Press Release

March Ellie Mae Origination Insight Report Data Shows Refinance Market Growth as Interest Rates Continue to Drop

PLEASANTON, Calif. – April 15, 2020 – Interest rates continued to decline in March to the lowest percentage since January 2013, driving up the percentage of refinances, according to the March Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae®, the leading cloud-based loan origination platform provider for the mortgage industry.

The 30-year rate on all loans dropped to 3.65 percent, down from 3.86 percent the month prior. The 30-year rate on conventional loans continued to fall in March, dropping to 3.65 percent from 3.89 percent in February. Similarly, the 30-year rate on FHA loans fell to 3.76 percent, down from 3.87 percent the month prior. The 30-year rate on VA loans dropped to 3.45 percent from 3.62 percent in February.

As rates dropped, the percentage of refinances increased, representing 55 percent of closed loans, up from 51 percent in February and 50 percent in January.

Other statistics of note in March included:

  • The time to close all loans decreased to 40 days in March, down from 43 days in February.
  • Closing rates on all loans decreased slightly to 78.0 percent in March, down from 78.3 percent the month prior. Closing rates on purchases decreased to 80.2 percent from 80.7 percent the month prior and closing rates on refinances decreased to 75.7 percent, down from 76.0 percent in February.
  • The percentage of Adjustable Rate Mortgages dropped to 3.2 percent, down from 5.3 percent the month prior.

“Interest rates continued to decline into March, driving the growing share of refinances for another month,” said Jonathan Corr, President and CEO of Ellie Mae. “Despite the impacts of the coronavirus and stock market fluctuations, our lenders are leveraging technology to manage borrower demand for refinances while taking into account the health and safety of all players in the mortgage origination process. With digital solutions for homebuyers and originators like online applications, remote online notarizations, homeowner-guided appraisals and eClosings, our lenders are able to minimize disruptions to their operations and limit in-person interaction.”

The Origination Insight Report mines data from a robust sampling of approximately 80 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.

In addition to the Origination Insight Report, Ellie Mae also distributes data from its monthly Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker on the first Wednesday of each month. The Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker focuses on mortgage applications submitted by borrowers born between the years 1980 and 1999.


6 Months Ago
(Sept. 2019*)
1 Year Ago
(Mar. 2019*)
Closed Loans
Refinance 55% 51% 49% 35%
Purchase 45% 49% 51% 65%
FHA 16% 14% 16% 20%
Conventional 74% 74% 71% 64%
VA 8% 8% 9% 11%
Days to Close
All 40 43 43 42
Refinance 35 40 39 32
Purchase 45 44 46 45
Percentage of ARM and Fixed Loan Volume
ARM % 3.2% 5.3% 4.7% 7.4%
30-Year Rate
Average 3.65% 3.86% 3.93% 4.77%

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

  Closed First-Lien Loans (All Types)
FICO Score (FICO) 742
Loan-to-Value (LTV) 76
Debt-to-Income (DTI) 24/36

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 2019 applications—to calculate an overall closing rate of 78.0 percent in March 2020 (see full report).

About the Ellie Mae Origination Insight Report

The Origination Insight Report focuses on loans that closed in a specific month and compares their characteristics to similar loans that closed 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 pulled from Ellie Mae’s Encompass origination platform.

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

About Ellie Mae

Ellie Mae is the leading cloud-based platform provider for the mortgage finance industry. Ellie Mae’s technology solutions enable lenders to originate more loans, reduce origination costs, and shorten the time to close, all while ensuring the highest levels of compliance, quality and efficiency. Visit or call 877.355.4362 to learn more.


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

Caitlin Coffee
(312) 635-8204

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© 2020 Ellie Mae, Inc. Ellie Mae®, Encompass®, AllRegs®, Mavent®, Velocify®, the Ellie Mae logo and other trademarks or service marks of Ellie Mae, Inc. appearing herein are the property 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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