IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Potential Beneficiaries from Reverse Mortgage Products for Elderly Homeowners: An Analysis of American Housing Survey Data

  • Sally R. Merrill
  • Meryl Finkel
  • Nandinee K. Kutty

A variety of reverse mortgage loan programs have been available to elderly households for over a decade. The number of unrestricted reverse mortgage loans issued by the private sector has been quite small. About 12,000 loans have been issued through mid-1992. Some researchers take this to mean that the size of the potential market for reverse mortgages is also quite small. Other researchers claim that current low levels of activity reflect supply and demand problems, but that the potential market is in fact quite large.This paper uses American Housing Survey (AHS) data to estimate the potential size of the market for unrestricted reverse mortgages. The 1989 national AHS shows that there are over twelve million elderly homeowners (age 62 and over) who own their homes free and clear. Depending on their income, age and the level of home equity, the group of households most likely to benefit from reverse annuity mortgages is considerably smaller. As one approach to defining a lower bound of the estimate of potential beneficiaries from reverse mortgages, we count the number of homeowners in a prime group consisting of the older elderly, aged 70 or above, with an annual income of $30,000 or less, with home equity between $100,000 and $200,000, who have lived in their homes for over ten years. We estimate that there are about 800,000 elderly households in this prime group. For such households, reverse mortgage payments could represent a substantial percentage increase in income; other definitions of target groups can also be explored using the tables provided.The paper uses the 1985 through 1988 AHS Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (SMSA) surveys to identify areas that have a large number of elderly homeowners in the prime target group, and in which these homeowners represent a large fraction of the elderly homeowner population. These locations are likely targets for introduction of reverse mortgage products because any campaign can be targeted towards a high concentration of likely eligible beneficiaries. Copyright American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: link to full text
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association in its journal Real Estate Economics.

Volume (Year): 22 (1994)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 257-299

in new window

Handle: RePEc:bla:reesec:v:22:y:1994:i:2:p:257-299
Contact details of provider: Postal: Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, 1309 East Tenth Street, Suite 738, Bloomington, Indiana 47405
Phone: (812) 855-7794
Fax: (812) 855-8679
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:reesec:v:22:y:1994:i:2:p:257-299. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.