Ellie Mae: Refinance Volume Up 13% Since July

Mortgage refinancing volume increased for the fourth straight month in November as interest rates continued to fall, according to Ellie Mae's Origination Insight Report.

Refinance volume increased from 40% of all originations in October to 45% of all originations in November, according to the report, which is based on data flowing through Ellie Mae's Encompass loan origination system (LOS).

Meanwhile, purchase volume fell from 60% of all volume in October to 54% in November.

Since July, refinances as a percentage of lenders' overall loan volume have climbed 13%, according to the report.

In addition to higher refinance volume, closing rates on purchase loans rose to 66.5%, the highest since Ellie Mae began tracking this figure in August 2011.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in November was 4.273%, the lowest level since June 2013.

‘With 2014 coming to an end, lenders are hopeful for a steady improvement in market conditions,’ says Jonathan Corr, president and chief operating officer of Ellie Mae. ‘Winter is normally a slow time for housing sales, yet the increase in refinancing volume is protecting many lenders from the cold. Meanwhile, lower interest rates and the return of the government-sponsored enterprises' three-percent down payment loan programs may help lenders and home buyers get off to a great start this New Year.’

The average length of time to close a purchase loan rose to 41 days in November, compared to 40 days in October.

The average time to close a refinance loan dipped to 37 days, tying the lowest mark of the year.

Credit requirements are roughly the same as one year ago, as 31% of borrowers had an average FICO score of under 700 compared to 30% in November 2013.

The average FICO score for loans closed in November was 729, according to the report.

Ellie Mae says the report is based on about 57% of the data flowing through its LOS.


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