saw substantial declines relative to other areas.

“Given that Florida and Georgia have been among the harder hit states for both home price declines and bank failures, these readings add one more point to the articles we’ve seen recently that these states are on the road to recovery.”

Overall, loan volume was down significantly in July, however, falling in line with some of the lowest volume months in recent history.

Year-over-year endorsement trend

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Source: Reverse Market Insight

View the report.

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  • While it is great to see some areas pick up, the big news is the continuing overall downward trend in endorsements.  While there is little good news when it comes to case number assignments, the more subtle and less than good news is the continuing drop in the annualized conversion rate of applications with FHA case number assigned becoming endorsements.

    With endorsement numbers still falling, is the proverbial glass more than half full or less than half empty?  Unfortunately facts have yet to match a turnaround outlook.

    At least the home building and real estate industry can point to a trend of real improvement in their overall national numbers no matter how short lived that might be. We have no such trends.

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