Three of the top 10 markets in the country for reverse mortgages are located in Florida, according to an analysis of government data conducted by Reverse Market Insight.
Looking at data from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, researchers point to Miami as the top reverse mortgage market in the country by a 2-to-1 margin. The Federal Housing Authority insured 9,561 home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) loans in the Miami metro area, followed by Los Angeles (4,126), Tampa (3,956), Santa Ana, CA (3,695), Baltimore (3,595), Phoenix (3,582), Orlando (3,556), Richmond, VA (3,493), Philadelphia (3,317) and Chicago (3,184) to round out the top 10.
The new HUD data indicate that turmoil in the broader mortgage market is not affecting the growth of reverse mortgages. The number of federally insured reverse mortgages closed in 2008 grew 6.4% to 115,176 loans.
“As more seniors try to figure out how to cope with today’s economic conditions, the HECM program takes on increased significance,” says Peter Bell, president of the National Reverse Mortgages Lenders Association.
Bell says he anticipates newly enacted changes to the HECM — including a higher loan limit, lower fees, a home purchase component, co-op eligibility and stricter consumer protections around cross-selling reverse mortgages with other financial services products — will lead to even more growth in the coming months.