$4 Trillion of Senior Home Equity Powers Reverse Mortgage Index to Record-High

Seniors’ home equity has eclipsed $4.08 trillion in the second quarter of 2015, in turn lifting a reverse mortgage market index to an all-time high.

The National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA) / RiskSpan Reverse Mortgage Market Index (RMMI), which quarterly analyzes trends in the home equity, home values and mortgage debt of homeowners age 62 and older, hit its record-high of 195.29 in the second quarter of this year.

This growth effectively surpasses the prior record of 192.03 the RMMI set in the fourth quarter in 2006. On a quarter-over-quarter basis, the index rose 3% in the second quarter, driven by a $117.1 billion increase in senior home equity, according to the RMMI. (Click chart to maximize image)Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 3.21.01 PM

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The increase in senior home equity, relative to the first quarter, was driven by an estimated $122.8 billion growth in the aggregate value of senior hosing, which the NRMLA/RiskSpan RMMI noted was offset by a $5.7 billion increase in senior-held mortgage debt.

“The strong gains in housing wealth among America’s seniors are an encouraging indicator for the millions of boomers who weathered the recession on the cusp of their retirement years,” said NRMLA President and CEO Peter Bell in a written statement. “The home equity they’ve worked so hard to build up can serve as a valuable financial management tool for years to come.”

The second quarter was the 13th consecutive quarter in which the RMMI has risen.

Additionally, the current estimate of $4.08 trillion for the aggregate value of senior home equity represents a 38% recovery from the post-Recession trough in the second quarter of 2011, when senior equity levels fell to an estimated $3 trillion, according to the NRMLA/RiskSpan analysis.

Written by Jason Oliva

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