The number of federally insured reverse mortgages closed in 2008 grew to 115,176 loans, up 6.4% over the 2007 total.

Consultants at Reverse Market Insight, Aliso Viejo, Calif., have published those figures in an analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The consultants, who conducted the analysis for the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association, Washington, also found that 2,949 lenders originated at least one home equity conversion mortgage loan in 2008, up 76% from the number that originated a conversion mortgage loan the year before.