AAG kept its frontrunner HMBS issuer position throughout 2019, ending the year with $1.97 billion of issuance and 24% market share. It’s worth noting AAG’s issuance totals are all new originations and tails, with no highly seasoned pools issued. Longbridge finished in second place with $1.72 billion of issuance and 21% share, including more seasoned HMBS issuance in Q4. RMF stayed in third with $1.50 billion issued and 18% market share, which includes issuance assumed from the Live Well Financial bankruptcy. FAR was fourth with $1.21 billion issued and 14.7% market share, and PHH Mortgage Corp placed fifth with $962 million and 11.7% market share. These five issuers accounted for 89.2% of all issuance, inching closer to the Top-5 concentration high of 91% at year-end 2018. There was no change in rankings order from Q3, and all 14 HMBS issuers were active during the quarter.
2019Q4 saw $2.28 billion of HMBS issued, down slightly from Q3’s $2.33 billion, but on the upward trajectory seen all year. Nonetheless, at $8.26 billion, annual industry volume was off almost 14% from a year ago. Total HMBS issuance in 2018 was $9.58 billion.
HMBS December 2019: Stocking Half Full in 2018? Then Hang Two Stockings This Year
HMBS issuance totaled $908 million in December 2019, as lower rates continued to strengthen new production. 92 pools were issued in December, including about $484 million of new unseasoned HECM first participation pools, maintaining the high monthly total for new production this year. This month’s total was also helped by two large seasoned new issues, including a CMT-indexed pool. For comparison, HMBS issuers sold 95 pools totaling $619 million in December 2018.
Reverse mortgage lenders weathered a long period of reduced new origination volume, primarily due to the new lower PLFs for Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (“HECMs”) in effect since the beginning of FY2018. Yet, with this month’s issuance, the HMBS market totaled about $8.3 billion for calendar year 2019. HMBS issuance totaled $9.6 billion in 2018 and $10.5 billion in 2017. However, securitization of private reverse mortgages was much higher than previous years. As a result, we estimate that the total issuance of reverse mortgage securities backed by new collateral was about the same as 2018.
Some other trends to watch in 2020:
What happens to LIBOR? The industry relies heavily on the 12-month LIBOR index for its adjustable rate HECMs. LIBOR is scheduled to go away in 2021, and the plan to replace this index is not clear.
What happens to HECM? HUD has already hinted at further change. Despite significant improvements in HECM performance over the last several years, restrictions on HECM to HECM refinancing and county level MCA limits are on the table. Are lower Principal Limit Factors also looming?
Will private reverse mortgage production surpass HECMs? Private reverse mortgages, most of them jumbo-sized, now make up more than 25% of new origination by dollar volume. As HECM is cut back and new private products are introduced, can private RMs surpass
HECM as the industry’s main product? December’s production of original new loan pools was about $484 million, compared to $506 million in November, $426 million in October, $393 million in September, $390 million in August, and $321 million in July. Last month’s tail pool issuances totaled $220 million, within the range of recent tail issuance. December 2019 issuance divided into 33 First-Participation or Original pools and 59 tail pools. Original pools are those HMBS pools backed by first participations in previously uncertificated HECM loans. Tail HMBS issuances are HMBS pools consisting of subsequent participations. Tails are not from new loans, but they do represent new amounts lent. Tail HMBS issuance can generate profits for years, helping HMBS issuers during challenging times.
(Editor’s note: The following was published with permission from New View Advisors, which compiled this data from publicly available Ginnie Mae data as well as private sources.)