Reverse Mortgage Endorsements Drop in April, Still Riding Higher Than ’16

Reverse mortgage endorsements fell 6.1% between March and April, according to the latest data from Reverse Market Insight, but the research firm still sees signs of optimism amid the downward-pointing red arrows.

FHA-approved Home Equity Conversion Mortgage lenders endorsed 5,036 loans last month, down from 5,364 in March — but still good enough for the second-highest total among any month in the last 12. That number dwarfs April 2016’s total of 4,243, perhaps pointing to a gradual uptick in volume numbers.

“It also adds a little credibility to March’s volume level, since any single month can be heavily influenced by one or two larger lenders catching up on endorsements,” RMI noted in its analysis of the results; March 2017 represented the second-best single month in more than three years.

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“In this case, even averaging March and April together produces a volume level well above the prior monthly pace, which can be cautiously interpreted as actual growth in the HECM space,” RMI continued.

Still, the bad news: Of the 10 regions that the Dana Point, Calif.-based RMI tracks, only two — the Mid-Atlantic and New England — saw month-to-month growth, though RMI pointed out that New England logged its highest volume in the last 12 months.

On to the good: Reverse Mortgage Funding has seen 78% higher year-to-date endorsement volumes in 2017 than last year, compliing 1,496 loans and claiming fourth place in RMI’s rankings. RMF’s rise comes as One Reverse Mortgage, Quicken’s HECM arm, saw an 18% YTD drop as it fell back to fifth place. Usual suspects American Advisors Group, Liberty Home Equity Solutions, and Finance of America Reverse claimed the top three spots, and all three showed endorsement-level gains from this time last year of 13%, 2%, and 25%, respectively.

RMI releases three regular lists of HECM volume stats; the “HECM Lenders” data from last week includes only FHA-approved lenders. The firm’s next set of all-inclusive “HECM Originators” stats, which lags a few months behind, is expected at the end of this month.

Written by Alex Spanko