Americans age 62 years and older now have more equity in their homes than at any time since mid-2008, according to the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA).
According to 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, seniors had as much equity in their homes as of the fourth quarter of 2013 as they did in the third quarter of 2008. The index has now risen for seven straight quarters.
Over the past two years, the aggregate home equity held by Americans 62 and older grew 12.5% to a total of $3.34 trillion.Â
Mortgage debt held by Americans 62 and older stands at $1.08 trillion – same as the Q3 RMMI report. 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 fourth quarter 2013 all-transactions Indices, which saw housing values increase in 72% of the 412 metropolitan statistical areas 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% 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.