Report: 2019 Reverse Mortgage Volume Drops, Utah Leads Regional Increases

From January through July, reverse mortgage origination volume has dropped when compared with figures from 12 months prior, but data from specific regional areas of the United States have shown a surprising increase in volume during the same period of time. This is according to a new report from Reverse Market Insight (RMI).

“Jan-July [figures are] down -32.3% compared to last year, but some spots are showing growth,” writes RMI in the commentary accompanying the data.

Leading the regional areas of growth are two major areas in the state of Utah: Salt Lake City and the wider Salt Lake City County. Those areas have grown by 11.8% and 5.3% respectively, according to the findings. Additionally, three of the top 10 zip codes in the nation in terms of reverse originations come from the state of Arizona, which RMI asserts may be attributable to the opening of the Sun City retirement community in the state to reverse mortgage originations late last year.

When asked about the importance of the territorial gains in light of the overall reduction in national origination volume, RMI President John Lunde says that finding areas of promise can be important.

“Originators are always looking for what’s hot right now to find more loans in new areas and/or ways,” Lunde tells RMD in an email. “That’s especially important when overall volume is down and finding a more productive pocket can make a big difference for a loan officer or team. The memorable activity in Utah in the past has been in the HECM for Purchase space down by St. George, so the Salt Lake City activity is a new and welcome change.”

Interestingly, the state of California is still well-represented on the top 10 producing ZIP codes for HECM endorsements, but the increases seen in Utah and Arizona could also be indicative of a sign of overall market health, Lunde says.

“California has had a lot of top 10 ZIP codes over the years and likely always will be represented, but I think overall it’s a healthy thing to see other areas picking up while the overall industry is still bumping along,” Lunde tells RMD.

Unlike other reports distributed by RMI, the HECM Trends report is designed to visualize the big picture changes along with geographic highlights in the national reverse mortgage marketplace. As more HECM program changes may be on the horizon based on program-related discussions taking place by lawmakers and White House officials in Washington, D.C., the Trends report is designed to dive deeper than what is gleaned from “the surface level of national statistics,” RMI says.

Read the HECM Trends report at RMI.

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