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Cityscape: Volume 19 Number 1 | Reverse Mortgage Motivations and Outcomes: Insights From Survey Data


The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, and practitioners. Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies.

Cityscape is published three times a year by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Home Equity Conversion Mortgages

Volume 19, Number 1

Mark D. Shroder

Michelle P. Matuga

Reverse Mortgage Motivations and Outcomes: Insights From Survey Data

Stephanie Moulton
Cäzilia Loibl
Donald Haurin
The Ohio State University

The primary goal of this article is to inform assumptions used by researchers and policymakers to model the demand for and takeup of reverse mortgages. Our article describes the characteristics of more than 1,700 households that sought counseling for a reverse mortgage between 2006 and 2011; of those households, 74 percent obtained a reverse mortgage. Using data collected at the time of counseling and also followup survey data collected in 2014, we summarize self-reported motivations for seeking a reverse mortgage, including reasons for not getting a reverse mortgage, if applicable. We also compare the characteristics of households that seek reverse mortgages with the general population of senior homeowners using the 2008, 2010, and 2014 waves of the Health and Retirement Study. A final goal of the article is to compare selected outcomes of reverse mortgage borrowers with outcomes in the general population of senior homeowners.

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