Reverse Mortgage Endorsements Fall Another 22% in April

The reverse mortgage origination numbers continued their plunge in April, dropping even further than the March results as wholesale endorsements again bore the brunt of the drop.

Total volume slid 22.1% in April among both Federal Housing Administration-approved lenders and non-FHA firms, according to the most recent data from Reverse Market Insight. Wholesale endorsements dropped by 25.6% to hit a 12-month low of just 1,350, while retail endorsements dipped 19.6% to come in at 1,996 for the month.

The last time RMI released its full FHA and non-FHA report, originations were down 17.3% on an overall basis, though wholesale had an even worse month with a 28.7% decline — a slide that the Dana Point, Calif.-based firm described as “stunning.”

April’s results provide a window into just how grim a spring the industry has endured: RMI’s FHA-only data, which was current through the end of May, showed a potential leveling-off with a slight increase of 0.4%. Whether or not the industry has finally settled to a bottom in the wake of the October 2 rule changes from the Department of Housing and Urban Development — which saw lower principal limit factors and an updated mortgage insurance premium structure — remains to be seen, however.

Overall, the origination data for April shows 3,346 loans, down from March’s 4,298 and substantially lower than January, when a single-month post-change spike lifted totals all the way up to 6,308.

Still, RMI identified some reasons for optimism in the bleak data. One Reverse Mortgage logged a second consecutive month of moderate growth with a 3.8% boost, while Longbridge Financial saw a 1.7% gain and Fairway Independent Mortgage turned in 31.9% growth with its 95 loans — adding to its stretch of year-to-date expansion that currently sits at 115.8%.

The usual suspects still top the overall trailing 12-month list, with American Advisors Group leading the way with 13,696 loans.

Written by Alex Spanko

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