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Press Release

Percentage of Home Purchases Increases in December According to Latest Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae

Time to close increases slightly; closing rates increase for purchases and refinances

PLEASANTON, Calif. – January 18, 2017 – As the 30-year note rate started to rise, home loan purchase percentages began to increase slightly in December, rising to 54 percent of all closed loans, up from 53 percent in November. This likely signals an upward trend that will continue throughout 2017 according to the latest Origination Insight Report released by Ellie Mae® (NYSE:ELLI), a leading provider of innovative on-demand software solutions and services for the residential mortgage industry. Refinances represented 46 percent of closed loans in the month, down from 47 percent the month prior. This shift is likely due to rising rates as the 30-year note rate in December was 4.05, up from 3.81 in November.

Closing rates for all loans increased to 73.2 percent in December, the highest rate in 2016. Refinance closing rates increased to 69.6 percent, up from 68.7 percent the month prior, and purchase closing rates increased to 77 percent, up from 76.1 percent in November.

The average time to close all loans increased to 50 days in December, up from 49 days the month prior, likely due to holiday seasonality as well as efforts to close loans before rates continue on their upward track. Similarly, time to close a refinance increased to 52 days and time to close a purchase increased to 48 days, both up one day from November.

Average FICO scores decreased slightly in December to 726, down from 728 the month prior. Conventional purchase FICO scores stayed steady at 753 for the third month while conventional refinance FICO scores tapered off to 739, down from 743 in November. FHA purchase FICO scores remained at 686 while FHA refinance FICO scores increased one point from 654 in November to 655 in December. VA purchase FICO scores dropped to 707, down from 709 in November, and VA refinance FICO scores dropped one point to 709 in December.

“As rates began to increase we saw purchases tick back up in December, signaling the start of a trend we expect to continue into 2017,” said Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae. “We also saw closing rates rise to the highest percentage in 2016 as homebuyers locked in rates and lenders closed loans before the conclusion of the year.”

The Origination Insight Report mines its application data from a robust sampling of approximately 75 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.

Ellie Mae also distributes its monthly Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker, which focuses on mortgage applications submitted by millennials during specific time periods. Ellie Mae defines millennials as applicants born between the years 1980 and 1999. The Millennial Tracker will continue to be released on the first Wednesday of each month.

Other findings from the December report:

  • Time to close a VA loan held at 52 days.
  • The Debt-to-Income (DTI) ratio for all closed loans was 25/38, and the Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratio remained at 78.


6 Months Ago
(Jun. 2016)*
1 Year Ago
(Dec. 2015)*
Closed Loans
Refinance 46% 47% 34% 43%
Purchase 54% 53% 65% 56%
FHA 20% 20% 23% 22%
Conventional 66% 68% 64% 65%
VA 9% 9% 9% 9%
Days to Close
All 50 49 46 49
Refinance 52 51 47 47
Purchase 48 47 46 50
Percentage of ARM and Fixed Loan Volume
ARM % 4.6% 3.9% 4.8% 5.3%
30-Year Rate
Average 4.05% 3.81% 3.97% 4.26%

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

  Closed First-Lien Loans (All Types)
FICO Score (FICO) 726
Loan-to-Value (LTV) 78
Debt-to-Income (DTI) 25/38

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 September 2016 applications—to calculate an overall closing rate of 73 percent in December 2016 (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 a leading provider of innovative on-demand software solutions and services for the residential mortgage industry. Mortgage lenders of all sizes use Ellie Mae’s Encompass® all-in-one mortgage management solution, Mavent Compliance Service, and AllRegs research, reference and education resources to improve compliance, loan quality and efficiency across the entire mortgage lifecycle. 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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© 2017 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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