Reverse Mortgage Volume Sees Slow Start to 2017

Reverse mortgage volume saw a slight decline in volume for January, falling 1.7% from December to 4,578 loans to start the calendar year, according to a data report from Reverse Market Insight released this week. The downturn followed an uptick seen at the end of 2016, but an overall year-over-year endorsement shortfall of 13.5% over the course of last year.

Regionally, six out of the top 10 markets saw volume rise in January, but the top two regions’ volume—in the Pacific region and Southeast region fell “considerably,” making it difficult to show a national growth picture, RMI noted in data summary. The Great Plains region saw volume rise 12.5%, while the Mid-Atlantic and New York/New Jersey territories each posted gains of more than 9%.

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Source: Reverse Market Insight

Several individual lenders also experienced growth in January, including Live Well, Liberty Home Equity Solutions and Synergy One/Retirement Funding Solutions (RFS). With a 5.3% uptick to 237 loans in January, RFS has held its spot as the fifth largest lender tracked by RMI’s FHA-approved lenders report for the third straight month.

View the full report from RMI.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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  • At a time when endorsements should be going up by about 10% based on the irregular M secular stagnation we have been experiencing in the last four fiscal years. Instead, based on 1) the first four months of endorsements for fiscal 2017, 2) case number assignments for October and November 2016 and 3) the modified annualized conversion rate as of January 31, 2017, endorsements for the first six months of fiscal year 2017 project out to be the worst total for the first six months of any fiscal year in over a decade.

    For a fiscal year when we are looking for an upswing in the endorsement leg, we could see a fiscal year endorsement total worse than last fiscal year. We have had almost a decade of small talk about growth with no performance. It is past time that the industry take up talks with HUD about the draconian nature of the form of financial assessment they have saddled the industry with.

    Will recovery start before the end of this decade? I am not pessimistic but I am certainly skeptical. Right now we see no strength in any phase of endorsement production. The endorsement production situation is very similar to the actual drought in California. Perhaps endorsement rain clouds are on their way but as of yet, there is no sign of where they may be.

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