In its latest Origination Insight Report Ellie Mae found that the purchase market is dominant. To get a meaningful view of lender “pull-through,” Ellie Mae reviewed a sampling of loan applications initiated 90 days prior (i.e., the December 2013 applications) to calculate an overall closing rate of 58% in March 2014, up from 55.3% in February 2014. “We continue to see the resurgence of a purchase-centric market as numbers inch closer to historical levels,” said Jonathan Corr, president and chief operating officer of Ellie Mae. “Purchases increased another three percentage points in March 2014 to represent 60% of loans, quite the difference from March 2013 when purchases represented only 38% of loans.
In 2013, approximately 3.5 million loan applications ran through Ellie Mae’s Encompass mortgage management solution. The Origination Insight Report mines its application data from a robust sampling of approximately 57% of all mortgage applications that were initiated on the Encompass origination platform. Given the size of this sample and Ellie Mae’s market share, the Company believes the Origination Insight Report is a strong proxy of the underwriting standards that are being employed by lenders across the country.
“Credit requirements tightened ever so slightly last month. The average FICO score on all closed loans increased for the first time in 2014, rising one point to 725. The average debt-to-income ratio also tightened on both the front and backend, falling to 24/37.
“Average time to close in March 2014 fell to 40 days for all loans––five days faster than January 2014. The average purchase loan closed six days faster (41 days) in March than it did in January (47 days).”
The Origination Insight Report focuses on loans that closed or were denied in a specific month and compares their characteristics to similar loans that closed or were denied 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 Loans that do not close could still be active applications or applications withdrawn by consumers or denied for incompleteness or nonqualification. The Origination Insight Report details aggregated, anonymized data and does not disclose client-specific or proprietary information.