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46 | M REPORT O R I G I NAT I O N S E R V I C I N G DATA G O V E R N M E N T S E C O N DA R Y M A R K E T THE LATEST DATA Senior Home Wealth Grew by Billions in Q3 In Q3 of 2021, senior citizens collectively gained $396.1 billion in equity, a 3.7% rise. S enior citizens are in a great position in the real estate market at the moment, as the latest research shows that their hous- ing wealth grew $396.1 billion to $10.19 trillion during Q 3 of 2021, largely mirroring the meteoric growth seen by the market as a whole. Data was derived from the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA) and RiskSpan's Reverse Mortgage Market Index, a report covering homeowners 62-years-old and over. Currently, the index stands at 356.37 points, an all-time high not seen since the index was first published in the year 2000, which now accounts for a total of $10.19 trillion in value. This increase in older homeowners' real estate wealth was mainly driven by an estimated 3.7% increase—or $440 billion—in home values, but was offset by a 2.2% or $44 billion increase in senior-held mortgage debt. "One of the biggest fears that workers and retirees have is run- ning out of money in retirement and having to subsist solely on Social Security," said Steve Irwin, President of NRMLA. "That's why housing wealth should be considered with other financial assets when developing a compre- hensive retirement plan." As a standard, reverse mort- gages are available to homeown- ers who are 62 and older with significant home equity. NRMLA states that 1.21 million households have taken out an FHA-insured reverse mortgage to help meet their unique financial needs. Last July, a study conducted by American Advisors Group (AAG), a home equity solutions company, broke down, by region, the way seniors are utilizing re- verse mortgage and revealed that Californians lead the country. AAG's Chief Marketing Officer Martin Lenoir noted that California historically has been a popular market for reverse mort- gages, but he said AAG's research is finding increased adoption in many more states such as Colorado and Utah. "Seniors throughout the country are taking advantage of the strong housing market and tapping into their home equity to create financial flexibility," Lenoir said. "Seniors are realizing that their growing home equity is one of their greatest assets and that now is the time to utilize it."

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