Strong Retail, Wholesale Gains Push Reverse Mortgage Volume Up 18%

Strong gains in both the retail and wholesale channels propelled reverse mortgage industry volume to a nearly 18% growth in February as lenders bounced back from a slow start to 2016.

After beginning the year under 3,900 endorsements in January, industry volume rebounded 17.7% in February to 4,577—an increase driven by a 20.3% monthly gain in the retail segment and 14.3% growth for wholesale, according to the latest industry data released by Reverse Market Insight (RMI).

Of February’s total Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) endorsement count of 4,577, retail loans accounted for 2,645 units while wholesale comprised 1,932 loans.

Some industry lenders saw substantial increases in both channels relative to their year-ago production.

Finance of America Reverse (formerly Urban Financial of America) reported an 11.2% increase in retail volume and 20% growth on the wholesale side. In terms of unit growth, the company added 932 wholesale loans over the last 12 months through February 2016—more than any other industry lender tracked by RMI. During this period, FAR produced 150 retail loans.

Live Well Financial also reported growth across both channels. Through February, the company’s retail endorsements were up 163% to a current volume of 981units, while wholesale increased 45.4% to 1,981 loans. In terms of unit growth over the past 12-month period, Live Well ranked second among wholesale lenders by adding 619 loans, and third among retailers with the addition of 608 retail units.

Since its launch at the beginning of last year, Synergy One Lending has established its spot among the industry’s top-10 lenders for volume. The company’s current volume over the last 12 months through February totaled 732 retail and 392 wholesale units, solidifying its spots among the top lenders for growth in both channels.

Reverse Mortgage Funding was the top retail lender by unit growth, with 1,000 of the company’s total 1,389 retail units added over the last 12 months. Through February, RMF’s retail volume was up 257.1% from the comparable 12-month period a year ago. RMF also ranked among the top-five wholesale lenders by unit growth, adding 162 units over the last 12 months, thus bringing its total during this period to 2,013 wholesale loans, an increase of 8.8% over last year.

Also reporting notable growth over the last 12 months, Nationwide Equities grew its retail volume 198.9% to 553 units, up from 185 units reported in February 2015. This growth earned the company a spot among the top-five retail lenders by unit growth.

High Tech Lending also showed significant gains in both channels over the last 12 months, reporting increases of 60.1% in its retail volume and 151.9% in wholesale endorsements.

View the RMI data to view lender rankings for Retail/Wholesale channel splits.

Written by Jason Oliva

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