Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) endorsements dropped by 13.4% to 2,461 loans for the month of December 2019, another decrease along similar lines to the one observed in November with the six of the top 10 lenders recording endorsement decreases. This is according to the December HECM Lenders report compiled by Reverse Market Insight (RMI).
Similarly to what was recorded for November, every major region in the country recorded drops in endorsement activity in December, though in most cases the drops were generally shallow. For instance, the industry-leading Pacific/Hawaii region recorded a drop of only 10 loans to a total of 839 in December, while most other regions recorded drops between 9 and 50 loans. The one exception to this is the Southeast/Caribbean region, which dropped from 550 loans in November to 402 loans in December, a sharp drop of 148 loans.
Of the top 10 lenders, four recorded endorsement increases. Reverse Mortgage Funding (RMF) rose 61.2% to settle at 303 loans in December, also marking their highest monthly total for 2019. HighTechLending saw an increase of 44.9% to 71 loans, while Open Mortgage rose 12.8% to 88 loans. Synergy One Lending recorded a more modest increase in December, rising 3.5% to 204 loans for the month.
Overall, HECM endorsements for calendar year 2019 have settled at 32,482 loans, a drop of 22.2% from the calendar year 2018 figure of 41,736 loans. Obfuscating the impact of this drop could be an industry-wide shift that is taking place among some of the major lenders that sees them moving more and more into proprietary reverse mortgage loans.
However, none of the lenders offering proprietary loans have opted to share any data on origination figures for those products with the wider reverse mortgage industry as yet.
Read the HECM Lenders report at RMI.