Senior Home Equity Grew by $121 Billion in Third Quarter


WASHINGTON– Housing wealth grew to $6.5 trillion for U.S. homeowners 62 and older in the third quarter of 2017, a 1.9 percent increase of $121 billion in home equity over Q2, reports the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association today in a quarterly data release.

According to the NRMLA/RiskSpan Reverse Mortgage Market Index, the gains were driven by an estimated 1.7 percent, or $137 billion, improvement in housing value, offset by a $15.9 billion increase in senior-held mortgage debt. The RMMI, a quarterly measurement of home equity held by older homeowners, rose to 233.8 in Q2 2017, another all-time high since the index was first published in 2000.

“Housing wealth continues to be a reliable source of economic security for retirement-aged adults. This is as true for people who want to stay in their own homes as it is for those who are ready to sell their property in order to access the equity they have built up over time,” said NRMLA President and CEO Peter Bell.

For people who hope to age in place, a reverse mortgage enables homeowners, aged 62 and older, to convert home equity into cash that can be used to supplement a fixed retirement income and pay for medical or other daily expenses.

Syndicated financial columnist Terry Savage helped her dad get a reverse mortgage when he was in his early 80s and he was able to live in his own home until he passed away at 95. She recently shared his story in her column and in this video to explain why she supports the concept of a reverse mortgage done right, for the right reasons, at the right time in a person’s life.


Prepared by RiskSpan, Inc.
Data sources: American Community Survey, Census, FHFA, Federal Reserve