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Reverse Mortgage Loans: A Quantitative Analysis

Author

Listed:
  • Irina A. Telyukova

    (University of California San Diego)

  • Makoto Nakajima

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia)

Abstract

Reverse mortgages allow elderly homeowners with limited income or financial wealth to borrow against their housing wealth without downsizing or selling out and becoming a renter. Although the proportion of elderly homeowners using reverse mortgages has been increasing rapidly, only 1.4 percent of elderly homeowners are using reverse mortgages. In this paper, we analyze reverse mortgage loans in a rich structural life-cycle model in retirement. Our model can replicate the low take-up rate with a reasonable calibration. When the model is calibrated to match the observed take-up rate, the welfare gain from introducing reverse mortgages is small -- equivalent to a one-time transfer of 4 dollars for all households, or 300 dollars for those who benefit from reverse mortgage loans. Our model indicates that the reverse mortgages are used by the borrowers to pay for medical expenses while remaining in their home. Through a variety of counterfactual experiments, we identify that bequest motives, moving shocks, and house price fluctuations, as well as costs of insurance, contribute to the observed low take-up rate. Finally we also find that the HECM Saver, which is a recently-introduced reverse mortgage contract, pushes up demand for reverse mortgages. Going forward, we are planning to investigate the optimal design of reverse mortgage loans using our framework.

Suggested Citation

  • Irina A. Telyukova & Makoto Nakajima, 2011. "Reverse Mortgage Loans: A Quantitative Analysis," 2011 Meeting Papers 387, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed011:387
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alan Greenspan & James Kennedy, 2008. "Sources and uses of equity extracted from homes," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 120-144, spring.
    2. Juan Contreras & Joseph B. Nichols, 2010. "Consumption responses to permanent and transitory shocks to house appreciation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2010-32, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Sally R. Merrill & Meryl Finkel & Nandinee K. Kutty, 1994. "Potential Beneficiaries from Reverse Mortgage Products for Elderly Homeowners: An Analysis of American Housing Survey Data," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 22(2), pages 257-299.
    4. Donald Haurin & Chao Ma & Stephanie Moulton & Maximilian Schmeiser & Jason Seligman & Wei Shi, 2016. "Spatial Variation in Reverse Mortgages Usage: House Price Dynamics and Consumer Selection," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 53(3), pages 392-417, October.
    5. Hui Shan, 2011. "Reversing the Trend: The Recent Expansion of the Reverse Mortgage Market," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 39(4), pages 743-768, December.
    6. Joachim Inkmann & Paula Lopes & Alexander Michaelides, 2011. "How Deep Is the Annuity Market Participation Puzzle?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(1), pages 279-319.
    7. Matt Chambers & Carlos Garriga & Don Schlagenhauf, 2009. "The Loan Structure and Housing Tenure Decisions in an Equilibrium Model of Mortgage Choice," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(3), pages 444-468, July.
    8. Pashchenko, Svetlana, 2013. "Accounting for non-annuitization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 53-67.
    9. Cassio M. Turra & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2004. "The Impact of Health Status and Out-of-Pocket Medical Expenditures on Annuity Valuation," Working Papers wp086, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    10. Makoto Nakajima, 2012. "Everything you always wanted to know about reverse mortgages but were afraid to ask," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Q1, pages 19-31.
    11. Lee Lockwood, 2012. "Bequest Motives and the Annuity Puzzle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(2), pages 226-243, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2016. "Savings After Retirement: A Survey," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 8(1), pages 177-204, October.
    2. Moulton, Stephanie & Haurin, Donald R. & Shi, Wei, 2015. "An analysis of default risk in the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 17-34.
    3. Thomas F. Crossley & Cormac O'Dea & Richard Blundell & Rowena Crawford & Eric French & Gemma Tetlow, 2016. "Comparing Retirement Wealth Trajectories on Both Sides of the Pond," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 37, pages 105-130, March.
    4. repec:eee:hapoch:v1_237 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Carmen Hoyo & David Tuesta, 2013. "Financiando la jubilacion con activos inmobiliarios: un analisis de caso para Mexico," Working Papers 1334, BBVA Bank, Economic Research Department.
    6. repec:eee:jhouse:v:38:y:2017:i:c:p:25-37 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Dillingh, Rik, 2016. "Empirical essays on behavioral economics and lifecycle decisions," Other publications TiSEM 0e2143e3-bd86-4302-90eb-e, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    8. Davidoff, Thomas & Gerhard, Patrick & Post, Thomas, 2017. "Reverse mortgages: What homeowners (don’t) know and how it matters," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 151-171.
    9. Donald Haurin & Chao Ma & Stephanie Moulton & Maximilian Schmeiser & Jason Seligman & Wei Shi, 2016. "Spatial Variation in Reverse Mortgages Usage: House Price Dynamics and Consumer Selection," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 53(3), pages 392-417, October.
    10. Fang, H., 2016. "Insurance Markets for the Elderly," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, Elsevier.
    11. Carmen Hoyo & David Tuesta, 2013. "Financing retirement with real estate assets: an analysis of Mexico," Working Papers 1335, BBVA Bank, Economic Research Department.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination

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