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Press Release

Refinances Continue Upswing in August Representing 43 Percent of Closed Loans, According to August Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae

30-year note rate decline continues to lowest since 2013 while FICO scores are on the rise

PLEASANTON, Calif. – September 21, 2016 – Refinances increased to 43 percent of all closed loans in August, up from 37 percent in July 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. Purchases represented 56 percent of closed loans in August, down from 62 percent in July. Additionally, the 30-year note rate continued to decline from 3.870 in July to 3.770 in August.

The average time to close all loans remained steady at 46 days for the third consecutive month. The time to close a purchase also remained at 46 days while the time to close a refinance decreased to 46 days, down from 48 days in July. The average time to close an FHA loan increased to 48 days in August, up from 47 days in July, while time to close an FHA refinance held at 49 days. Time to close an FHA purchase loan also held steady at 47 days.

Closing rates for all loans increased to 72.3 percent in August, up from 71.6 percent in July. Refinance closing rates increased to 67.1 percent in August, up from 66.6 percent in July, and purchase closing rates increased to 76.4 percent in August, up from 75.7 percent in July.

FICO scores continued to rise with an average FICO score of 731. Conventional purchase FICO scores held steady at 754 in August while conventional refinance FICO scores continued to rise to an average of 747 in August, up from 739 in July.

“Refinances continued their upswing in August, representing 43 percent of all closed loans,” said Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae. “Average FICO scores were also on the rise, climbing back to 731, which is the highest average we’ve seen since March of 2015, and tied to the rising percentage of conventional loans versus FHA loans. The 30-year note rate also fell to a historic low of 3.770, the lowest we’ve seen since May of 2013.”

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.

Ellie Mae also distributes its monthly Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker, which focuses on millennial mortgage applications during specific time periods. Ellie Mae defines millennials as applicants born between the years 1980 and 1999. The Millennial Tracker will continue to be released on the first Wednesday of each month.

Other findings from the August report:

  • The average FICO score for a VA purchase loan was 708 while the average FICO score for a VA refinance rose to 712.
  • The Debt-to-Income (DTI) ratio for all closed loans was 24/37 while the Loan-to-Value ratio fell to 79.


6 Months Ago
(Feb. 2016)*
1 Year Ago
(Aug. 2015)*
Closed Loans
Refinance 43% 37% 46% 37%
Purchase 56% 62% 52% 62%
FHA 20% 23% 22% 24%
Conventional 68% 65% 65% 63%
VA 9% 9% 9% 10%
Days to Close
All 46 46 46 47
Refinance 46 48 44 50
Purchase 46 46 48 45
Percentage of ARM and Fixed Loan Volume
ARM % 4.1% 4.5% 5.1% 5.6%
30-Year Rate
Average 3.77% 3.87% 4.22% 4.31%

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

  Closed First-Lien Loans (All Types)
FICO Score (FICO) 731
Loan-to-Value (LTV) 79
Debt-to-Income (DTI) 24/37

More information and analysis of closed and denied loans by loan purpose and investor are available in the full report at http://www.elliemae.com/about-us/news-reports/ellie-mae-reports/.

To get a meaningful view of lender pull-through, Ellie Mae reviewed a sampling of loan applications initiated 90 days prior—or the May 2016 applications—to calculate an overall closing rate of 72.3 percent in August 2016 (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. 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 EllieMae.com 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®, Millennial Tracker, 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.