Retail Gains Drive December’s Reverse Mortgage Volume Growth

Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) endorsements closed out 2014 with considerable growth, an increase driven primarily by retail performance, according to the latest Reverse Market Insight (RMI) report.

While the overall industry saw HECM endorsements rise 12.1% in December from the previous month to 4,940 total units, it was the retail segment that led the way, posting a 14.7% gain during the month to 2,867 total units.

Wholesale, on the other hand, grew somewhat slower at 8.7%, leading to 2,073 units and adding to the full-year 2014 tally of 52,949 loans.

Though it is unclear what has led to the increase in retail performance, it is the opposite of what is typically seen toward the end of the year, said RMI President John Lunde.

“Usually, the wholesale side is more volatile month to month, so in months with large increases like December we’d usually expect wholesale to rise faster than retail,” Lunde told RMD in an email.

Leading the way among the top-10 lenders, One Reverse Mortgage had a strong month in December, rising 45.9% to 540 loans, including both retail and wholesale channels.

Reverse Mortgage Funding, which experienced a dip in November, also had a strong December, posting a 34% growth in volume to close the month with 327 loans and wrap-up 2014 with a total of 1,651 loans.

American Advisors Group continued to hold down the top seat with a 25.1% market share as it recorded 1,257 loans in December, a gain of 12.3% from the previous month.

FirstBank also earned a notable mention in the December report after rising 50% to ninth place for the month and 13th on the year among the top-100 HECM Originators. In December, the company reported 51 loans, contributing to its year-to-date total tally of 416 loans. Year-to-date, the company experienced volume growth of 22.4%.

View the RMI report.

Written by Jason Oliva

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