Reverse mortgage numbers spiked in January 2018, clocking in a 32.5 percent month-over-month growth in endorsements over December 2017, according to the latest data from Reverse Market Insight, Inc. (RMI) That would be noteworthy in and of itself, but that January increase also marked the best month for the reverse mortgage industry since March 2011, with Federal Housing Administration-approved (FHA) reverse mortgage lenders logging 6,313 endorsements in January. Reverse Market Insight also notes that January saw 48 new lenders enter the reverse mortgage lending field.
For comparison’s sake, RMI reported 4,765 reverse mortgage endorsements in December 2017; 4,837 in June 2017; and 4,426 in February 2017.
Reverse Mortgage Daily points out that some of this bump can likely be attributed to changes made by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in October 2017, which “instituted lower principal limits and a new mortgage insurance premium structure.” RMI suggests the surge of applicants trying to beat that deadline has given the reverse mortgage numbers a bump that will diminish in the months to come.
RMI’s analysis predicts that a reverse mortgage dropoff is likely on the horizon. The RMI analysis states, “We’ll see next month if that’s the peak endorsement month for this latest product change, but we already know subsequent volume will be greatly reduced given the much lower application and case numbers issued figures after September.”
How much of a decline could be coming? RMI President John Lunde told Reverse Mortgage Daily in January that he believed endorsement volume for reverse mortgages could plummet by 25 percent to 30 percent.
According to RMI, FHA-approved lenders logged 56,912 endorsements during calendar year 2017, up significantly over 48,794 in 2016. The top reverse mortgage lenders, according to RMI, include American Advisors Group (13,033 endorsements between February 2017 and January 2018), Finance of America Reverse LLC (5,676 endorsements), Reverse Mortgage Funding LLC (4,783 endorsements), Liberty Home Equity Solutions Inc. (3,853 endorsements), and Synergy One Lending Inc. (3,471 endorsements).