ARMs Hit Eight-Year High

According to the December Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae, the percentage of Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) reached 9.2 percent, the highest percentage in 2018 and since Ellie Mae began tracking data in 2011. This is up from 8.9 percent the month prior and the 2018 low of 5.5 percent. 


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The increase in ARMs continues to be correlated to the 30-year rate, which rose to 5.17 for loans closed in December, up from 5.15 the month prior. For FHAs, the 30-year rate increased to 5.20, Conventional rates increased to 5.19 and VA rates rose to 5.01.


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“With the strong demand for housing and the rapid increase in property value appreciation, more consumers are turning to Adjustable Rate Mortgages in order to gain additional flexibility when competing for a home,” said Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae. “This is another key indication of how demand has outpaced supply in the housing market as consumers pursue their dream of homeownership.”


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Other statistics of note in December included:

>>The time to close all loans increased to 47 days in December, up from 46 days in November. Time to close a purchase loan decreased to 47 days, while time to close a refinance increased to 44 days. 


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>>The percentage of purchase loans rose to 71 percent of total loans in December, up from 70 percent the month prior.

>>Overall FICO scores dropped one point to 726. LTV held at 79 for the fifth month and DTI held at 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.

In addition to the Origination Insight Report, Ellie Mae also distributes data from its monthly Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker on the first Wednesday of each month. The Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker focuses on mortgage applications submitted by borrowers born between the years 1980 and 1999.