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Press Release

Refinances Account for Nearly Fifty Percent of all Closed Loans in September as Interest Rates Continue to Decline, According to Latest Ellie Mae Origination Insight Report

PLEASANTON, Calif. – Oct. 16, 2019 – According to the September Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae®, the leading cloud-based platform provider for the mortgage finance industry, the 30-year note rate dropped for the ninth consecutive month to 3.93 percent, down from 4.07 percent in August. The drop in interest rates month-over-month continues to drive up the percentage of refinances, which accounted for 49 percent of all loans in September, up from 43 percent the month prior. Purchase percentages as a share of all loans dropped to 51 percent of all total loans, the lowest percentage since March of 2015.

September was the first month in 2019 that conventional refinances rose to over 50 percent of total conventional loans, accounting for 55 percent of conventional loans in the month. Conventional purchases dropped to 45 percent. FHA refinances increased slightly to 28 percent of all closed FHA loans, up from 27 percent the month prior, while FHA purchases dropped to 72 percent. VA refinances increased to 37 percent, up from 34 percent the month prior.

Other statistics of note in September included:

  • The time to close all loans rose slightly to 43 days, up from 42 days the month prior. The time to close a refinance loan held at 39 days while the time to close a purchase loan increased to 46 days in September, up from 45 the month prior.
  • The percentage of Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) decreased to 4.7 percent, down from 5.3 percent the month prior.
  • The average FICO score for all closed loans increased to 737, up from 734 the month prior.

“The continued decline in interest rates is driving the refinance revitalization that is now accounting for almost 50 percent of all closed loans in the month,” said Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae. “The market is still anticipating further rate cuts by Treasury, so lenders should capitalize on leveraging technology to ensure they are responding to the growing number of refinance opportunities that come their way.”

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
(Mar. 2019*)
1 Year Ago
(Sept. 2018*)
Closed Loans
Refinance 49% 43% 35% 29%
Purchase 51% 57% 65% 71%
FHA 16% 17% 20% 20%
Conventional 71% 69% 64% 65%
VA 9% 10% 11% 10%
Days to Close
All 43 42 42 44
Refinance 39 39 34 42
Purchase 46 45 45 45
Percentage of ARM and Fixed Loan Volume
ARM % 4.7% 5.3% 7.4% 7.2%
30-Year Rate
Average 3.93% 4.07% 4.77% 4.91%

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

  Closed First-Lien Loans (All Types)
FICO Score (FICO) 737
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 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 June 2019 applications—to calculate an overall closing rate of 78.1 percent in September 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 EllieMae.com or call 877.355.4362 to learn more.


Erica Harvill
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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