Mortgage Closing Speed Increases; Closing Rates Follow Suit

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ICE Mortgage Technology’s March 2021 Origination Insight Report reveals that the time to close all loans decreased over the first quarter of 2021, from 58 days in January to 52 days in March.

Time to close all purchase loans decreased over the quarter, from 57 days in January, to 53 days in February, and down to 51 days in March. Refinances saw similar decreases in days-to-close, falling from 59 days in January, to 52 in both February and March.

Closing rates increased slightly for the month on all loans, increasing from 76.4 percent in February to 77.9 percent in March. Closing rates on refinances increased from 76.3 percent to 78.0 percent month-over-month, while closing rates on purchases increased from 77.1 to 78.1 percent, respectively.

The percentage of refinances dropped from 68 percent of all closed loans in February to 63 percent of all closed loans in March. The percentage of purchases increased to 36 percent of total closed loans for the month of March, up from 32 percent the month prior.

“After months of near record numbers of refinances, it is clear that the pandemic has shifted how people view their homes and in doing so, prompted homeowners to refinance, often in order to access the equity,” says Joe Tyrrell, president of ICE Mortgage Technology.

“As we enter the summer home-buying months, if we continue to see higher than normal refinance volumes, as some homeowners commit to staying in their current homes, it will mean new buyers face an even more competitive purchase market driven by tight supply.”

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