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More seniors experience higher home equity levels

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Homeowners beyond the age of 62 have more equity in their homes than at any time since mid-2009, according to data from the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association.

The NRMLA and the RiskSpan Reverse Mortgage Market Index analyzed information to highlight trends in the values, home equity and mortgage debt of homeowners 62 years old and older.

"Thankfully, the recovering real estate market continues to grow seniors' home equity, creating a valuable resource for them. Tapping into that equity is one option to help fund living expenses, home maintenance costs, or health care needs in retirement," said Peter Bell, president of NRMLA.

The data reports that in the fourth quarter of 2012, the RMMI reached an index score that reached a three-year high of 152.59.

"In the second half of last year, the RMMI had its strongest two quarters of growth since early 2006," said Allen Jones, managing director of RiskSpan, the analytics firm which designed and manages the RMMI. 

"Senior home equity increased by $50 billion between the third and fourth quarters of 2012, driven largely by the increase in the aggregate value of seniors’ homes," said Jones.

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