Reverse Mortgage Loans: A Quantitative Analysis

  • Author(s): MAKOTO NAKAJIMA, IRINA A. TELYUKOVA
  • Published: Mar 21, 2017
  • Pages: 911-950
  • DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12489

ABSTRACT

Reverse mortgage loans (RMLs) allow older homeowners to borrow against housing wealth without moving. Despite rapid growth in this market, only 1.9% of eligible homeowners had RMLs in 2013. In this paper, we analyze reverse mortgages in a calibrated life‐cycle model of retirement. The average welfare gain from RMLs is $252 per homeowner, and $1,770 per RML borrower. Bequest motives, uncertainty about health and expenses, and loan costs account for low demand. According to the model, the Great Recession's impact differs across age, income, and wealth distributions, with a threefold increase in RML demand for lowest income and oldest households.

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