Last month we took a close look at the Baltimore area, highlighting the good performance seen in the city and county relative to what the rest of the country is experiencing on average. This month we thought we’d take a little deeper dive into the numbers, just to see what is really driving the volume.
There is one word that sums up the entire outperformance of the area: refi. Despite the falling home values of the past couple of years, Baltimore seems to be a hotbed for refi activity. Of the 315 endorsements done in January and February, 141 units (45%) were refinances of existing reverse mortgages. For the companies we highlighted last month, the refi business mix was even higher, with Cooper and Shein (Great Oak Lending) doing 61% refi, and Net Equity Financial hitting 67%.
If we expand the analysis to include all of Maryland, the statistics are similar: 212 of 733 endorsements, or 29%, are refinances for the industry as a whole. For Cooper and Shein, its 75 of 128 units (59%); Net Equity Financial is 71 of 104, or 68%. This is a trend thats been in the works since the early portion of 2009, as evidenced by the chart below.
For comparison purposes, we’ve included the top 25 national retailer’s volume and business mix of refi below. One thing that sticks out to us is that of the top 10 lenders, only Financial Freedom has any real focus on the refi business, and this makes some sense given the size and age of their servicing portfolio. Where it gets interesting is when we get to the bottom half or so, and we see Net Equity, Cooper and Shein, and Evofi One (with a whopping 86% of their business refi!). We’ve seen this song and dance before, and the lenders that make a living on the refi business often pop and drop out of sight before too long. Hopefully it turns out different this time around, but time will tell.
|WELLS FARGO BANK NA||2559||230||9%|
|BANK OF AMERICA NA CHARLOTTE||1214||44||4%|
|ONE REVERSE MORTGAGE LLC||324||2||1%|
|GENERATION MORTGAGE COMPANY||323||4||1%|
|FINANCIAL FREEDOM ACQUISITION||305||88||29%|
|URBAN FINANCIAL GROUP||301||15||5%|
|GUARDIAN FIRST FUNDING GROUP LLC||240||7||3%|
|1ST AA REVERSE MORTGAGE INC||229||3||1%|
|NEW DAY FINANCIAL LLC||203||1||0%|
|NET EQUITY FINANCIAL INC||173||123||71%|
|COOPER AND SHEIN LLC||152||89||59%|
|FIRST MARINER BANK||143||10||7%|
|SECURITY ONE LENDING||129||20||16%|
|EQUIPOINT FINANCIAL NETWORK INC||99||3||3%|
|BRIAN A COLE & ASSOCIATES LTD||97||1||1%|
|AMERICAN ADVISORS GROUP||90||0||0%|
|SENIOR MORTGAGE BANKERS INC||83||0||0%|
|M AND T BANK||83||2||2%|
|SENIOR AMERICAN FUNDING INC||80||7||9%|
|EQUITABLE REVERSE MORTGAGE COMPANY||75||0||0%|
|SENIORS REVERSE MORTGAGE||73||6||8%|
|PNC MORTGAGE LLC||71||0||0%|
|GENWORTH FINANCIAL HM EQUITY A||68||5||7%|
Click on the image below to view the full report for this month.