Pleasant Surprises – HECM Lenders June 2012

HECM endorsements rose 16.9% to 5,187 in June, partly on the back of increases from both Metlife and First National Bank of Layton, both of which have announced exits from the industry. We expect Metlife in particular to start showing significant volume declines in July and August, some of which won’t be replaced by increased volume from the remaining lenders if the experience of BofA and Wells exits is any guide.

Several other lenders also increased volume in June:

  • Urban Financial tied its second highest volume level of the past 12 months, up 15.5% from April
  • American Advisors Group rose 12.7% to 231 loans

Growth was also consistent across the nation, with all 10 regions registering growth:

  • Southeast/Caribbean continues to lead the way, back into 4 digit territory at 1,025 loans (+8%)
  • Pacific/Hawaii had the strongest growth in loans, up 21.7% to 835
  • Northwest/Alaska grew the most in percentage terms, up 34.8% to 252

Even better than the increase in endorsements for June, however, is the increase in case numbers issued (roughly comparable to loan applications) for May. While the absolute number of 6,992 is nothing to write home about, it’s the first indication that the industry might weather the exit of Metlife better than last year’s major lender exits. Growth of 7.4% month over month when the biggest headline difference between the two is that the largest lender stopped accepting applications is an optimistic sign and one we hope forms a trend rather than a one month aberration.

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