Altered States – Industry Trends April 2011

Last month in the Industry Trends report we talked about which factors are most linked with higher reverse mortgage loan volumes. We’re not diving to the same depth this month, but we are struck by how different the industry looks from different perspectives in the year-to-date numbers.

We’ve already talked about competitive changes that have seen brokers become TPOs and big lenders winning more market share as so many of the smallest lenders leave the business entirely. Now we’re seeing that the 3.1% increase in endorsements this year has masked considerable volatility in states, counties and cities.

On page 1, we can see that 7 of the top 10 states have grown this year and all at faster than the national rate. North Carolina truly rocked the curve with a 45.9% growth rate while Florida brought up the rear at -26.1% decline. Not only have different companies experienced very different fortunes, but different states certainly have as well.

Notice the top 10 states grew slightly faster than the industry, but in the other three top 10 tables (county, city and zip code) all declined from last year. One reason for that disparity could be that areas where the industry has historically been successful (as evidenced by high volume and penetration rates) are spreading out into surrounding areas within the state but outside the original county/city/zip.

Another important consideration has been the $625,500 lending limits available nationwide since 2009. California, New York and Washington DC in particular have benefitted, with almost half of their volumes coming in above the previous $417K limit.

Given the uncertainty around lending limits for HECM come October 1st, we could easily see another shake-up in state volumes. The fallout from any changes will almost surely dominate the growth rates in 2012, even before we think about the impact of Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Financial Freedom leaving the industry.

Click on the image below to view the full Industry Trends report for this month.

Industry Trends - April 2011