The percentage of closed purchase loans increased to 62 percent of total closed loans, up 6 percent from the month prior according to the March Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae. The percentage of closed refinances decreased to 38 percent, down from 43 percent the month prior.
This comes as 30-year interest rates continued to rise to 4.69 percent, up from 4.48 percent in February and 4.33 percent in January. This is the highest rate since January of 2014. Additionally, the percentage of Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) increased from 5.5 percent in February to 6.3 percent in March.
Closing rates on purchase loans rose to 76.3 percent, up from 75.7 percent the month prior, while closing rates on refinances decreased slightly from 65.0 percent in February to 64.9 percent in March.
“With interest rates rising to the highest levels since January 2014, we’re seeing the purchase market continue to gain momentum,” said Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae. “As we’ve seen in the past several months, the shift to a purchase market coupled with the adoption of digital mortgage solutions by our customers aids in driving down the time to close.”
Other statistics of note in March included:
>>The percentage of refinances decreased across the board with FHA refinances dropping from 28 percent in February to 23 percent in March. Conventional refinances dropped from 48 percent in February to 43 percent in March, and VA refinances decreased from 33 percent in February to 28 percent in March.
>>The time to close all loans decreased slightly from 42 days in February to 41 days in March. Time to close purchases dropped to 43 days in March, down from 45 days in February and 47 days in January.
>>Overall FICO scores increased slightly to 722. LTV increased slightly to 79 and DTI decreased to 26/39.
The Origination Insight Report mines data from a robust sampling of approximately 80 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.