In August, reverse mortgage endorsement volume grew 9.9%. Some HECM professionals looked at this data and said, “Finally! The market is showing signs of recovery!”
Not so fast.
In September, endorsement volume fell – by exactly 9.9%.
John Lunde, president of Reverse Market Insight, said the setback is not entirely surprising, as the road to recovery may be inconsistent.
“We should always expect bumpiness in recoveries, but particularly when we're looking at endorsements given there can be timing anomalies when lenders/FHA fall behind in endorsing funded loans or catch up,” Lunde said.
In RMI’s latest Top 100 HECM Lenders report, it was revealed that nine out of 10 regions across the U.S. saw their volume drop last month, with New York/New Jersey standing out as the sole gainer with a 6.6% uptick.
The industry also saw a jump in active participants.
RMI pinpoints competition growth at 8.9%, compared with August’s -4.3%, and shows that 14 more lenders endorsed loans in September than in August.
“It's a positive sign in that the industry needs more distribution, but negative for those in the industry in that it spreads the volume thinner for all involved,” Lunde said.
Only three of the top 10 lenders saw business pick up in September – Liberty Home Equity Solutions (62.9%), HighTechLending (7.8%) and Longbridge Financial (7.4%).
Last month, the top four lenders – American Advisors Group, Finance of America Reverse, Reverse Mortgage Funding and One Reverse Mortgage – saw their volume drop to the lowest totals of the year.
The top 10 lender list remained unchanged from August to September, and like previous months, nine out of 10 claimed California as their top market. Fairway Independent Mortgage (No. 9) is the standout with Colorado as its top state for business.
Here is a list of the top 10 HECM lenders and their market share thus far in 2018:
No. 1 American Advisors Group – 25.5%
No. 2 Finance of America Reverse – 9.7%
No. 3 Reverse Mortgage Funding – 7.2%
No. 4 Liberty Home Equity Solutions – 6.5%
No. 5 One Reverse Mortgage – 6.4%
No. 6 Synergy One Lending – 4.9%
No. 7 Live Well Financial – 3.8%
No. 8 HighTechLending – 2.3%
No. 9 Fairway Independent Mortgage – 2.2%
No. 10 Open Mortgage – 2%