Reverse mortgage data details disruption from government shutdown

Backlog causes volume to jump 142.6% in February

In February, the last of the backlog of HECM loans was endorsed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, causing volume to skyrocket 142.6%.

According to the latest Originators report from Reverse Market Insight, HUD endorsed 4,000 loans in that month, up about 1,000 loans from previous months thanks to the shutdown, which temporarily ground endorsements to a halt.

While last month’s lenders report already revealed the disruption caused by the shutdown, the latest installment details the breakdown between retail and wholesale channels, which is crucial to understanding how the different aspects of the business are faring.

Loans originated through retail channels comprised 59% of total volume, clocking in at 2,343 loans for the month compared with wholesale’s 1,657 loans, RMI data revealed, noting that this is in line with post-housing crisis origination trends that tip volume in favor of retail by about 55-60%.

Retail’s strong February performance, though, stands in contrast to the previous month, when wholesale fared slightly better.

Among the lenders who performed exceptionally in February were Finance of America Reverse with 725 loans, One Reverse Mortgage with 352 loans and Fairway Independent Mortgage with 122 loans.

RMI’s analysis of March data shows that the month closed out with 2,573 loans, a figure that appears to be on par with the industry’s new normal.

RMI President John Lunde said that when you drown out the noise from the shutdown, it’s clear that 2,500 has been about the average for the past five months.

“I'd expect to see smaller changes around that level going forward, with meaningful growth or decline above that level over multiple months signaling the new trend for future volume levels,” Lunde said.

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