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Millennial Home Purchases Continue To Rise

Mortgages to Millennial borrowers for new home purchases continued their ascent in June, accounting for 91 percent of closed loans, according to the latest Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker report. In May, 90 percent of closed mortgages to members of the generation were for new home purchases, up from April’s 89 percent, and January’s annual low of 81 percent. This is in correlation with the Census Bureau’s latest quarterly homeownership and vacancy report that shows homeownership across Millennials age 35 and younger increased slightly, representing 36.5 percent of all homeowners, compared to 35.3 percent in the first quarter of 2018.

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Conventional loans remained attractive among Millennials, representing 69 percent of all loans closed in June, a slight uptick from 68 percent in May. FHA loans represented 27 percent of all closed loans to this generation, down one percentage point from the month prior. This is significantly higher than the Ellie Mae June Origination Insight Report data which showed FHA loans represented 20 percent of closed loans in the month for borrowers of all ages.

Average Millennial borrower FICO scores across all loan types rose slightly in June to an average of 723, up from 721 which held steady March through May. For purchases, the average FICO score was 746 for a conventional loan, 681 for an FHA loan and 744 for a VA loan.

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“As it remains a competitive, purchase-centric market, we will continue to keep a close eye on the purchase trends amongst Millennials,” said Joe Tyrrell, Ellie Mae’s executive vice president of corporate strategy. “This new generation of homebuyers wants the capability of an on-demand mortgage, and we are working to provide borrowers a convenient and secure digital mortgage offering that makes the homebuying process a seamless experience.”

Across all loan types, it took Millennials an average of 42 days to close on their loans in June, a day longer than in March, April and May. Purchases took an average of 41 days and refinances took an average of 45 days.

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In June, the hottest housing markets for Millennials were primarily in the Midwest. The top markets by percentage of Millennial loans closed included Clarksburg, W.Va. (65 percent), Watertown, S.D. (65 percent), Boone, Iowa (64 percent), and Dickinson, N.D. (61 percent).

The Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker is an interactive online tool that provides access to up-to-date demographic data about this new generation of homebuyers. It mines data from a robust sampling of approximately 80 percent of all closed mortgages dating back to 2014 that were initiated on Ellie Mae’s Encompass mortgage management solution.

Millennial Homebuyers Exercised Their Purchase Power

Millennial homebuyers across the country exercised their purchase power in April as competition for limited housing inventory continued. Eighty-nine percent (89 percent) of mortgage loans made to Millennial borrowers during the month were for new home purchases, up one percentage point from the month prior, and the highest percentage since May 2017, according to the latest Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker.

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Interest rates also continued to rise in April to 4.73 percent, on average, up from 4.63 percent the month prior. This is the highest interest rate recorded since Ellie Mae began tracking Millennial loan data in January 2014.

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As interest rates crept up, average loan amounts to Millennials fell. The average amount was $194,300 in February, $192,055 in March and $188,171 in April.

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“Most Millennials are buying a house because there are major changes happening in their lives such as starting a family, getting a new job, or because they’ve decided that they want to build equity and stop renting,” said Joe Tyrrell, executive vice president of corporate strategy for Ellie Mae. “We believe Millennial home purchases will continue to climb this summer and while interest rates may slightly impact the size of homes borrowers can get for their money, we don’t foresee it impacting their desire to buy.”

Overall, conventional loans represented 67 percent of all closed loans to Millennial borrowers, while FHA loans held steady at 29 percent from the previous month. VA purchase loans for Millennial borrowers represented 79 percent of all VA closed loans in April, steady from the month prior, and up from 66 percent in February.

The time it took for Millennial homebuyers to close a loan remained flat month-over-month. Purchase loans took an average of 39 days to close and refinance loans took an average of 44 days. FHA purchase loans took an average of 40 days to close, compared to 41 days in March. VA purchase loans averaged 49 days-to-close, compared to 45 days the month prior.

About The Author

Tony Garritano

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 tony@progressinlending.com.

Partnership Helps Lenders And Ellie Mae Accelerate Adoption

Brimma Tech, Inc., a software development and technology services company, announced that it has joined the Ellie Mae Pro consulting partner program.

By participating in the program, Brimma Tech will have deeper access to tools, training, marketing opportunities, and other critical resources to grow its business. Brimma Tech will help lenders and Ellie Mae accelerate the delivery, deployment, and adoption of Ellie Mae’s Encompass solution.

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Brimma Tech Inc. looks to help accelerate the digital transformation journey through:

UX and UI – Strategy and Execution

Rapid Prototyping – Bringing the vision to reality quickly

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Highest Quality Delivery – Our developers, not testers, own quality!

Truly Agile – Weekly sprints and client milestone demonstrations

Mortgage Technology Implementation: Upgrades, configuration and customization to meet your business model

Custom Development: Systems integrations, reporting solutions, dashboards and analytics, extensions and solutioning based on the Encompass Lending Platform

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Remote Admin (Onshore and offshore): Configuration management (users, personae, milestones, business rules, triggers, web hooks, custom input forms, workflows, custom documents, and production support)

“Brimma Tech is delighted to partner with Ellie Mae,” said Brimma Tech’s President, Supree Periasamy. “Our participation in the Ellie Mae Pro program gives us access to the tools we need to stay up-to-date on the latest Ellie Mae product development and ensures that our customers receive the highest quality services for their Encompass environment. We look forward to a long, successful relationship with Ellie Mae.”

Brimma has more than two decades of proven track record of building and implementing multiple Mortgage Origination and Management Solutions for many of the Top 10 US mortgage lenders.

About The Author

Tony Garritano

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 tony@progressinlending.com.

The Percentage Of Purchase Loans Continues To Rise

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.

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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.”

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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.

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>>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.

And The 2018 Winners Are …

Prominent mortgage executives gathered to see who the Executive Team of PROGRESS in Lending named the top industry innovations of the past year at the Eighth Annual Innovations Awards Event. This honor is the Gold Seal when it comes to recognizing true industry innovation. All applications were scored on a weighted scale. We looked for the innovation’s overall industry significance, the originality of the innovation, the positive change the innovation made possible, the intangible efficiencies gained as a result of the innovation, and the hard cost and time savings that the innovation enables industry participants to achieve. The top innovations winners are:

Lodasoft

PROGRESS in Lending has named Lodasoft a top industry innovation. To address the CFPB requirements of improving the borrower experience, the first big wave of innovation has come out of Silicon Valley. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested in the consumer facing aspect of the borrower application. The term “digital mortgage” has been coined and a flood of shinny new mortgage websites and apps have been created to deliver borrowers an Amazon type borrower experience. However, the majority of dollars invested, have focused almost solely on the online application for borrowers. The problem is that mortgage lending is significantly more complicated than just a shinny new app. The right digital mortgage platform helps to drastically reduce the chaos in daily lending processes while improving communication to help lenders close more loans faster. Therefore, in 2017 Lodasoft introduced its truly innovative “Digital Mortgage Platform” featuring Intelligent Loan Manufacturing to address these industry challenges head on.

Capsilon

PROGRESS in Lending has named Capsilon a top industry innovation. A truly innovative mortgage process means more than borrower-friendly loan selection and document submission, it is an end-to-end solution that keeps all stakeholders in the loop throughout the process. In 2017, Capsilon introduced Point of Sale Portals (POS), enabling the creation and delivery of quality loan packages that streamline every process step from application to closing. Capsilon’s POS Portals are powered by Intelligent Process Automation to supercharge loan production from intake to delivery of complete and compliant loan packages. This is an industry first, dramatically improving loan quality and speed, while drastically reducing production costs. Lenders are pressed to meet the challenges of production, compliance and profitability, as well as soaring borrower expectations. Instead of simply streamlining the traditional loan process, in 2017, Capsilon launched Point of Sale Portals that are fully integrated with its patented back-end technology to deliver on the promise of a true digital mortgage.

WebMax

PROGRESS in Lending has named WebMax a top industry innovation. According to Inc. Magazine, Millennials make up 66% of first-time homebuyers and 66% of them plan to buy a home in the next 5 years. Moreover, the same report found that Millennials associate home ownership with the American Dream more than any other generational demographic. The October 2017 composite forecast of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Mortgage Bankers Association for 2017 mortgage origination volume is approximately $1.8 trillion. If Millennials compose 50% of this mortgage volume, and two-thirds of them apply online via digital applications, that represents $600 billion in digital mortgage origination. This number is massive. Better yet, it’s conservative. Millennials expect mobile-responsive mortgage lending sites and applications with a responsive layout from their potential lender. They want their mortgage application to be as easy as buying a t-shirt from an online retailer. Therefore, WebMax developed its innovative point-of-sale solution in 2017, called START, to not only meet the demands of borrowers, but to exceed their expectations and revolutionize the entire process. With START, WebMax provides a single location for the loan to exist for both the borrower and loan officer. There’s no shifting documents back and forth or waiting for verifications. START’s integrations to mission-critical third parties allows for the technology to do the work, streamlining workflows, reducing costs, and minimizing frustration.

Paradatec

PROGRESS in Lending has named Paradatec a top industry innovation. Other OCR solutions typically expect relevant data points to consistently appear in the same locations (or ‘zones’) on a document. If the data shifts due to changes in layout (again, think of bank statements), the zone-based approach will fail unless another layout template is created, making for a greater administrative burden with these solutions. A high volume, scalable OCR automation initiative requires the flexibility of Paradatec’s Advanced Mortgage OCR solution to process an unlimited number of document layouts without needing to develop specific templates for each layout variation. This capability is unique to Paradatec and a vital feature for creating an effective unstructured document classification and data capture solution. Paradatec’s Advanced Mortgage OCR solution is designed to make mortgage lending faster and more accurate. In 2017, Paradatec’s Mortgage OCR solution processed over 1,500,000,000 images (representing over 2,500,000 loans), helping lenders and servicers streamline their onboarding and compliance obligations.

Asurity Technologies

PROGRESS in Lending has named Asurity Technologies a top industry innovation. In 2017, MRGDocs was acquired by Asurity Technologies and introduced MRGDocs’ cloud-based platform which revolutionized the security of its dynamic document generation software featuring a secure system infrastructure to increase the protection of consumer data and deliver safer, faster, and more user-friendly systems while maintaining the content and support quality that has long been the hallmark of MRGDocs’ services and document packages. This solves for several mortgage industry challenges: the costs to secure big data, protecting the myriad of personal identification information collected, and managing compliance through a hyper secure platform. In 2017, MRGDocs built a comprehensive data security capability on a robust foundation that allows for the type of growth and expansion needed to serve even the largest of financial institutions, implementing a hyper-converged, virtual server platform with 24/7 SIEM-managed security monitoring.

STRATMOR Group

PROGRESS in Lending has named STRATMOR Group a top industry innovation. MortgageSAT is an online customer satisfaction measurement program that allows consumers to provide direct feedback on their satisfaction with the mortgage process, and provides lenders actionable insights from the results, all available via an online portal. Put simply, it’s Business Intelligence based on consumer insights. Why did STRATMOR create MortgageSAT? For many years, mortgage lenders have struggled to capture actionable feedback from borrowers by means of post-closing email or closing-table-completed surveys. By means of its powerful borrower satisfaction management tool called MortgageSAT, developed in partnership with the CFI Group, STRATMOR has led the way to fundamental change the way lenders manage and apply borrower feedback. MortgageSAT is the first and only borrower satisfaction monitoring tool to score satisfaction at all levels of the organization as regards retail, consumer direct and broker production. As a consequence, many MortgageSAT clients tie their employee reviews and, in some cases, compensation both to these scores and a review of borrower comments. When everyone’s performance review includes a measure of their contribution to borrower satisfaction, a borrower-centric culture is fostered that is aligned with the emerging competitive paradigm of “optimizing the borrower experience.”

Maxwell

PROGRESS in Lending has named Maxwell at top industry innovation. No matter how digital the process, every mortgage is saddled with documents and data, over 500 pages, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. As a result, an average of 20 days during the mortgage process is consumed by the search, preparation and review of those documents. Maxwell, the leading digital mortgage solution for small and midsize lenders, removes this friction with its platform. Sitting as the digital interface between the lender and their borrowers, Maxwell manages collaboration through the loan process, significantly reducing cycle times and driving delight. Originating teams on Maxwell are able to focus on what they do best, advising and coaching clients through the largest transaction of their lives, while Maxwell’s technology handles the rest. As one head of production attested, “Maxwell allows us to focus on what we love: working with real people. While loans get done faster and my team is happier.”

PromonTech

PROGRESS in Lending has named PromonTech a top industry innovation. The Borrower Wallet is the first offering from Promontory MortgagePath’s technology arm. From a lender’s perspective, the Borrower Wallet captures leads and fosters borrower/lender collaboration to drive enterprise efficiency and improve loan pull-through. In addition, its built-in collaboration tools deliver high-quality data and documents needed to feed and accelerate the downstream underwriting process. As a white-label offering, the Borrower Wallet makes the latest technology accessible and affordable to mid-size and smaller lenders, enabling them to compete with mega lenders. PromonTech’s culture of mutual respect between “techies” and mortgage industry experts made it possible to create a mass-market POS where both consumer and lender needs are equally important. The Borrower Wallet is not the first digital POS, but it’s the first to engage consumers while anticipating lender needs in such a balanced way. It combines creative design, industry analysis and data governance to create a unique user experience.

MCTlive!

PROGRESS in Lending has named MCTlive! a top industry innovation. Over the past year, MCTlive! developed a major mortgage technology advancement with the addition of what the company branded its “Bulk Acquisition Manager” (BAM) solution, which is accessible via MCTlive! BAM is a Digital Loan Trading solution. BAM completely automates the process of packaging and transferring bulk loan bids, which benefits investors, lenders and MCT’s team of in-house mortgage loan traders. The result is a much quicker pricing process for bulk bid tapes, greater data security, better communication between counterparties, increased transparency for all parties, process consistency for investors within their existing platform, and centralization of data. BAM helps facilitate digitize loan trading on the secondary market. The effectiveness of the BAM technology has already gained 100% adoption by the ENTIRE investor community on the secondary market — across the board. And the level of transparency it offers between buyer and seller is hugely attractive and makes investors and lenders feel at ease.

Ellie Mae

PROGRESS in Lending has named the Ellie Mae Encompass NG Lending platform a top industry innovation. The Encompass NG Lending Platform allows lenders, service providers, and independent software vendors the ability to build custom applications in the cloud, integrate external systems and data, and extend Encompass in order to meet any and all industry challenges. Mortgage lenders and mortgage service providers can build, integrate, or customize solutions, and get them to their customers and market quickly. Lenders, partners, and third-party providers gain access to data and systems across the mortgage ecosystem. In the end, all participants can easily view and share loan date, sales pipeline, loan events, documents, and order services. A shared system of record allows all parties in the loan process to see the same up-to-to-date information in the same format. Everyone in the ecosystem can easily share, interact, and collaborate without having to create and support new channels.

 

 

Lenders Are Moving Forward

In covering the mortgage space for more years now I’ll admit, I’ve always been concerned about how slowly this industry moves. In recent months however, I have heard of lenders making some technology moves.

For example, to modernize its mortgage lending operation, Tinker Federal Credit Union (Tinker) has selected the entire product suite from Mortgage Cadence, an Accenture (ACN) company.

With the full Mortgage Cadence product suite, including Loan Fulfillment Center, Borrower Center, Imaging Center and Document Center with integrated eSign capabilities, Tinker will be able to provide its customers with an entirely paperless and seamless end-to-end mortgage process, from application to closing.

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“We owe our members the most convenient, transparent and intuitive lending experience available on the market today – and Mortgage Cadence’s product suite makes this a reality for us,” said Connie Wall, Tinker’s senior vice president of Lending.

Borrowers today expect a highly automated digital experience layered with the human-to-human connection that creates a highly personalized yet efficient experience. By enabling lenders to streamline the delivery of loans to their borrowers through a fast, easy and intuitive platform, the Mortgage Cadence suite of loan origination technology solutions will empower Tinker to deliver on its brand promise of providing customers with an exceptional borrower experience.

“This is exactly the kind of collaboration we had in mind when we founded Mortgage Cadence in 1999,” said Trevor Gauthier, Mortgage Cadence’s President and Chief Operating Officer. “Tinker needed better technology, seeking a comprehensive platform to serve its needs well into the future. I’m very pleased that Mortgage Cadence will be that platform provider and excited about the success we expect Tinker to enjoy for years to come.”

Tinker Federal Credit (TFCU) is the largest credit union in Oklahoma, with over 360,000 members and more than $3.6 billion in assets. For over 70 years, the institution has been helping its members achieve their goals and realize their dreams. As a not-for-profit, member-owned financial cooperative, TFCU returns profits to its members through financial education, competitive loan and dividend rates and low or no fees on service.

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Similarly, Pacific Union Financial, LLC, a government lender has partnered with Ellie Mae to leverage Ellie Mae’s Encompass. This new technology will enable joint customers to deliver loan data and documents in a streamlined, efficient, and secure manner.

This new process helps facilitate loan data and document delivery directly from Encompass to Pacific Union instantaneously. Joint customers will experience a seamless, simplified workflow to help ensure that the information is accurate, organized, and securely transmitted. Going forward, the process with Encompass will eliminate the need to download and upload loan data in multiple locations, and instead provide a seamless transfer of data and documents directly from Encompass to Pacific Union Financial.

“Through our partnership with Ellie Mae, we will improve our efficiency by offering a secure, seamless data and document delivery workflow from their system of record,” said Warren Little, Chief Technology Officer at Pacific Union Financial. “We look forward to working with Ellie Mae to offer digital mortgage solutions that enhance customer service and business operations.”

“At Ellie Mae, our mission is to provide our lenders and partners with a true digital mortgage, which encompasses everything from consumer interest through loan delivery,” said Parvesh Sahi, Senior Vice President at Ellie Mae. “We are excited to partner with innovative lenders like Pacific Union Financial, who share our vision of leveraging automation in order to improve the process while also ensuring the highest levels of compliance, quality and efficiency.”

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Pacific Union Financial, LLC is a full-service mortgage company located in Irving, Texas, with fulfillment centers in Texas and California and over 50 branches across the country. We originate and purchase residential mortgage loans through Wholesale, Retail, and Correspondent channels in addition to servicing a $26 Billion portfolio. Pacific Union Financial offers white glove service for borrowers with best to bruised credit.

And lenders aren’t just looking to swap out cote systems, they have their eye on a more digital process. For example, DocMagic, Inc., a provider of fully-compliant loan document preparation, regulatory compliance and comprehensive eMortgage services, announced that Deutsche Bank has successfully implemented and is actively utilizing its proprietary eVault technology.

“Deutsche Bank has an international footprint in multiple forms of lending and servicing, and having a company of their size select our eVault to safely and securely store sensitive loan documents speaks volumes about the bank’s confidence in our technology,” said Dominic Iannitti, President and CEO of DocMagic, Inc. “We are very pleased to partner with Deutsche Bank on a long-term basis to help achieve its servicing goals with our eVault.”

Using the DocMagic eVault, Deutsche Bank’s document custody group is now empowered to take full possession of electronically originated assets for clients as the loan market continues to transition to a paperless process. DocMagic establishes a legally compliant method to securely move original electronic files from one custodian to another, while preserving unique authoritative digital ownership.

Further, the eVault ensures authentication of original documents passing between owners, irrespective of how many duplicate electronic files there may be of the same record. The repository system within DocMagic’s eVault relies upon digital tamper-proof seals and a detailed, well-documented audit trail that ensures compliance and provides detailed reporting.

DocMagic also made available to Deutsche Bank the ability to leverage a unique dual-option solution that accesses its on-premise eVault installation to provide a gateway to seamlessly and securely connect to MERS via any browser, as well as by way of a direct VPN connection.

As a result of partnering with DocMagic, Deutsche Bank is now well-positioned to easily, compliantly and securely service loans housed in the eVault, creating newfound efficiencies and a competitive advantage for the bank. By providing eVault services to Deutsche Bank’s clients, they further cement themselves as a leader, innovator and provider of excellence. DocMagic’s eVault has been thoroughly vetted and is officially approved by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and MERS to compliantly support eVaulting services.

So, lenders are moving forward when it comes to embracing technology. Are they moving fast enough? In my opinion, no. However, progress is progress. Things are improving. My only hope, as always, is that lenders would move faster.

About The Author

Tony Garritano

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 tony@progressinlending.com.

Time To Close A Loan Decreased

According to data from Ellie Mae, time to close all loans decreased from 44 days in January to 42 days in February.

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Time to close all purchase loans decreased from 47 days in January to 45 in February and time to close all refinances dropped from 40 days in January to 37 days in February. This is a significant drop from 2017 data that shows time to close all refinances was 47 days. Time to close FHA loans also decreased from 47 days in January to 43 days in February and time to close a conventional loan shrank from 43 days in January to 41 days in February. Time to close VA loans shrank from 50 days in January to 47 days in February. This comes as 30-year interest rates continue to rise from 4.330 in January to 4.480 in February, the highest rate since May of 2014. The percentage of closed ARMs held at 5.5 percent for the second month.

Closing rates decreased slightly with closing rates on all loans decreasing from 70.9 percent to 70.6 percent and closing rates on refinances decreasing from 65.5 percent to 65.0 percent. Closing rates on purchases held at 75.7 percent for the second month.

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“As expected, we are seeing the percentage of refinances taper back off to the projected industry levels,” said Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae. “And with interest rates on the rise, we’re seeing the purchase market begin to gain some momentum. We know that the shift to a purchase market will drive the shortened time to close and we will watch to see if the trend continues into the spring and summer months.”

Other statistics of note in February included:

>>The percentage of refinances dropped from 45 percent of all closed loans in January to 43 percent of all closed loans in February.

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>>The percentage of purchases increased to 57 percent of total closed loans.

>>The breakdown of type of loans remained the same for the second month with FHA loans representing 19 percent of closed loans, conventional loans representing 67 percent and VA loans representing 10 percent.

>>Overall FICO scores held steady at 721 for the second month. LTV increased from 77 to 78 and DTI held at 26/40.

The Origination Insight Report focuses on loans that closed in a specific month and compares their characteristics to similar loans that closed 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 non-qualification. The Origination Insight Report details aggregated anonymized data pulled from Ellie Mae’s Encompass

Refinances Remain Ready Among Millennials

Refinances among Millennial borrowers regained their popularity in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to the latest Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker. December was the third straight month refinances accounted for 15 percent of all closed loans for Millennial borrowers – the highest percentage of refinances for this demographic since February 2017’s annual high of 17 percent. The percentage of closed purchase loans remained at 84 percent, decreasing from June 2017’s peak of 90 percent.

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Specifically, the percentage of Conventional refinances remained at 19 percent, holding steady since October, while FHA refinance loans stayed at six percent from the month prior. The percentage of Conventional purchase and FHA purchase loans also remained the same from November to December at 80 and 94 percent, respectively.

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“With seasonality and low inventory levels at the end of the year, Millennial borrowers continued to take advantage of refinance options during the fourth quarter,” said Joe Tyrrell, executive vice president of corporate strategy at Ellie Mae. “Many may have been driven by a desire to take advantage of low interest rates given uncertainty about potential rate hikes in the new year.”

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Other statistics of note for Millennial borrowers in December included:

>>The average 30-year note increased slightly from 4.18 in November to 4.22 in December, still lower than 2017’s highest monthly average of 4.34 in April.

>>The average time to close all loans held at 44 days in December.

>>Average time to close a refinance held at 45 days, while the time to close a purchase also remained flat at 42 days, the same since June 2017.

>>Average FICO scores for all closed loans fell one point from the month prior to 722.

The top Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) for Millennials by percentage of mortgage loans closed in December included Casper, Wyo. (71 percent), Williston, N.D. (63 percent), as well as Victoria, Texas and Mount Pleasant, Mich. (both 61 percent).

The Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker is an interactive online tool that provides access to up-to-date demographic data about this new generation of homebuyers. It mines data from a robust sampling of approximately 80 percent of all closed mortgages dating back to 2014 that were initiated on Ellie Mae’s Encompass mortgage management solution. Searches can be tailored by borrower geography, age, gender, marital status, FICO score and amortization type.

Cooperative Endorses LOS To Members

COCC, an award-winning client-owned financial technology company servicing financial institutions throughout the Northeastern United States, has entered into a partner agreement with Ellie Mae. Through this partnership COCC will offer the Encompass solution to members of the COCC cooperative.

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“Our mission is to be a trusted partner, delivering secure, quality solutions that drive the success of financial institutions,” said Matt L’Heureux, SVP & Chief Product Officer, COCC. “Through this partnership, COCC will provide Ellie Mae’s Encompass solution to our clients to help give them more control with functions and applications that improve efficiency, enhance quality and ensure compliance.”

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Launched in 1967, COCC was founded by its clients. This cooperative structure has set COCC apart from the competition and is one of the driving forces behind their success. COCC is the fastest growing financial data processing company in the United States and is recognized as a leader in delivering innovation and the quality service financial institutions demand and deserve.

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“We are delighted that COCC has chosen to partner with Ellie Mae to offer our Encompass loan origination solution to the banks and credit unions in its cooperative,” said Cathleen Schreiner Gates, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Ellie Mae. “By providing these financial institutions with Ellie Mae’s Encompass, they can leverage our technology to originate more loans, lower the cost to originate and reduce their time to close, all with the quality and compliance needed to meet the changing industry requirements.”

Higher Rates Did Not Deter Millennials

Summer temperatures and higher rates appeared to have little effect on the Millennial homebuying market, according to August data from the Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker. Conventional loans remained steady at 64 percent of all closed loans by this generation, while FHA mortgages stayed at 32 percent—a market share they have held since June. The average loan amount for loans closed by Millennial borrowers in August of 2017 was $185,919, a slight increase from August 2016’s average $184,113, despite the average 30-year note rate having increased to 4.211 percent from 3.706 percent last year.

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In August 2017, the average Millennial primary borrower was a 29.4-year-old who took out a Conventional loan of $185,919 to purchase a home with an average appraised value of $223,882. This average homebuyer had a FICO score of 724, which helped them get a 30-year note rate of 4.211 percent, and they closed on their home in 44 days. The majority (64 percent) of primary borrowers were male. Additionally, more than half (52 percent) of borrowers were married.

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On the West coast, the average Millennial borrower was slightly older, at 30.6 years old, taking out a loan of $314,579 on average. Average loan amounts were lower in the Midwest, with homebuyers of age 29.5 closing loans averaging $158,584 in Kansas, for example. In Hawaii, borrowers of 31.4 years took out loans averaging $396,766.

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Overall, Millennials were most likely to close loans for the purpose of purchasing a home (87 percent). Refinances accounted for 12 percent of loans closed by Millennials in August.

“Average loan amounts in August of this year were slightly higher than last year, despite higher interest rates,” said Joe Tyrrell, executive vice president of corporate strategy for Ellie Mae. “As tends to happen with tight inventories, this is a seller’s market, and many of today’s homebuyers may be faced with paying a premium for the same home they might have bought for less last year. For those who are committed to buying a home, though, slight increases in competition, costs or interest rates will likely not deter them.”

Other key findings from the August 2017 Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker include:

The top five markets where Millennial borrowers represented the highest percentage of homebuyers in August were Lima, Ohio, Batavia, N.Y., Dyersburg, Tenn., Roswell, N.M., and Kendallville, Ind.

Female homebuyers increased their purchase power, with closed loans in August averaging $189,574, up significantly year-over-year from $184,094. Males took a slightly smaller jump, averaging $196,246 in August 2017, versus $194,913 last year.

The metropolitan region with the largest percentage of female homebuyers (63 percent) was Mankato, Minn., with an average loan amount of $136,597 and average borrower FICO score of 723.

Males made up 60 percent of the Millennial market in Lima, Ohio, with loans averaging $86,845 and averaging borrower FICO scores coming in at 725.

The Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker is an interactive online tool that provides access to up-to-date demographic data about this new generation of homebuyers. It mines data from a robust sampling of approximately 80 percent of all closed mortgages dating back to 2014 that were initiated on Ellie Mae’s Encompass all-in-one mortgage management solution.

About The Author

Tony Garritano

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 tony@progressinlending.com.