|Retail reverse mortgage production reached a record last month and is projected to continue increasing. The biggest retail reverse lender was also last year's biggest residential lender.
During the first quarter, 30,205 U.S. retail reverse mortgages were endorsed, rising from 27,653 in the fourth quarter, according to Reverse Market Insight Inc. The improvement was attributed to an increase in the reverse mortgage limit, which was boosted to $625,500 in February.
Wells Fargo Bank NA closed 5,520 home-equity conversion mortgages -- making it the biggest retail reverse lender. Last year, Wells Fargo reported $230 billion in total residential volume -- more than any other U.S. lender.
Bank of America NA was next, with 2,731 endorsements, followed by Financial Freedom Senior Funding, at 1,427 units.
With only 834 first-quarter endorsements, Quicken Loans Inc. subsidiary One Reverse Mortgage LLC still managed to nab the No. 4 spot. MetLife Bank was No. 5, with 585 endorsements.
The sixth through 10th spots were held by World Alliance Financial, with 514 endorsements; Generation Mortgage Co., which had 511 closings; Urban Financial Group, where 371 reverse mortgages were originated; Money House Inc., with 270 endorsements, and 1st AAA Reverse Mortgage, where volume was 221 units.
During just March, retail reverse lenders saw 11,261 endorsements -- a record according to Reverse Market Insights. Activity climbed from 9,086 in February.
"Given the trends we have seen in application volume, we would expect the strong numbers to continue for another month or two," the newsletter said.