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The leading indicator of HECM loan volume

Which came first the chicken or the egg? There’s no number that reverse mortgage lenders and originators track more closely than our monthly endorsement totals. That is, the number of federally-insured reverse mortgages that are formally ‘insured’. In fact, our monthly Top 100 HECM Lenders report is the single most popular item on HECMWorld.com. As our industry closely follows the number of HECM loans endorsed each month there’s another metric that is largely overlooked, Case Number Assignments (CNA’s). While all originators know that endorsements come from an application for a federally-insured reverse mortgage, many are not closely watching the leading indicator of future loan endorsement volumes.

FHA HECM case numbers are issued when a reverse mortgage application has been officially submitted. As such they are our most accurate barometer of consumer interest as evidenced in submitted applications. Case numbers also provide a leading indicator of future month endorsement totals. FHA publishes their most recently released case number assignments in their monthly publication entitled the “FHA Single Family Production Report” which tracks the issuance of case numbers for traditional and reverse mortgages insured by the agency.

The historical average time from a HECM’s case number assignment to endorsement is…

1 comment

Dan Hultquist February 18, 2019 at 10:01 am

Thanks, Shannon. Great reminder that there are multiple leading indicators – Applications, Counseling certificates, and most importantly Case # Assignments. However, we discussed other drivers of endorsement volume that have created some headwinds – reduced advertising budgets for HECMs, and the number of dedicated HECM specialists. However, long-term rates (SWAPs and Expected Rates) have dropped over the last three months. When lower long-term rates in Q1 allow prospects to qualify for higher principal limits, that should help endorsement volume in Q2.

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