Retail Leaders – October 2010

We’re a week later than our usual schedule this month, but after seeing how wild the French Quarter was this past week (the Realtors’ convention overlapped with NRMLA’s Annual event), we’re just happy we made it back without permanent injuries! It was a great time in New Orleans and we really enjoyed catching up with many of you in a new city.

October started the new federal fiscal year (and everyone else’s fourth quarter) with a whimper at just 5,279 endorsements, down -11.5% from September. That’s a bit disappointing given recent application volumes have been trending back upward.

HECM Application trend chart

It’s still early to draw major conclusions but check out the trend of applications vs. endorsements recently and you’ll see what has us starting to ask questions about cancellation rates and fallout.

We’ll just have to see how this develops over time, but just looking at the last two months (May-June applications) implied cancellation rates from endorsements (Sep-Oct) have increased from 29% to 42%. The first figure is roughly in line with historical experience but the second suggests we might be paying the piper for several months of very low cancellation rates earlier this year. Hopefully we get this behind us before year end!

This month’s regional drilldown shows the decline was very widespread, with only Southwest and Great Plains increasing from September. Declines were heaviest in the higher volume regions, with each of the top 3 falling faster than the overall industry.

Top lenders were a slightly better story, with 4 of the top 10 increasing volume, with 1st AAA and Bank of America gaining significantly (up 27% and 16%, respectively). The top 10 lenders as a group fared only slightly better than the industry, down -11.1% vs. -11.5% overall. Active lenders in the month was just over 600 and barely above the multi-year low set in May.

You can access the full report by clicking the image below. Enjoy!

Retail Leaders Report