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Senior Values Seen Improving

Using information obtained from its reverse mortgage calculator, Golden Gateway Financial, Oakland, Calif., said the average home values for older Americans halted their slide after remaining flat or declining for seven consecutive quarters.

The national average self-reported home value of older Americans rose from $369,762 in the third quarter of 2009 to $381,895 in the fourth quarter of 2009, the company found, although it added there were significant price declines in many large states, including Florida, Texas and New York.

"Even a minimal gain in home value is a reassuring sign for older Americans because many of these individuals live on a fixed income and rely on their home to support their retirement lifestyle," said Eric Bachman, ceo of Golden Gateway Financial. "This is especially true for those considering a reverse mortgage because as their home increases in value, so does their potential for greater reverse mortgage proceeds." The average age of a person using the calculator in the fourth quarter 2009 was 69.4 years.

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