Reverse Mortgage Statistics

A reverse mortgage can be defined as a special type of loan used to release the equity in senior homeowners’ homes, allowing older homeowners to realize the equity in their homes without conceding any ownership of the property.

Because of the many desirable aspects of reverse mortgages, this type of loan tends to be a hot item these days. Inadequate retirement funding, as well as problems within the traditional mortgage market, makes reverse mortgages a smart choice for the senior homeowner.

So, who is securing all of these reverse mortgages? This article provides some interesting, current statistical data concerning reverse mortgages. These statistics take into account several demographical criteria in order to provide an up-to-date and comprehensive look at the reverse mortgage market.

The following data comes from HUD, or US Department of Housing and Urban Development, studies, and provides information that is current to April 2008. The data is based on HECM, or Home Equity Conversion Mortgages, which constitute 90% of all reverse mortgages secured overall.

Interest Rates

Current HCEM Rate: 3.57%

Highest Rate (since 2001): 6.77%

Lowest Rate (since 2001): 2.45%

The Typical HECM Borrower

Age

75

Home Value

$289,000

Principal Limit

$159,000

Single Male

17%

Single Female

44%

Couples

39%

HECMs Lasting

Under 7 Years

60%

*Percentages indicate number of specified borrowers versus total HECM borrowers

While each borrower is an individual with unique needs, this statistical data is not only interesting, but also can be helpful when contemplating a reverse mortgage. The larger reverse equity mortgage picture can provide confidence to the borrower that he or she is making a wise decision when securing a reverse mortgage.

The statistics confirm that reverse loans are an attractive option for senior citizens ages 62 and older who want the benefits of liquidity but have a large amount of their financial assets tied up in their home. The data also provides important principal limit data, which infers that most reverse mortgage customers only borrow about 55% of their home’s value. This data may work well to serve as a guide for the interested homeowner who is unsure of how much to borrow because even though a reverse mortgage loan works differently than most loans, the principal will still have to ultimately be repaid.