Homeowners age 62 and older saw their collective housing wealth increase in Q2 2019 by 0.5% compared to the previous quarter. This constitutes an increase of approximately $32 billion to a record of $7.17 trillion, according to data provided by the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA) in conjunction with data analytics firm RiskSpan.
The increase was reported Tuesday in the quarterly release of the NRMLA/RiskSpan Reverse Mortgage Market Index (RMMI).
The RMMI rose in Q2 2019 to 258.44, which marks another consecutive all-time high since the index’s original publication in 2000. That increase was described as being primarily driven by an estimated 0.5% (or $47 billion) increase in the values of homes owned by seniors.
This was offset, however, by a 0.9% (or $14.6 billion) increase of senior-held mortgage debt.
“Many retired and soon-to be-retired Americans lack the financial assets for a comfortable retirement, yet the most commonly held and valuable asset for most of them is their home,” said NRMLA EVP Steve Irwin in a press release announcing the record. “Responsible use of home equity may be the best option that ensures they have food, medicine and other basics for a comfortable retirement.”
Senior housing wealth topped $7 trillion for the first time ever according to a previous RMMI data release in March 2019, before hitting a new threshold of $7.14 trillion the following June. The RMMI also previously recorded a year-over-year increase of 6.5 percent in 2018, lower than the 8.4 percent increase recorded in 2017 and the 8.2 percent increase in 2016.