Reverse Mortgage Volume Dips Slightly in August, Though Remains High

Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) endorsements fell by 5.9% to 4,007 loans for the month of August 2020, a slight dip on the August numbers but still a high figure overall in emphasizing that the reverse mortgage business remains on strong footing during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. This is according to the August HECM Lenders report compiled by Reverse Market Insight (RMI).

While a simple majority of the top 10 lenders recorded dips in their origination volume, four of the ten recorded gains in August when compared with their origination totals for July. Mahwah, N.J.-based Longbridge Financial led the way for growth among the top 10, posting its second consecutive monthly volume record by seeing a 38.2% increase to 275 loans. In the month of August, the company ranks 4th in originations but ranks 8th over the past year.

Open Mortgage followed with a 28.1% rise in volume to 178 loans in August, rounded out by Mutual of Omaha Mortgage’s 15.5% rise to 246 loans. HighTechLending also gained an additional three loans in August, rising to 98 for the month.

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While still technically the 7th largest reverse mortgage lender by volume over the past 12 months, the now-shuttered One Reverse Mortgage recorded zero endorsements in both July and August, and recorded only one endorsement in June.

In terms of regional growth, the Midwest led the way by rising 13.6% to 242 loans in August. It was followed by New England recording a 10.1% jump to 120 loans, followed by New York/New Jersey which grew 4.8% and the Great Plains which rose by 1.5%.

Read the August HECM Lenders report at RMI.

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  • Total HECM endorsements for August 2020 was 4,007 the fourth lowest such total for any month since July 2005. This total is also the lowest such total for any August since August 2004.

    With only one month left in this fiscal year, total HECM endorsements already exceed the total for last year by 21.3%. As expected the current total for 11 months is 37,922. It now appears that fiscal 2020 will see about 41,400 total HECM endorsements.

    The total HECM endorsements for fisal 2020 should be over 10,100 than for fiscal 2019 for a percentage increase of 32.3%, which would be the highest such percentage increase in 13 years (i.e., since fiscal 2007). It is also the highest increase in endorsements since fiscal 2007. The HECM endorsement increase was the fourth largest in the history of the industry but the percentage increase was only the 11th highest of all time. (The total endorsement increase in fiscal 2007 was 31,207 for a 40.9% increase which was the ninth largest percentage increase of all time but the second largest increase in HECM endorsements of all time).

    One of the most interesting stats is that the modified and annualized conversion rate for August 2020 was 69.4% which was the 7th highest such rate in the last 109 months. No doubt, the rate reflects the high volume of HECM refis in this fiscal year.

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