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Some Lenders Buck Reverse Mortgage Downturn

Following recent data reports that indicate reverse mortgage volume has fallen roughly 15% year over year based on year-to-date loan counts, reverse mortgage volume for September is in alignment with that trend. But some lenders are defying the downturn and are driving sales accordingly.

Home Equity Conversion Mortgage volume declined 14.7% during the month, according to Reverse Market Insight, which the data provider says makes the recent volume increase in August “look more like an outlier for now than a new growth trend.”

Across all of the top 10 geographic regions volume fell, with the Rocky Mountain region experiencing the largest decline at a loss of more than 42%. Across a short-term time frame, however, one region that shows some promise is the southeast/Caribbean region.

“The one that seems promising is the strength in SE/Caribbean the past 2 months,” says RMI Founder and Co-President John Lunde. “If it continues, that could be a great sign for the industry, but [Hurricane Matthew] could wreck any momentum there.”

The lender landscape produced a slightly sunnier picture, with several lenders bucking the downward trend. Mahwah, New Jersey-based Nationwide Equities reported its highest monthly volume across the last 12 months, counting 145 loans or a rise of 46% month over month. Both Liberty Home Equity Solutions and Live Well Financial also saw monthly increases around 37% and 36%, respectively.

American Advisors Group, which has long held the position of top reverse mortgage producer, also continues to see an increase in loan count with a 3.8% increase in September, to 882 endorsements during the month.

View the monthly RMI report.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker