*Here We Go*
**By Tony Garritano**
***The purchase market has arrived. “In October 2013, the share of purchase loans climbed to 61%, the highest since we began tracking in August 2011. In October 2012, purchase loans represented only 31% of closed loans,” said Jonathan Corr, president and chief operating officer of Ellie Mae. “This has been the ninth consecutive month that the purchase loan percentage has either increased or stayed steady.”
****To get a meaningful view of lender “pull-through,” Ellie Mae reviewed a sampling of loan applications initiated 90 days prior (i.e., the July 2013 applications) to calculate an overall closing rate of 51.4%, down from 52.3% in September 2013.
****“The average FICO scores for closed loans last month remained at 732, but this was significantly lower than the average of 750 in October 2012,” added Corr. “Similarly, debt-to-income ratios rose for the fourth month in a row, from 25/37 in September 2013 to 25/38 in October 2013.
****“HARP-related refinancing activity cooled significantly with conventional refinances at 95%-plus LTV dropping nearly in half: from 13.4% in August 2013 and 10.3% in September 2013 to 7.3% in October 2013,” Corr concluded.
****This data was reported by Ellie Mae in their October Origination Report. The report draws its data and insights from a robust sampling of the significant volume of loan applications—more than 20% of all originations in the United States.
Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.