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.


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