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Press Release

January Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae Shows Refinances Represent 45 Percent of Total Closed Loans; Interest Rates Tick Up

PLEASANTON, Calif. – February 21, 2018 – The percentage of refinances rose to 45 percent of all closed loans, up 5 percent from the month prior according to the January Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae® (NYSE:ELLI), the leading cloud-based platform provider for the mortgage finance industry. The percentage of FHA refinances increased to 28 percent of closed loans in the month, up 3 percentage points, and the percentage of conventional refinances increased to 51 percent of closed loans in January, up from 47 percent the month prior.

In January, 30-year interest rates increased to 4.330 from 4.280 the month prior, while the percentage of closed ARMs decreased slightly to 5.5 percent, down from 5.6 percent the month prior.

Closing rates decreased slightly across the board, with closing rates on all loans decreasing from 71.2 percent to 70.9 percent, closing rates on refinances decreasing from 65.6 percent to 65.5 percent and closing rates on purchases decreasing from 76.1 percent to 75.7 percent.

“As we ring in 2018, we see refinances rise as a percent of overall loan volume, something that we have seen every January since we began reporting this data,” said Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae. “This increase in the percentage of refinances is attributed to slower seasonal purchase market carrying over from the end of 2017. Our expectation is percentage of refinances will taper back off to industry projected levels of 25 to 30 percent in the coming months as the purchase market resumes its momentum.”

Other statistics of note in January included:

  • The percentage breakdown of all closed loans changed slightly with conventional loans at 67 percent, FHA loans at 19 percent and VA loans at 10 percent.
  • Closing time for all loans remained at 44 days; time to close a refinance was 40 days, down one day from December; and time to close a purchase was 47 days, up one day from December.
  • Overall FICO scores dropped one point to 721, LTV dropped from 79 to 77 and DTI moved from 25/39 to 26/40.

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 2017)*
1 Year Ago
(Jan. 2017)*
Closed Loans
Refinance 45% 40% 35% 47%
Purchase 55% 60% 65% 53%
FHA 19% 20% 22% 21%
Conventional 67% 66% 64% 66%
VA 10% 10% 10% 9%
Days to Close
All 44 44 43 51
Refinance 40 41 42 53
Purchase 47 46 43 48
Percentage of ARM and Fixed Loan Volume
ARM % 5.5% 5.6% 5.7% 5.4%
30-Year Rate
Average 4.330% 4.280% 4.250% 4.310%

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

  Closed First-Lien Loans (All Types)
FICO Score (FICO) 721
Loan-to-Value (LTV) 77
Debt-to-Income (DTI) 26/40

More information and analysis of closed and denied loans by loan purpose and investor are available in the full report at http://www.elliemae.com/about-us/news-reports/ellie-mae-reports/.

To get a meaningful view of lender pull-through, Ellie Mae reviewed a sampling of loan applications initiated 90 days prior—or the October 2017 applications—to calculate an overall closing rate of 70.9 percent in January 2018 (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 (NYSE:ELLI) 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 EllieMae.com or call 877.355.4362 to learn more.


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

Alexandra Gardell Kreuter
(646) 428-0618

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© 2018 Ellie Mae, Inc. Ellie Mae®, Encompass®, AllRegs®, 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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