Americans 62 years old and older now have more equity in their homes than at any time since mid-2008, according to data released by the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA). The new information comes from the NRMLA/RiskSpan Reverse Mortgage Market Index (RMMI), which analyzes trends in the home values, home equity, and mortgage debt of homeowners 62 and older. The RMMI is updated quarterly and tracks back to the start of 2000.
In the third quarter of 2013, the RMMI reached its highest level (165.7) since the third quarter of 2008. It has now risen for six straight quarters. Over the past two years, the aggregate home equity held by Americans 62 and older grew 12.5 percent to a total of $3.34 trillion.
Mortgage debt held by Americans 62 and older stands at $1.08 trillion – a slight increase from the prior two quarters when debt levels were at 1.07 trillion. Senior mortgage debt peaked at $1.143 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2009.
The senior housing value estimate is based on the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Q3 2013 all-transactions Indices, which saw housing values increase in 72 percent of the 412 MSAs covered by RiskSpan.
Over the long term, home equity has proven to be a valuable resource. The collective home equity of Americans 62 and older has grown by 83.7 percent since the RMMI’s starting point. In the first quarter of 2000, seniors owned $2.10 trillion in home equity, compared to $3.34 trillion today.