Retail, Wholesale Gap in Reverse Mortgage Endorsements Continues, with a Flip

Home Equity Conversion Mortgage endorsement volume in February was down 3.5% from the previous month, but the slight decline continues to mask a significant disparity between retail and wholesale growth.

Retail endorsements fell 10.3% during that period, according to new data from Reverse Market Insight, Inc released yesterday., while wholesale originators saw a modest 5.4% gain.

This gap represents a flip from RMI’s previous “HECM Originators” report, which includes both Federal Housing Administration-approved firms and their non-FHA counterparts: Back in January, as RMD reported, retail endorsement inched up slightly as compared to December, while wholesale endorsement dropped 6.6%.

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“A single month doesn’t make a trend, and lenders catching up can distort these numbers in any given month sometimes, but it’s certainly worth watching in the next few months to see if there’s something significant going on in the channel activity,” RMI commented in its post.

The new information also shows a gloomier picture than RMI’s most recent “HECM Lenders” report, which only includes FHA-approved companies; that data showed a 21.2% increase in endorsement growth from February to March 2017. RMI notes that its complete “Originators” report generally lags a month behind the FHA-only statistics.

The top-five lenders list includes the usual suspects of American Advisors Group, Finance of America Reverse, Reverse Mortgage Funding, Liberty Home Equity, and One Reverse Mortgage. But RMI pointed out some interesting trends bubbling under the top five, including a 73.4% jump for HighTechLending — which stands to unseat the no-longer-originating Reverse Mortgage Solutions/Security One Lending for eighth place in loans originated during the trailing 12 months.

AAG also turned in a 14.3% increase, according to RMI.

Written by Alex Spanko

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