Seniors’ Home Equity Increases For Fifth Straight Quarter
By Mel Fabrikant Monday, October 21, 2013, 06:07 PM EDT
Americans 62 years old and older now have more equity in their homes than at any time since mid-2008, 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 brings good news for the American housing market and for senior homeowners. Home values continue to recover. Collective home equity levels have been steadily rising while mortgage debt has been declining, creating a valuable resource homeowners can use to help finance their retirement,” said Peter Bell, President & CEO 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 second quarter of 2013, the RMMI reached its highest level (160.06) since the third quarter of 2008. It has now risen for five straight quarters. 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 continued in the first quarter of 2013, and the 3.1 percent growth between the first and second quarter is the RMMI’s biggest quarterly jump since the end of 2008.
Over the past two years, the aggregate home equity held by Americans 62 and older grew 12.5 percent to a total of $3.34 trillion.
The $101 billion increase in senior home equity from the first to the second quarter of 2013 was driven by an estimated $98 billion increase in the aggregate value of housing owned by Americans 62 and older, while their collective mortgage debt declined by $3.4 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 $1.14 trillion in the third quarter of 2010.
REVERSE MORTGAGE MARKET INDEX
Quarter Home Value
($ Trillions) Home Equity Among 62+
($ Trillions) Mortgage Debt Among 62+
($ Trillions) RMMI RMMI Quarterly Change
2011-Q1 4.13 3.02 1.11 144.60 -2.95%
2011-Q2 4.08 2.97 1.11 142.29 -1.59%
2011-Q3 4.12 3.02 1.10 144.54 1.58%
2011-Q4 4.15 3.05 1.10 146.25 1.19%
2012-Q1 4.13 3.04 1.09 145.46 -0.54%
2012-Q2 4.14 3.05 1.09 145.96 0.34%
2012-Q3 4.20 3.13 1.08 149.71 2.57%
2012-Q4 4.26 3.18 1.08 152.52 1.87%
2013-Q1 4.32 3.24 1.07 155.20 1.76%
2013-Q2 4.41 3.34 1.07 160.06 3.13%
Prepared by RiskSpan, Inc.
Data sources: American Community Survey, Census, FHFA, Federal Reserve
The housing value estimate used in the RMMI is based on the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Q2 2013 all-transactions Indices, which saw housing values increase in 73 percent of the 412 MSAs covered by RiskSpan.
Going back to the start of 2000, the RMMI peaked at 191.94 in the fourth quarter of 2006, when the home equity held by Americans 62 and older reached its highest level, $4.01 trillion. Since that high-water mark, home values have declined 10.8 percent for homeowners 62 and older, and their collective home equity has declined by 16.6 percent.
Over 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 83.7 percent since the RMMI’s starting point. In Q1 of 2000, seniors owned $2.10 trillion in home equity, compared to $3.34 trillion today.
Overall, the home equity held by American homeowners of all ages stood at $7.31 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 36.9 percent.