Reverse Mortgage Endorsements Decline Again, But Show Growth at Top

Monthly reverse mortgage endorsements continued to decline after a promising early spring, though most top-10 lenders had a reason to celebrate their performance in May.

Home Equity Conversion Mortgage lenders turned in 4,851 total endorsements for the month, according to the most recent breakdown from Reverse Market Insight. That’s a dip of 3.6% from April’s 5,034 and an even farther fall from March’s recent high of 5,355. Wholesale endorsements accounted for the majority of the decline, sliding by 6.7% while retail numbers dipped only 0.6%.

In terms of month-to-month growth, seven out of the top 10 lenders saw gains, with industry leader American Advisors Group posting a 7.3% jump and Live Well Financial — currently sitting in ninth place based on loans endorsed over the last 12 months — seeing 38.4% growth. Nationwide Equities turned in a 19.8% rise, and Synergy One increased endorsements by 8.2%, RMI noted in its analysis.

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May’s numbers mark the most recent decline after a blockbuster March that saw 21.2% growth from the previous month, though RMI has noted in earlier numbers releases that endorsements are still riding higher than this point last year. For reference, HECM originators had just 3,639 endorsements in May 2016, more than a thousand fewer than this May’s total.

The most recent data set includes both Federal Housing Administration-approved lenders and their non-FHA counterparts. So far in 2017, this group of HECM originators has yet to generate fewer than 4,000 endorsements in a month; for comparison, lenders only broke the 4,000 barrier five times in 2016, with no month cracking the 5,000-loan mark.

Dive into RMI’s full set of statistics here.

Written by Alex Spanko

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  • Even though the total endorsements for this fiscal year should be an up leg in the current pattern of secular stagnation, no one is expecting that the total will be within a small range of the amount the trend predicts. This may be an indication that the downward slope may only be getting worse.

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