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Press Release

Refinances Increase to 47 Percent of Closed Loans in October, According to October Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae

Low 30-year note rate drives refinance activity, closing rates increase to 73 percent

PLEASANTON, Calif. – November 16, 2016 – Refinances increased in October, representing 47 percent of all closed loans in the month 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 percentage of FHA refinances increased to 21 percent in October, up from 19 percent in September, and VA refinances increased to 31 percent, up from 27 percent in September. Conventional refinances also increased to 57 percent, up from 56 percent in September. Refinances were bolstered by the low 30-year note rate, which increased slightly to 3.760 in October, up from a historic low of 3.750 in September.

Closing rates for all loans increased to 73 percent, the highest level in 2016. This is up from 71.8 percent in September. Refinance closing rates increased to 68 percent in October, up from 66.4 percent in September. Purchase closing rates also increased to 77.2 percent in October, up from 76.4 percent in September.

The average time to close all loans remained unchanged in October at 48 days. The time to close a purchase decreased to 46 days while the time to close a refinance held at 50 days. The average time to close an FHA loan decreased to 48 days in October, down from 49 days in September, while time to close an FHA refinance held at 51 days. Time to close an FHA purchase loan decreased to 47 days.

Average FICO scores decreased slightly in October to 730, down from 731 in September. Conventional purchase FICO scores decreased to an average 753 in October, and conventional refinance average FICO scores decreased to 745.

“Refinance activity represented 47 percent of closed loans in the month, up from 45 percent in September,” said Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae. “We saw increases in refinance percentages for FHA, VA and conventional loans, bolstered by the very low 30-year note rate that rose only slightly to 3.760. We believe that homebuyers are taking advantage of the continued low rates to find monthly savings by refinancing their mortgages.”

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 mortgage applications submitted by millennials 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 October report:

  • Time to close a VA loan increased to 52 days.
  • The Debt-to-Income (DTI) ratio for all closed loans remained at 24/37, and the Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratio remained at 78.


6 Months Ago
(Apr. 2016)*
1 Year Ago
(Oct. 2015)*
Closed Loans
Refinance 47% 45% 40% 44%
Purchase 53% 54% 59% 55%
FHA 20% 20% 23% 23%
Conventional 68% 68% 64% 64%
VA 9% 9% 9% 9%
Days to Close
All 48 48 44 46
Refinance 50 50 44 45
Purchase 46 47 45 46
Percentage of ARM and Fixed Loan Volume
ARM % 4.0% 4.0% 4.5% 5.4%
30-Year Rate
Average 3.76% 3.75% 4.10% 4.25%

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

  Closed First-Lien Loans (All Types)
FICO Score (FICO) 730
Loan-to-Value (LTV) 78
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 July 2016 applications—to calculate an overall closing rate of 73 percent in October 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.

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.