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Reverse Mortgage Volume Continues Steady Decline, But Some Buck Trend

For the fourth month in a row, home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) endorsement volumes have declined, dropping to the lowest level since September 2014, according to the latest data compiled by Reverse Market Insight (RMI).  

In May, reverse mortgage volume fell -5% to 4,273 loans that month, a level not seen since last September when only 3,762 loans were endorsed. Still, May’s tally is higher than the four months ending September, when volume during that time period fell to its lowest point — 3,256 loans — in August. 

While industry volume has dropped noticeably from the recent peak in January, it’s not in danger of making new lows yet, RMI notes in its commentary

“That will depend entirely on Financial Assessment impact, which we won’t see on the endorsement volumes until August/September and beyond,” RMI President John K. Lunde tells RMD. “In the nearer term, we’re likely to see some recovery in endorsement volumes as loans with case numbers issued prior to FA taking effect fund and get endorsed.”

Regionally, the Southeast/Caribbean area — one of only three regions that was up last month — reclaimed the top spot in May from Pacific/Hawaii, though it remains in second place on a trailing twelve-month basis.

Over the past four months, this region has grown 3.7%, while the industry overall shrank -13.6%, RMI notes. In May, it had 1,007 endorsed loans, slightly ahead of Pacific/Hawaii’s 996 loans for the month. 

Several lenders also saw performance improvements, including United Northern Mortgage Bankers, which jumped into the top 10 for the first time, growing 23.3% from April to 74 loans in May.

One Reverse maintained its vice-like hold on the No. 2 ranking, rising 18% to 518 loans, RMI noted. And, last but not least, Live Well Financial grew 7.5% to 173 loans – its highest volume on RMI’s report in more than a year.

Access the latest Reverse Market Insight report here.

Written by Emily Study