The National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association reports today that retirement-aged homeowners saw a combined 2.8 percent increase of $170.7 billion in home equity in the fourth quarter of 2016, boosting their total housing wealth to $6.2 trillion.
A 2.4 percent increase in home values for owners 62 and older in Q4 2016 drove the NRMLA/RiskSpan Reverse Mortgage Market Index (RMMI) to 221.75, an all-time high since the index was first published in 2000. On a year-over-year basis, the RMMI index rose by 9.0 percent in 2016, compared to an increase of 8.6 percent in 2015 and 8.0 percent in 2014.
“The strong RMMI in the fourth quarter of last year shows that home equity continues to be a valuable asset for homeowners 62 and older,” said NRMLA President and CEO Peter Bell. “It’s time for consumers to study what it means to have home equity and to learn about its strategic uses, including how it can be used to support retirement goals.”
Research released yesterday from the National Council on Aging and a new Issue in Brief from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College show that home equity has gone largely underutilized by older homeowners who have been unwilling to consider housing wealth as a resource for retirement funding. NCOA and CRR both show that limited awareness and knowledge of home equity tools contribute to the low take-up of financial products, such as reverse mortgages.
To help explain home equity and its uses, NRMLA recently released its “Learn About Home Equity” infographic, and the three-part article, “An Introduction to Housing Wealth: What is home equity and how can it be used?,” which are available on NRMLA’s consumer education website www.reversemortgage.org/HomeEquity.
About Reverse Mortgages
Reverse mortgages are available to homeowners age 62 and older with significant home equity. They are a versatile financial tool seniors can use to borrow against the equity in their home without having to make monthly principal or interest payments as with a traditional “forward” mortgage or a home equity loan. Under a reverse mortgage, funds are advanced to the borrower and interest accrues, but the outstanding balance is not due until the last borrower leaves the home, sells or passes away.
To date, more than 1,020,232 senior households have utilized an FHA-insured reverse mortgage. More than 642,000 senior households are currently using a reverse mortgage to help meet their financial needs. For more information, please visit www.ReverseMortgage.org
About the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association
The National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA) is the national voice for the industry and represents the lenders, loan servicers, and housing counseling agencies responsible for more than 90 percent of reverse mortgage transactions in the United States. All NRMLA member companies commit themselves to a Code of Ethics & Professional Responsibility. Learn more at www.nrmlaonline.org.
About RiskSpan, Inc.
RiskSpan offers end-to-end solutions for data management, risk management analytics, and visualization on a highly secure, fast, and fully scalable platform that has earned the trust of the industry’s largest firms. Combining the strength of subject matter experts, quantitative analysts, and technologists, the RiskSpan platform integrates a range of data-sets–including both structured and unstructured–and off-the-shelf analytical tools to provide you with powerful insights and a competitive advantage.