MortgageReverse

Reverse Mortgage Market Sees Broker Count Boom

ReverseVision added 733 mortgage brokers to its RV Exchange (RVX) loan origination software between July 2013 and June 2014, including 379 brokers added in the first half of 2014, the reverse mortgage tech provider has revealed. 

This “staggeringly high number” of brokers added on the RVX system is a strong indicator that the industry may see an uptick in reverse mortgage loan volume, Rob Katz, ReverseVision Executive Vice President, tells RMD. 

“The fact that loan volume for the reverse market is low, but there’s more people getting into it, to me, is a leading indicator that that lower loan volume is temporary,” he says. “Moving forward we should start to see the loan volume ticking up because of it.”

After reporting an 18-month low in June, reverse mortgage volume began to make a slight comeback in July. Endorsements for home equity conversion mortgages (HECMs) rose that month 4.2% to 4,092 loans. In contrast, HECM volume dropped 12.7% in June from 3,927 in May. 

Contrary to signing on so many brokers, recent data shows retail is still outperforming wholesale in reverse mortgage volume across the most recent month of data analysis by Reverse Market Insight. The trend has been fairly consistent throughout the past several years and was clear in May when retail volume showed a 12.2% increase, while wholesale/broker volume saw just a 2% rise. 

But the slowdown of originations on the forward side, the “dead” refinancing market and ReverseVision’s marketing efforts all contribute to boom in broker interest, Katz says. With the exception of last month, the number of brokers signing up on the RVX system has increased each month compared to their respective months in 2013. No broker signup data before January 2013 is available, since that was the first month ReverseVision began tracking it. 

“The vast majority of these brokers are forward lenders that are getting into the reverse space. In 2013, it was less deliberate; I think there were brokers that probably just did one [reverse] loan,” Katz says. “In 2014, there’s been a sea shift; when interest rates in the forward world started going up and the refi market started dying, brokers in the traditional space panciked. Now brokers have two choices: Get out of the business or expand the types of products they have — and expanding into the reverse space makes sense. We’ve tried to stoke that flame.”

In June, ReverseVision integrated Landmark Network’s appraisal services to the platform, enabling RVX users to order appraisals with one click. 

Earlier this summer, ReverseVision also launched RV University, an online education platform created to teach mortgage professionals about the reverse mortgage industry. Since then, ReverseVision began offering a free online course on key program changes related to non-borrowing spouses and updates to principal limit factors, which went into effect Aug. 4. 

Written by Emily Study

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