Industry News

Investors turn attention to reverse mortgages

Slowing 'forward' market is behind the about face

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A mortgage origination market ever on the lookout for revenue opportunities is especially eager to identify new areas for profit in today's slower environment, which is why private investors seem to be salivating about the growing -- and aging -- reverse-mortgage sector. A regional trade meeting in Atlanta last week attracted more than 400 participants, a roomful of exhibitors and an intriguing handful of Wall Street representatives who mostly kept a low profile at the event as they eyed new securitization sources. A sure sign of pending growth, from a previously sleepy market segment measuring only .03 percent of the "forward" mortgage loans last year, was the presence of representatives from UBS, Bear Stearns, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse/First Boston (CSFB). They were conducting quiet meetings at the show with reverse-mortgage originators, who could become prospective clients of these secondary market aggregators and investors, if and when the numbers add up. To date, most rever...