Mortgage Closing Rate Hit New High For 2019 in November

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The mortgage closing rate for all loan types increased to 78.6% in November, the highest in at least 16 months, according to Ellie Mae’s Origination Insight report, which is based on data voluntarily provided by lenders using the software firm’s Encompass loan origination system.

The closing rate for refinances increased to 77.1%, up from 75.2% in October, while the closing rate for purchases held at 80.6% for the second straight month.

The refinance share of mortgage activity fell to 49%, while the purchase share increased to 51%.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased in November to 3.97% up from 3.94% in October.

The average rate for a 30-year mortgage backed by the FHA was 3.93%, down from 3.94% in October.

The average rate for a 30-year conventional mortgage was 4.04%, up from 3.98%.

The average rate for a 30-year VA loan decreased to 3.67%, down slightly from 3.68%.

The average FICO score for all closed loans was 736, down from 737 in both October and September.

The average FICO score for a FHA purchase loan was 679, up from 677 the month prior, while the average FICO score for a FHA refinance was 663, down slightly from 664 in October.

The average FICO score for a conventional purchase loan held at 755 for the second consecutive month, while the average FICO score for a conventional refinance decreased by two points to 751.

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 5.3% of all loans, up from 5.0% in October.

LTV held at 77 and DTI remained at 24/37.

Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae, says because interest rates increased for the first time in 2019, “we are seeing the percentage of adjustable rate mortgages rise and the percentage of refinances taper off.”

“Simultaneously, closing rates have reached the highest point in 2019 at 78.6 percent,” Corr says. “We will watch to determine the impacts of holiday seasonality on the home buying market as we close out 2019.”

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