Primarily echoing previously recorded numbers among government-approved lenders, Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) endorsements dropped slightly in January, with total endorsements falling 5.7 percent to a total of 1,649 loans, according to the latest data from Reverse Market Insight (RMI). However, some lenders managed to buck the downward trend by posting positive gains.
The HECM Originators report for January 2019 shows dips in both the retail and wholesale channels, with retail down 6 percent to settle at 1,011 loans. The Wholesale channel also recorded a loss, though its percentage figure is lower than its retail counterpart. Wholesale recorded a drop of 5.3 percent to finish at 674 loans.
The partial government shutdown that stretched through the entire month of January adds a great deal of general uncertainty to these numbers, said RMI President John Lunde.
“January is almost all noise in my opinion given what we know about February,” he told RMD in an email. “Now, how much of February was noise we won’t know until we get March numbers at the earliest.”
While Lunde notes that the month of January was generally “steady” in his post announcing the new Originators Report, a few lenders stand out in the data because of their performance levels. HighTechLending is continuing a surprising streak of growth as previously noted, while Liberty Home Equity Solutions grew its volume by 34.1 percent.
AAG added 13.3 percent to its volume, coming in at 631 loans. This on its own, Lunde notes, accounts for almost all of January’s Wholesale activity. Live Well Financial also showed gains, adding 12.3 percent for a total of 82 loans.
Although the overall percentage figure is nearly identical ito RMI’s previous January HECM Lenders report, Lunde previously detailed for RMD that the HECM Originators report is useful in seeing the splits in and health of the retail versus wholesale channels, which helps to illustrate how lenders are doing from a more individualized and channel-specific perspective.
Read the full HECM Originators report at RMI for specific breakdowns and regional performance data.