Most years you want to see some good news before you’re six months in, but given all the headwinds for the industry we’ll take our wins where we can get them. June marked the first growth in HECM endorsement volumes in 2010, finishing with 5,304 and up 16.5% from May’s dreadful levels. Sure, the absolute number is nothing to cheer about, but everyone is always in a better mood on the way up than the way down. Now if we can just avoid a major principal limit cut in October perhaps the trend will have some legs.
- June in many ways was a mirror image of May, with all 10 regions showing growth after declining last month. Of course, May was so low that it would be tough not to, so it’s also worth pointing out that an even 5 of the 10 regions were also above their April levels – although Mid-Atlantic just barely cleared that threshold by 1 loan.
- Houston and Shreveport continue to lead the way among metros, as they are the only 2 (of 81) showing growth year to date. Both are in the Southwest region, which has seen the smallest declines this year at -24.7%, with Northwest/Alaska at the other end of the scale, down -45%.
- And while we did see an increase in active lenders from last month, competition continues to fall faster and rise slower than volumes. You can see the resulting higher productivity levels per lender in the Endorsements per Lender chart on page 2, showing a positive trend now rising to our industry average for the past two years.
- There’s an astounding statistic on the chart below that as well: Over 1,000 lenders left the business in the first 6 months of 2010. While there were some 400 new lenders to partially offset that figure, there were still 655 fewer lenders YTD compared to Jan-Jun 2009.
- Each of the top 10 lenders was also up in June, evidencing a broad based market growth. Genworth in particular more than doubled their May figure and also turned in their strongest performance of the past twelve months. If you believe that large, brand name institutional lenders are important to this industry, then you’ll agree that it’s good to see Genworth growing retail again. Congrats to Jesse and team!
Drop us a line if you’re heading to Irvine for the NRMLA Roadshow and we’ll buy you a beer while you’re in our neck of the woods.
The full report is available by clicking the image below. Enjoy!