Senior Home Equity Grew by $121 Billion in Third Quarter

WASHINGTON (December 21, 2017) – Housing wealth grew to $6.5 trillion for U.S. homeowners 62 and older in the third quarter of 2017, a 1.9 percent increase of $121 billion in home equity over Q2, reports the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association today in a quarterly data release.

According to the NRMLA/RiskSpan Reverse Mortgage Market Index, the gains were driven by an estimated 1.7 percent, or $137 billion, improvement in housing value, offset by a $15.9 billion increase in senior-held mortgage debt. The RMMI, a quarterly measurement of home equity held by older homeowners, rose to 233.8 in Q2 2017, another all-time high since the index was first published in 2000.

“Housing wealth continues to be a reliable source of economic security for retirement-aged adults. This is as true for people who want to stay in their own homes as it is for those who are ready to sell their property in order to access the equity they have built up over time,” said NRMLA President and CEO Peter Bell.

For people who hope to age in place, a reverse mortgage enables homeowners, aged 62 and older, to convert home equity into cash that can be used to supplement a fixed retirement income and pay for medical or other daily expenses.

Syndicated financial columnist Terry Savage helped her dad get a reverse mortgage when he was in his early 80s and he was able to live in his own home until he passed away at 95. She recently shared his story in her column and in this video to explain why she supports the concept of a reverse mortgage done right, for the right reasons, at the right time in a person’s life. The video is posted to NRMLA’s consumer education website,

Prepared by RiskSpan, Inc.
Data sources: American Community Survey, Census, FHFA, Federal Reserve

Prepared by RiskSpan, Inc.
Data sources: American Community Survey, Census, FHFA, Federal Reserve

RMMI Q3 2017 – Complete Methodology

About Reverse Mortgages
Reverse mortgages are available to homeowners age 62 and older with significant home equity. They are a versatile financial tool seniors can use to borrow against the equity in their home without having to make monthly principal or interest payments as with a traditional “forward” mortgage or a home equity loan. Under a reverse mortgage, funds are advanced to the borrower and interest accrues, but the outstanding balance is not due until the last borrower leaves the home, sells or passes away.

To date, 1,063,375 households have utilized an FHA-insured reverse mortgage to help meet their financial needs. For more information, please visit

About the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association
The National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA) is the national voice for the industry and represents the lenders, loan servicers, and housing counseling agencies responsible for more than 90 percent of reverse mortgage transactions in the United States. All NRMLA member companies commit themselves to a Code of Ethics & Professional Responsibility. Learn more at

About RiskSpan, Inc.
RiskSpan offers end-to-end solutions for data management, risk management analytics, and visualization on a highly secure, fast, and fully scalable platform that has earned the trust of the industry’s largest firms. Combining the strength of subject matter experts, quantitative analysts, and technologists, the RiskSpan platform integrates a range of data-sets–including both structured and unstructured–and off-the-shelf analytical tools to provide you with powerful insights and a competitive advantage. Learn more at


MEDIA Contact: Jenny Werwa,, 202-939-1783