Press Release

2020 Sees Refinances Hold Steady as Closing Rates Increase According to January Ellie Mae Origination Insight Report

PLEASANTON, Calif. – Feb. 19, 2020 – According to the January Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae®, the leading cloud-based platform provider for the mortgage finance industry, interest rates fell slightly from 3.99 in December to 3.96 in January.

Refinances stabilized, accounting for 46 percent of total closed loans in the month, on par with December numbers. Conventional loan refinances increased from 53 percent in December to 55 percent in January, while VA and FHA refinances declined slightly from the month prior.

Other statistics of note in January included:

  • The time to close all loans held for the second month at 48 days. Time to close on refinances and purchases was also 48 days in January.
  • Closing rates on all loans increased to 78.2 percent in January, up from 77.8 percent the month prior. Closing rates on purchases was 80.7 percent and closing rates on refinances was 75.8 percent.
  • FICO scores on all closed loans increased slightly from 735 in December to 738 in January.

“The start to 2020 saw interest rates decline and refinances hold steady, driving an increase in our closing rate to 78.2 percent in January,” said Jonathan Corr, President and CEO of Ellie Mae. “All indicators show that we will continue to see a healthy housing market in 2020 as more millennials look to purchase homes and interest rates remain at historic lows driving refinance activity. We do expect 2020 to bring some challenges for homebuyers, not because of what they can afford but rather what they can find due to lagging inventory.”

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
(Jul. 2019*)
1 Year Ago
(Jan. 2019*)
Closed Loans
Refinance 46% 46% 38% 35%
Purchase 54% 54% 62% 65%
FHA 16% 17% 17% 19%
Conventional 71% 70% 69% 66%
VA 8% 9% 10% 11%
Days to Close
All 48 48 42 45
Refinance 48 45 40 38
Purchase 48 51 43 49
Percentage of ARM and Fixed Loan Volume
ARM % 6.3% 5.3% 5.3% 8.6%
30-Year Rate
Average 3.96% 3.99% 4.18% 5.01%

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

  Closed First-Lien Loans (All Types)
FICO Score (FICO) 738
Loan-to-Value (LTV) 76
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 October 2019 applications—to calculate an overall closing rate of 78.2 percent in January 2020 (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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© 2020 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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