Older Americans’ Home Equity Totals $3.7 Trillion, Hits 7-Year High

Americans 62 years old and older now have more equity in their homes than at any time since early 2008, according to the latest Reverse Mortgage Market Index (RMMI).

Collective home equity of Americans 62 and older has grown by more than 22% since the second quarter of 2012, to a total of $3.73 trillion, according to the data released by the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association and RiskSpan.

The figure surpasses the senior home equity $83.5 billion surge in the fourth quarter of 2013, as senior home equity continues to show marked progress as it edges closer to earlier highs. 

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The $125.2 billion increase in senior home equity in the second quarter was the largest quarterly increase in equity since the third quarter of 2005. Seventy-seven percent of equity in the households of American seniors is paid.

In the second quarter of this year the RMMI reached 178.91, its highest level since the fourth quarter of 2007. The index has risen for nine consecutive quarters, based on the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s second quarter 2014 all-transactions Indices.

Mortgage debt held by Americans 62 and older stands at $1.08 trillion, a figure which has held steady over the past three quarters. Senior mortgage debt peaked at $1.143 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2009. 

To date, more than 870,000 senior households have utilized an FHA-insured reverse mortgage, and more than 575,000 senior households are currently have a reverse mortgage.

Written by Cassandra Dowell

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  • And YET endorsement numbers continue to dive. The official fiscal year annual count of endorsements is just south of 52,000 for the worst fiscal year count in nine fiscal years. Worse as to revenues, the fall off as a percentage of what it was as an industry for last year is far, far worse than the percentage loss in endorsements over last year.

    Several of the larger lenders are putting on good faces while they are ruthlessly cutting staff. Those who want to return to the past will find that now impossible. Our little industry is not what it once was.

    Is the reverse world collapsing? Absolutely not but it is not going to turn around as to revenues next year since Standards were almost 35% of the total endorsements for this fiscal year, many of which closed during this fiscal year. Granted, the overwhelming majority (99%+) of Standards were adjustable rate, a higher percentage than normal of these adjustable rate Standards were near or at full draw immediately following initial funding.

    So does peak home equity estimates have any direct correlation to reverse mortgage originations — like our friends Drs. Sacks pointed out Conventional Wisdom indicates something much different than facts. It is like the nonsense that Boomer turning 62 would increase endorsement numbers. “Where’s the beef?”

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