While the reverse mortgage industry waits to feel the true effect of the Financial Assessment on endorsements, August pushed volume levels to new highs not seen in two years. And some areas saw bigger gains than others.
As an industry, Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) endorsements grew 14.3% to 5,750 loans in August compared to the previous month, according to the most recent data from Reverse Market Insight (RMI). Several key regions helped fuel this growth, most notably the Pacific/Hawaii powerhouse and the Northwest/Alaska territories.
The Pacific/Hawaii has long been a powerhouse for HECM production. With 9,862 loans year-to-date in 2015 thus far—2,090 of which came in August alone—the region tops all others in HECM endorsement levels. The next region that even comes close is the Southeast/Caribbean with 7,930 loans recorded in 2015 through August.
The largest producer in terms of volume, August was a good month for the Pacific/Hawaii as each of the 11 cities that comprise the region posted monthly endorsement gains ranging from 25.5% growth at the low end for Las Vegas, which saw endorsements rise from 51 to 64 loans, to San Diego’s 144% increase to 188 loans, up from 77 the prior month.
Sacramento, Fresno and San Francisco also contributed to the growth story, each seeing their volume rise 106.4%, 105.1% and 102.3% during the month, respectively.
Furthermore, year-to-date, nearly all Pacific/Hawaii cities tracked by RMI are up, except for Honolulu, which was only down 0.7% at 138 loans, compared to 139 loans at this time last year.
August’s reverse mortgage growth trend also moved upwards along the coast to the Northwest/Alaska region, where endorsement volume is up 19.4% year-to-date in 2015 through August at 1,776 loans, compared to 1,487 last year.
With only five cities that comprise the region, the biggest growth story in August came from Boise, Ida., whose 55 loans represent a 155% increase over the 20 loans recorded in July.
Seattle, however, still dominated the region with 191 loans in August, up 109.9% from June’s 91 total.
Written by Jason Oliva