Senior housing wealth rises to over $11 trillion

Senior-held home equity rose 4.91% in Q1 2022

Homeowners aged 62 and older saw their collective housing wealth increase in Q1 2022 by 4.91% compared to the previous quarter. This constitutes an increase of approximately $520 billion to a record of $11.12 trillion, according to data provided by the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA) in conjunction with data analytics firm RiskSpan.

The increase was reported this week in the quarterly release of the NRMLA/RiskSpan Reverse Mortgage Market Index (RMMI), according to an email update distributed to the association’s membership.

The RMMI rose in Q1 2022 to 388.83, which marks another consecutive all-time high since the index’s original publication in 2000. That increase was described as being primarily driven by an estimated 4.4% (or $563 billion) increase in the values of homes owned by seniors. This was offset, however, by a 2.06% (or $43 billion) increase of senior-held mortgage debt, a mitigating factor coming in slightly lower than the one seen in the prior quarter.

Steve Irwin

“Inflationary fears, market volatility and concerns about a possible recession have created a great deal of anxiety for America’s aging population,” said Steve Irwin, president of NRMLA in a statement accompanying the new data. “Now may be an appropriate time to consider the strategic use of home equity to help improve older homeowners’ retirement security.”

Year-over-year, the RMMI figure increased by 8.3% in 2020, outpacing previous years of change including 2019 (5.4%) and 2018 (6.3%), which is believed to be due to higher levels of home price appreciation seen in 2020. This past January, the collective senior housing wealth figure topped $10 trillion for the first time. It reached a threshold of over $9 trillion for the first time in July 2021, and previously topped $8 trillion for the first time in April 2021.

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