Senior Citizens in U.S. See Home Equity Climb for
Fourth Straight Quarter
Seniors’ mortgage debt at lowest point since 2007:
Reverse Mortgage Market Index
June 13, 2013 – Americans 62 and older – that
age group eligible for reverse mortgages - now have more equity in
their homes than at any time in the last four years, according to data
released today by the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association.
The new information comes from the NRMLA/RiskSpan
Reverse Mortgage Market Index (RMMI), which analyzes trends in the
home values, home equity, and mortgage debt of homeowners 62 and older.
The RMMI is updated quarterly and tracks back to the start of 2000.
“Today’s report continues a positive trend for the
American housing market and for senior homeowners. With home values
recovering and equity increasing, seniors will have more financial
resources available to them during retirement,” said Peter Bell,
president of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association.
“With proper planning, using a reverse mortgage to
access that equity is one option to help fund living expenses, home
maintenance costs, or health care needs.”
In the first quarter of 2013, the RMMI reached its
highest level (154.95) since the first quarter of 2009. After falling
to start 2012, the RMMI increased slightly in the second quarter before
showing significant growth in the third and fourth quarters. That trend
continues in the most recent data.
The aggregate home equity held by Americans 62 and
older grew 6.4 percent over the past year to a total of $3.25 trillion –
a four-year high.
The $49.5 billion increase in senior home equity
from the last quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2013 was driven by
an estimated $45.1 billion increase in the aggregate value of housing
owned by Americans 62 and older while their collective mortgage debt
declined by $4.4 billion.
The mortgage debt for Americans 62 and older stands
at $1.07 trillion – its lowest level since the third quarter of 2007.
Senior mortgage debt peaked at $1.14 trillion in the third quarter of
Mortgage Market Index
Home Value Among 62+ ($ Trillions)
Among 62+ ($ Trillions)
Among 62+ ($ Trillions)
Prepared by RiskSpan, Inc.
Data sources: American Community Survey, Census, FHFA, Federal Reserve
housing value estimate used in the RMMI is based on the Federal Housing
Finance Agency’s Q1 2013 all-transactions Indices, which saw housing
values increase in 53 percent of the 395 MSAs covered by RiskSpan.
back to the start of 2000, the RMMI peaked at 191.21 in the fourth
quarter of 2006, when the home equity held by Americans 62 and older
reached its highest level of $4.0 trillion. Since that high water mark,
home values have declined 12.7 percent for homeowners 62 and older, and
their collective home equity has declined by 19.0 percent.
the long term, however, home equity has proven to be a valuable
resource. The collective home equity of Americans 62 and older has
grown by 55 percent since the RMMI’s starting point. In Q1 of 2000,
seniors owned $2.10 trillion in home equity, compared to $3.25 trillion
Overall, the home equity held by American homeowners of all ages stood
at $6.94 trillion in the latest data, its highest level since the second
quarter of 2008. Since the RMMI’s starting point, Americans’ total home
equity has grown by 29 percent.
About Reverse Mortgages by the National Reverse
Mortgage Lenders Association
Reverse mortgages are available to homeowners 62
years old and older with significant home equity. They are designed to
enable retirees to borrow against the equity in their homes without
having to make monthly payments as is required with a traditional
"forward" mortgage or 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. Borrowers may draw down funds as a lump sum at loan
origination, establish a line of credit or request fixed monthly
payments for as long as they continue to live in the home.
To date, more than 750,000 senior households have
utilized an FHA-insured reverse mortgage. More than 575,000 senior
households are currently using a reverse mortgage to help meet their
financial needs. For more information, please visit
About the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders
The National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA)
is a membership organization comprised of more than 300 companies and
more than 1,000 people participating in the reverse mortgage industry.
With a membership responsible for more than 90 percent of reverse
mortgage transactions in the United States, NRMLA serves as the national
voice for the industry. It serves as an educational resource, policy
advocate and public affairs center for lenders and related
professionals. NRMLA was established in 1997 to enhance the
professionalism of the reverse mortgage business. All NRMLA member
companies commit themselves to our Code of Ethics & Professional
Keep up with the latest news for senior citizens, baby