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Home Equity Conversion Mortgages—On the Rise

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Reverse Mortgage Daily reports that Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) endorsements rose 12.7% in April, reaching 2,899 loans, according to Reverse Market Insight (RMI).

The report added that retail endorsements grew at 6.5%, and wholesale growth increased by 21.2%.

“Strong Wholesale growth outpace[d] slower Retail results,” said RMI President John Lunde. “But both [channels are] contributing to a solid month of volume.”

Lunde added that this trend has been ongoing, but may lead to decreases in the near future.

“Wholesale has performed better than Retail volume the past four months on this report now, and is at 45% of the market in April,” Lunde said. “That market share is the highest it’s been in a year but seems more likely to recede a bit than continue increasing in the next few months given the prior 11 months were in a range of 36.8-41.8%, making this more of an anomaly so far.”

Seven of the top 10 lenders saw gains in April, as they outpaced the overall industry. Liberty increased 66.4% to its highest level since March 2018, Synergy One grew 19.7%, and One Reverse saw a 16% increase.

Brian Montgomery, Federal Housing Administration Commissioner and Acting Deputy Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), said last month that the HECM program has improved its standing with the home Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund after recent corrective actions.

Montgomery spoke in May at the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association Eastern Regional Meeting in New York.

“The principal limit factor and mortgage insurance premium changes in 2017, combined with second appraisal, allow us to better manage program risk with revenue,” Montgomery said. “These changes will help assure the viability of the HECM program going forward. Most recent financial estimates are encouraging, showing that the effect on the MMI fund is improving.”

“I would say I’m cautiously optimistic about the financial viability of the program going forward,” Montgomery said.

About Author: Mike Albanese

Mike Albanese is a reporter for DS News and MReport. He is a University of Alabama graduate with a degree in journalism and a minor in communications. He has worked for publications—both print and online—covering numerous beats. A Connecticut native, Albanese currently resides in Lewisville.
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