Senior Home Equity Falls – What It Means For Reverse Mortgages

For the first time in 12 years, senior home equity has fallen, according to the Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA). The decline in home equity has resulted in the collective senior housing wealth sliding from a peak of $12.42 trillion in 2022 Q3 to $12.39 trillion in Q4. According to NRMLA, the dip in equity resulted from a $30 billion increase in senior mortgage debt, while home values remained flat due to the cooling housing market.

A reverse mortgage can be a smart financial decision for seniors, even when senior home equity is declining. The amount of funds someone can receive from a reverse mortgage is based on the value of their home among other factors, so a decrease in home equity can potentially impact the amount of money that can be borrowed. However, even in times of declining home equity, a reverse mortgage can still be a valuable source of income for seniors.

One important reason why it’s important to consider a reverse mortgage now, even as senior home equity is declining, is that home values were previously at their peak. This means that many seniors may still have significant equity in their homes, even if the value has declined somewhat. By taking out a reverse mortgage, seniors can access that equity and use it to supplement their retirement income, cover expenses, or make improvements to their home.

Furthermore, a reverse mortgage can provide a valuable source of financial security, even if the value of the home has declined, because these loans are FHA insured. This means a borrower will never owe more than the balance of the loan OR the current value of the home, whichever is less. Seniors who have a lot of equity tied up in their homes may feel anxious about the impact of declining home values on their financial security. A reverse mortgage can provide a reliable source of income that’s not dependent on the value of the home, which can provide peace of mind and reduce financial stress.

Finally, it’s important to remember that a reverse mortgage is just one option for seniors who want to access their home equity. Depending on individual circumstances, other financial products or strategies may be more appropriate. It’s important to carefully consider all available options and consult with a reputable reverse mortgage lender before making a decision.

In conclusion, while declining senior home equity can impact the amount that can be borrowed with a reverse mortgage, it’s still a valuable financial tool for seniors 62 and over. By providing access to home equity, even in times of declining home values, reverse mortgages can provide a reliable source of income and financial security. But it’s important to consider a reverse mortgage now, while home values are still relatively high, to take advantage of this valuable asset.

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Erie, Dacono, Fort Lupton, Windsor, Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder and other Front Range areas of Colorado.  Contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.