The reverse mortgage industry experienced a steep decline in Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) endorsements in September. But while only a couple lenders were able to report gains during the month, volume saw the biggest dive in the wholesale channel, according to industry data released last week.
As a whole, total HECM endorsement growth fell 18.8% to 4,669 units in September compared to the previous month, says the most recent data from Reverse Market Insight. The decline was driven by an 11.6% decrease in retail endorsements, but even more so by a 26.2% drop in wholesale production. The September drop was significant, considering the previous month where wholesale HECM endorsement growth was actually up 21% in August from July.
In the 12 months trailing September, HECM wholesale endorsements tally 25,384, whereas retail endorsements were 32,600 for an industry overall total of 57,984 units.
Urban Financial of America (doing business as Finance of America Reverse LLC starting December 1, 2015) commanded the top spot among wholesale lenders with 5,839 units in the 12 months trailing September, reflecting an 18.2% growth compared to the previous 12-month period. Over the past 12 months, the company added 901units on the wholesale side—the third highest in terms of unit growth over this period.
Though it holds the sixth spot overall among the top-10 lenders, Reverse Mortgage Funding added the most wholesale units from October 2013 through September 2014, adding 1,750 units. RMF’s total wholesale count of 2,466 in the 12 months trailing September represents approximately 70% of its unit mix and is 244% higher than its year-ago volume.
Next in line in terms of unit growth, Live Well Financial added 1,156 wholesale units to make its total for the channel 1,946 through September, signaling a 146.3% increase from its year-ago level. Overall, the company posted 2,771 HECM endorsements in the 12 trailing months from September.
Also sporting a huge increase on the wholesale side of business was Home Point Financial, which added 496 units over the past year when the company was doing business under the Maverick Funding Corp. name. The increase contributed to the 742 wholesale units Home Point reported through September, a level that is 201.6% higher from its year-ago wholesale volume of 246.
American Advisors Group rounded-out the top-5 reverse lenders for wholesale growth. In the 12 months trailing September, AAG reported 3,724 wholesale units, which was 25.6% higher than year-ago volume as a result of the 758 wholesale units the company added since then.
View the RMI report to see where other lenders stacked up for both wholesale and retail performance.
Written by Jason Oliva