Press Release

Average Time to Close a Loan Continues to Drop to 44 Days According to March Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae

Closing rates increase to over 70 percent for the first time since Ellie Mae launched data report

PLEASANTON, Calif. – April 20, 2016 – Time to close all loans decreased to 44 days, the shortest time to close since March 2015, according to the latest Origination Insight Report released by Ellie Mae® (NYSE:ELLI), a leading provider of innovative on-demand software solutions and services for the residential mortgage industry. The average time to close a purchase decreased from 48 days in February to 45 days in March, while time to close a refinance also decreased from 44 days in February to 41 days in March. Similarly, the average time to close FHA loans decreased from 47 days in February to 44 days in March. Time to close VA loans decreased from 50 days to 48 days.

Average closing rates for all loans continued to rise to the highest since Ellie Mae began tracking data in August 2011. Closing rates for all loans increased to 70.6 percent in March, up from 69.9 percent in February. Refinance closing rates increased to 66.2 percent, while purchase closing rates increased to just over 75 percent.

In terms of loan purpose, purchases increased to 55 percent of all closed loans, up from 52 percent in February, while refinances as a percentage of lenders’ overall loan volume fell one percentage point to 45 percent.

Ellie Mae added a FICO distribution chart to the Origination Insight Report for March, which showed that 67 percent of closed loans had FICO scores of 700 or above. Twelve percent of closed loans had FICO scores of 650 or below.

“We continue to see a decrease in days to close from 46 days in February to 44 days in March,” said Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae. “In addition, the percentage of loans closing are continuing their upswing, increasing one percentage point to just over 70 percent, which is the highest closing rate we’ve seen since we began tracking data in August of 2011. However, we’re still seeing credit remain relatively tight with 67 percent of closed loans having FICO scores of 700 or above.”

The Origination Insight Report mines its application data from a robust sampling of approximately 75 percent of all mortgage applications that were initiated on the Encompass® all-in-one mortgage management solution. Ellie Mae believes the Origination Insight Report is a strong proxy of the underwriting standards employed by lenders across the country.

Other findings from the January report:

  • The average 30-year rate for all loans decreased from 4.22 in February to 4.12 in March.
  • Debt-to-Income (DTI) dropped to 25/38 while Loan-to-Value (LTV) increased to 80.


6 Months Ago
(Sept. 2015)*
1 Year Ago
(Mar. 2015)*
Closed Loans
Refinance 45% 46% 42% 53%
Purchase 55% 52% 57% 46%
FHA 22% 22% 23% 22%
Conventional 66% 65% 64% 66%
VA 9% 9% 9% 9%
Days to Close
All 44 46 46 44
Refinance 41 44 46 45
Purchase 45 48 46 44
Percentage of ARM and Fixed Loan Volume
ARM % 4.4% 5.1% 5.3% 4.2%
30-Year Rate
Average 4.12% 4.22% 4.28% 4.04%

*All references to months should be read as month ended.

  Closed First-Lien Loans (All Types)
FICO Score (FICO) 722
Loan-to-Value (LTV) 80
Debt-to-Income (DTI) 25/38

More information and analysis of closed and denied loans by loan purpose and investor are available in the full report at

To get a meaningful view of lender pull-through, Ellie Mae reviewed a sampling of loan applications initiated 90 days prior—or the December 2015 applications—to calculate an overall closing rate of 70.6 percent in March 2016 (see full report).

About the Ellie Mae Origination Insight Report

The Origination Insight Report focuses on loans that closed or were denied in a specific month and compares their characteristics to similar loans that closed or were denied three and six months earlier. The closing rate is calculated on a 90-day cycle rather than on a monthly basis because most loan applications typically take one-and-a-half to two months from application to closing. Loans that do not close could still be active applications or applications withdrawn by consumers or denied for incompleteness or non-qualification.

The Origination Insight Report details aggregated anonymized data. The report does not disclose client-specific or proprietary information.

News organizations have the right to reuse this data, provided that Ellie Mae, Inc. is credited as the source.

About Ellie Mae

Ellie Mae (NYSE:ELLI) is a leading provider of innovative on-demand software solutions and services for the residential mortgage industry. Mortgage lenders of all sizes use Ellie Mae’s Encompass® all-in-one mortgage management solution, Mavent Compliance Service, and AllRegs research, reference and education resources to improve compliance, loan quality and efficiency across the entire mortgage lifecycle. Visit or call 877.355.4362 to learn more.


Erica Harvill
Ellie Mae, Inc.
(925) 227-5913

Alexandra Gardell Kreuter
(646) 428-0618

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© 2016 Ellie Mae, Inc. Ellie Mae®, Encompass®, AllRegs®, DataTrac®, Ellie Mae Network, Mavent®, Mortgage Returns®, Prospect Manager®, Total Quality Loan®, True CRM®, TQL® and the Ellie Mae logo are trademarks of Ellie Mae, Inc. or its subsidiaries. All rights reserved. Other company and product names may be trademarks or copyrights of their respective owners.

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