Making Adjustments – HECM Trends March 2012

Surviving and thriving in the reverse mortgage industry these past few years has required adaptation and flexibility:

  • Where ARMs once dominated the landscape (all at a single margin of 150 on the same CMT index no less!) fixed rate HECMs have been 2/3 or more of volume for over 2 years. That change happened in less than 6 months.
  • Where this business was once powered by “kitchen table” salespeople at Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Metlife and Financial Freedom, we saw 2 of the top 3 lenders in March (page 4) were independent reverse mortgage lenders exclusively originating through their call centers.
  • Where there previously was one HECM (Standard) focused on one customer niche (immediate cash), we now have two more HECM products that better suit financial planning (Saver) and home purchases (Purchase).

Beyond the shifts mentioned above everyone has had to adjust to an industry with fewer loans in the past few years, even if many companies are doing better than ever. That volume shift became most apparent to us this month when we noticed our top 10 zip code rankings were only returning 6 entries.

To make a long story short, we realized we had restricted the rankings to only zip codes averaging 5 or more loans per month. This made sense a few years back when there were several hundred zip codes each month with this level of volume but that list was down to 24 in March and most of these were lower Jan-Feb resulting in just the 6 zip codes with 5+ on average in Q1.

This volume decline is not groundbreaking news to anyone since we’ve been reporting on it for years now, but it does highlight the need for everyone to adapt. The report below has some great information to follow the industry nationally and we’re happy to provide it if that’s all you need.

If you would like to see local statistics that can help you work smarter and target your sales and marketing efforts for optimum results, this week is a great time to learn more in person. Schedule some time to sit down with us at NRMLA Irvine this week, or just give us a call if you’re not planning to attend.

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

HECM Trends