Senior homeowners rack up $234 billion in housing wealth

Reverse Mortgage Market Index spikes to highest level

Senior homeowners rack up $234 billion in housing wealth

Senior housing wealth reached the $8 trillion mark in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the latest NRMLA/RiskSpan Reverse Mortgage Market Index.

Homeowners 62 and older enjoyed a 3%, or $234 billion, quarter-over-quarter gain in their housing wealth, up to a record $8.05 trillion.

The index also reached an all-time high during the quarter, up to 289.44 from Q3 2020. According to NRMLA, the increase was mainly driven by an estimated 2.7% or $261 billion gain in senior home values, slightly offset by a 1.5% or $27 billion uptick in senior-held mortgage debt.

Annually, the RMMI rose by 8.3%, compared to 5.4% in 2019 and 6.3% in 2018, spurred largely by higher home price appreciation.

“Reverse mortgages provide a strategic retirement option for older homeowners of all income levels,” NRMLA President Steve Irwin said. “Reverse mortgages allow people to pay for in-home care and other services that allow them to age in place or provide an alternative to selling retirement assets after a market downturn. While a reverse mortgage isn't for everyone, it can provide the financial security that many people are looking for in retirement.”