Press Release

ICE Mortgage Technology Origination Insight Report Sees Interest Rates Reach Historical Low in December as Refinances Continue to Surge

PLEASANTON, Calif. – Jan. 21, 2021 – Interest rates continued to decline to a new historic low in December 2020 with the 30-year note rate reaching 2.93 percent - the lowest percentage since this data began to be tracked in 2014. This is according to the latest Origination Insight Report from ICE Mortgage Technology®, a division of Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE) and the leading cloud-based loan origination platform provider for the mortgage industry. 

The 30-year note rate across all loan types remained under three percent for the second month in a row. Average interest rates for FHA and Conventional loans dropped to 2.94 and 2.96 percent, respectively, and the note rate on VA loans continued to decrease, hitting 2.66 percent in December.

Share of refinances remained high, with 60 percent of total closed loans in the month, down one point from the month prior. In comparison, in December of 2019, refinances accounted for 46 percent of total closed loans, a significant year-over-year difference. At the end of 2020, purchase loans remained at 39 percent of all closed loans in December. 

Other statistics of note in December included:

  • The time to close all loans increased to 58 days, up from 55 days in November.
  • Time to close for purchase loans increased to 56 days, up from 49 days in November. 
  • Time to close for refinances remained at 59 days, month-over-month.
  • Share of Conventional loans dropped one percentage point month-over-month, representing 81 percent of all closed loans for December.
  • The average FICO score for all loans decreased slightly to 751, down one point from the month prior.

“Interest rates continued to decline at the end of 2020, driving the growing share of refinances for another month,” said Joe Tyrrell, president of ICE Mortgage Technology. “Despite the continued impact of the coronavirus, our lenders are leveraging technology and digital solutions to manage borrower demand for refinances, while taking into account the health and safety of all people as part of the mortgage origination process.”

The Origination Insight Report leverages data from a robust sampling of approximately 80 percent of all mortgage applications that were initiated on the Encompass® lending platform. ICE Mortgage Technology 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, ICE Mortgage Technology also distributes data from its monthly Millennial Tracker on the first Wednesday of each month. The Millennial Tracker focuses on mortgage applications submitted by borrowers born between the years 1980 and 1999. 

6 Months Ago
(June 2020*)
1 Year Ago
(December 2019*)
Closed Loans
Refinance 60% 61% 58% 46%
Purchase 39% 39% 42% 54%
FHA 10% 10% 10% 17%
Conventional 81% 82% 80% 70%
VA 6% 6% 7% 9%
Days to Close
All 58 55 47 48
Refinance 59 59 48 45
Purchase 56 49 46 51
Percentage of ARM and Fixed Loan Volume
ARM % 2.4% 2.4% 3.4% 5.5%
30-Year Rate
Average 2.93% 2.97% 3.35% 3.99%

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

  Closed First-Lien Loans (All Types)
FICO Score (FICO) 751
Loan-to-Value (LTV) 72
Debt-to-Income (DTI) 23/35

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, the company reviewed a sampling of loan applications initiated 90 days prior—or the September 2020 applications—to calculate an overall closing rate of 77 percent in December 2020 (see full report).

About the Origination Insight Report by ICE Mortgage Technology

The Origination Insight Report focuses on loans that closed in a specific month and compares their characteristics to similar loans. 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, de-identified data pulled from the Encompass origination platform. 

News organizations have the right to reuse this data, provided that ICE Mortgage Technology is credited as the source.

About ICE Mortgage Technology

ICE Mortgage Technology, a division of Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE), combines the innovation and expertise of Ellie Mae, Simplifile and MERS to automate the entire mortgage process from consumer engagement through loan registration and every step and task in between. Ellie Mae, as part of ICE Mortgage Technology, is the leading cloud-based loan origination platform provider for the mortgage industry with solutions that enable lenders to originate more loans, lower origination costs and reduce the time to close, all while ensuring the highest levels of compliance, quality and efficiency. Visit ‪‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ or call ‪(877) 355-4362‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ to learn more.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬


Sara Holtz
ICE Mortgage Technology
(925) 227-2193

Caitlin Coffee
(312) 635-8204

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© 2021 ICE Mortgage Technology, comprised of Ellie Mae, Inc., Simplifile and MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Encompass®, Mavent®, Velocify®, [insert other TMs], the ICE Mortgage Technology logos and other trademarks appearing herein are the property of the entities of ICE Mortgage Technology. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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