If there’s one thing we were hoping to see these last few months, it’s an increase in application volumes back to something approaching ‘normal’. While the absolute level in February is nothing to cheer, the uptick from January’s depressed levels made quite a few of us happier than should be allowed for such a low number.
Without further ado, here’s an update to the chart that our readers have come to expect:
As is obvious from the chart, we’re still in scary territory when it comes to application volumes. The industry is effectively bumping along the bottom still after the October reduction in HECM principal limits, although it’s certainly better to be on the uptrend again instead of making new lows as we did in January.
That said, the most important question remains: Where do we go from here? With the recent announcements of $0 servicing fees by lenders (Genworth and Security One) and Pentagon Federal/Sunwest and Metlife going even farther by eliminating both servicing and origination fees, perhaps product driven competitive innovation can apply the needed boost. We’ll have to wait until mid-May to see solid numbers about April apps that will tell us how far these innovations will get us.
In the meantime, we mean it in the best possible way when we say: go find your Baltimore.