Seniors’ Home Equity Keeps Rising, Hits $6.5 Trillion

American homeowners aged 62 and older controlled $6.5 trillion in home equity during the third quarter of 2017, according to the most recent estimate from the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association.

That’s a jump of 1.9%, or $121 billion, from last quarter, NRMLA and data analytics firm RiskSpan reported.

“Housing wealth continues to be a reliable source of economic security for retirement-aged adults,” NRMLA president and CEO Peter Bell said in a statement announcing the results. “This is as true for people who want to stay in their own homes as it is for those who are ready to sell their property in order to access the equity they have built up over time.”


The trade group and the Arlington, Va.-based RiskSpan release a quarterly report on senior home equity, expressed both in dollars and their proprietary Reverse Mortgage Market Index (RMMI). That metric indexes home equity — defined as cumulative home value minus debt — against a baseline figure set in March 2000, the first year the index was calculated.

In the third quarter, the RMMI sat at 233.8, the most recent in a string of all-time highs. Home values have been steadily increasing, according to quarterly reports from real estate research firm CoreLogic — through October, home prices were riding 7% higher than they were at the same point last year, with analysts blaming a lack of supply and still-hot demand.

The NRMLA/RiskSpan numbers have consistently been far above the Urban Institute’s estimate from earlier this year, which pegged senior home equity at $3.6 trillion when adjusting for lending limits and other variables; however, that figure also only considered homeowners aged 65 and older.

Written by Alex Spanko

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  • With all the gloomy news that has hit us, this news is terrific for all of us!

    2018 can be a good year for those that take a positive attitude and capitalize on news like this. We need to reach out to those professionals who are structuring the assets of seniors, such as financial planners and advisors. There are other areas of the professional sector we can reach out to and partner with to reach those seniors that can utilize the HECM!

    This article came at a good time, 2018 will be an important year for many seniors when it comes time for them to be planning their retirement strategies!

    Merry Christmas all,

    John A. Smaldone

      • Same to you my friend,

        I hope you are doing well. E-mail me, tell me what you are doing and where you are. I would like to talk to you, my e-mail address and phone number is the same.

        Thanks amigo,

        John S.

    • John,

      Let’s stop dancing to the latest tune of the pied piper and instead realize that in the last four years, seniors’ home equities have almost doubled — see


      The $3.45 trillion of 1/30/2014 was a five year high. This is a NINE year high. Yet in the last NINE years, we saw one year of stagnation in endorsements followed by 3 horrific years of losses and now five straight years of secular stagnation.

      So if after nine years we have gone nowhere, what makes year 10 THE year of turnaround? Neither rampant growth in senior population nor huge increases in home equity on senior homes, have done anything to improve the general health of the industry. In fact one must question how bad would things have gotten if we did not these years of exceptional growth in both senior population AND home equity?

      I know the Holidays have a tendency to get people so giddy that most of us lose our senses and make promises we know we will not keep such as “2018 will be the year I turn it around” and other worthless promises,

      Can make instead we make commitments to reaching achievable goals such as over the next five years, originators will strive to achieve 10% increases in production over the next 5 years but no matter what, reach a 50% increase by 2023? It is old to hear another worthless optimistic claim with no accountability.

      Enjoy the Holidays.

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