The total number of home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) loans jumped 15.3% in 2013 despite a double-digit drop in December, according to the latest Reverse Market Insight newsletter.
With a full year’s worth of HECM data in the books, endorsements fell 10% to 4,223 loans in December 2013 for a yearly total of 61,122.
“It’s perhaps fitting that the year in which we saw loan volume grow for the first time since 2008 but also the most significant product changes in the HECM program history ended with December just barely exceeding the lowest volume of the year (October),” says the RMI newsletter.
In December, five of the industry’s top 10 lenders marked increases from the previous month, while all but Generation Mortgage tallied year-to-date gains.
Security One Lending/Reverse Mortgage Solutions, with an industry-leading 676 loans in December, tallied an 81% year-to-date increase and a 16% market share. American Advisors Group’s 621 December loan volume was down 9% from the previous month, but marked a 100% year-to-date increase from 2012 with a 14.7% market share.
One Reverse Mortgage LLC, with 376 loans in December, Urban Financial Group, with 211 loans, and Liberty Home Equity Solutions Inc., with 175 loans, round out the top 5 lenders for December 2013.
Other lenders with notable growth in 2013 include Proficio, which grew 466% to notch the #6 spot and Open Mortgage, ranked thirteenth after growing 154%.
Considering the major reverse mortgage changes announced in 2013, RMI says the year can effectively be split into two eras: Before and after the April 1st product changes when the Department of Housing and Urban Development discontinued the HECM standard.
The September changes have not yet significantly affected endorsements, but are likely to start having a larger impact through February.
“Here’s hoping for a resumption of the uptrend in 2014, but right now application and funding volumes suggest another leg down for endorsements from 9/30 changes before any recovery will begin,” says RMI.
Access the RMI HECM Lenders Report for December 2013.
Written by Alyssa Gerace