National reverse mortgage volume may be trending lower in 2016 than in recent years, but now with three-quarters of the year already in the books, some markets continue showing signs of heating up while others strive to escape their year-over-year cold spells.
Year-to-date through September 2016, Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) endorsements are approximately 17% lower compared to the same nine month period in 2015, according to recent industry data tracked by Reverse Market Insight (RMI). Through September, 2016 totals 36,326 HECMs.
On a monthly basis, September saw a unanimous decline across the top-10 regions tracked by RMI, in turn producing 3,741 total units, a decrease of 14.7% from August.
But looking at the year-to-date through September, it was the New York/New Jersey region that is putting up the largest volume drop-off compared to its year-ago levels. Through September 2016, the region reports 2,565 loans, which is 35.7% lower than the comparable period last year.
Each of the five cities that call N.Y./N.J. home posted lower volumes than last year, with Albany, N.Y., seeing the largest drop in production with 249 loans YTD as of September, a drop of 44.7% compared to its year-ago volume.
The Mid-Atlantic was also among the regions sporting the steepest drops in HECM production, falling to 2,860 loans YTD through September and down 33.1% from 4,278 loans one year ago.
Philadelphia, the region’s largest market, fell the hardest as it dropped 37.7% to 753 loans. Philly, as well as the greater Mid-Atlantic region, continued to sink further from its volume production in recent years.
Whereas Philly’s 2016 volume fell 33.1%, during the first nine months of 2015, the city’s volume was 1,208 loans, which only represented a 10.8% decrease from its year-ago period in 2014. Meanwhile, the Mid-Atlantic’s YTD volume through September 2015 of 4,278 loans was only 1% lower than the 4,322 loans the region reported for the comparable period in 2014.
Some cities, however, continued to grow their volume on a year-over-year basis. Most notably, Denver saw a slight increase in its 2016 YTD production over 2015’s comparable period. Through September 2016, the Mile High City grew its volume 30.8% with 1,397 loans. Through September 2015, Denver’s volume was up 30.4% from 2014 with 1,068 HECMs.
The year-over-year increases seen in Denver, as well as in Fargo, N.D., which grew 15.2% over September 2015’s YTD volume, helped push volume in the Rocky Mountain region up 10.5% to 2,353 loans, up from 2,130 units reported YTD September 2015.
Northwest/Alaska was the only other region to report growth through the first three quarters of 2016 when compared to the first three quarters of 2015. Although the region grew by a much larger amount from 2015 over 2014 (23.6%), Northwest/Alaska was up 2.4% with 2,068 loans YTD through September 2016.
Seattle continued to lead the way within the region with 914 loans, a growth of 4.3% compared to its YTD volume last year; while Portland, Ore. climbed 10.8% higher this year with 729 loans throughout the first nine months of 2016.
See where other regions, states and cities stacked up through September 2016 here.
Written by Jason Oliva