Press Release

2019 Concludes with Interest Rates and Purchase Percentages on the Rise According to December Ellie Mae Origination Insight Report

PLEASANTON, Calif. – Jan. 22, 2020 – According to the December Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae®, the leading cloud-based platform provider for the mortgage finance industry, interest rates rose again in December to 3.99 percent, up from 3.97 percent in November and the 2019 low of 3.93 percent in September.

This is coupled with the increase in purchase loans, accounting for 54 percent of total closed loans in the month. This is up from 51 percent in November and the 2019 low of 49 percent in September. June of 2019 saw the highest percentage of purchase loans at 69 percent of total closed loans.

Other statistics of note in December included:

  • The time to close all loans rose to 48 days in December, up from 45 days the month prior. Time to close a purchase increased to the highest point in 2019 at 51 days while time to close a refinance increased to 45 days, up from 43 days in November.
  • Time to refinance has been steadily increasing since April when it stood at 33 days along with the increase in demand.
  • Closing rates on all loans decreased slightly from the 2019 high in November to 77.8 percent in December. Closing rates on refinances dropped to 75.5 percent in December, down from 77.1 percent the month prior while closing rates on purchases dropped to 80.3 percent, down from 80.6 percent the month prior.

“As we closed out 2019, we saw interest rates continue to rise to 3.99 percent, still well below the 2019 high of 5.01 percent in January. This drove the increase in purchase percentages back up to 54 percent of closed loans, still well below the 2019 high of 69 percent in June,” said Jonathan Corr, President and CEO of Ellie Mae. “While we believe that seasonality played a part in the slowing of refinances, we believe that we will continue to see purchase percentages pick up in 2020 as refinance demand normalizes.”

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.


6 Months Ago
(Jun. 2019*)
1 Year Ago
(Dec. 2018*)
Closed Loans
Refinance 46% 49% 31% 29%
Purchase 54% 51% 69% 71%
FHA 17% 16% 18% 20%
Conventional 70% 71% 68% 64%
VA 9% 8% 10% 11%
Days to Close
All 48 45 42 47
Refinance 45 43 38 44
Purchase 51 47 45 47
Percentage of ARM and Fixed Loan Volume
ARM % 5.5% 5.3% 6.3% 9.2%
30-Year Rate
Average 3.99% 3.97% 4.40% 5.17%

*All references to months should be read as month ended.

  Closed First-Lien Loans (All Types)
FICO Score (FICO) 735
Loan-to-Value (LTV) 77
Debt-to-Income (DTI) 24/37

More information and analysis of closed and denied loans by loan purpose and investor are available in the full report at

To get a meaningful view of lender pull-through, Ellie Mae reviewed a sampling of loan applications initiated 90 days prior—or the September 2019 applications—to calculate an overall closing rate of 77.8 percent in December 2019 (see full report).

About the Ellie Mae Origination Insight Report

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 origination platform.

News organizations have the right to reuse this data, provided that Ellie Mae, Inc. is credited as the source.

About Ellie Mae

Ellie Mae is the leading cloud-based platform provider for the mortgage finance industry. Ellie Mae’s technology solutions enable lenders to originate more loans, reduce origination costs, and shorten the time to close, all while ensuring the highest levels of compliance, quality and efficiency. Visit or call 877.355.4362 to learn more.


Erica Bigley
Ellie Mae, Inc.
(925) 227-5913

Caitlin Coffee
(312) 635-8204

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© 2019 Ellie Mae, Inc. Ellie Mae®, Encompass®, AllRegs®, Mavent®, Velocify®, the Ellie Mae logo and other trademarks or service marks of Ellie Mae, Inc. appearing herein are the property of Ellie Mae, Inc. or its subsidiaries. All rights reserved. Other company and product names may be trademarks or copyrights of their respective owners.

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