Refinance Activity Continues in September Representing 45 Percent of Closed Loans, According to September Origination Insight Report From Ellie Mae

30-year note rate decline continues to 3.750, time to close loans creeps up to 48 days

PLEASANTON, Calif.--()--Refinances increased to 45 percent of all closed loans in September, up from 43 percent in August 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. Additionally, the 30-year note rate continued to decline to 3.750 in September from to 3.770 in August.

The average time to close all loans increased to 48 days in September, up from 46 days in August. The time to close a purchase increased to 47 days while the time to close a refinance increased to 50 days, the most since August 2015. The average time to close an FHA loan increased to 49 days in September—up from 48 days in August—while time to close an FHA refinance increased to 51 days. Time to close an FHA purchase loan also increased to 48 days.

Closing rates for all loans decreased slightly to 71.8 percent in September, down from 72.3 percent in August. Refinance closing rates decreased to 66.4 percent in September, down from 67.1 percent in August, and purchase closing rates held steady at 76.4 percent in September.

FICO scores held steady in September with average FICO score of 731. Conventional purchase FICO scores held steady at 754 in September and conventional refinance FICO scores remained at an average of 747.

“Refinance activity continued into September, representing 45 percent of closed loans in the month,” said Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae. “We believe that given the volume of refinances during the month, it is not surprising that the average time to close would increase slightly from the month prior. While all loans increased from 46 days in August to 48 days in September, the average time to close a refinance increased to 50 days, which is the most we’ve seen in over a 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 millennial mortgage applications 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 September report:

  • Time to close a VA loan increased to 51 days in September
  • The Debt-to-Income (DTI) ratio for all closed loans remained at 24/37 while the Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratio fell to 78.



Sept. 2016*




6 Months Ago
(Mar. 2016*)


1 Year Ago
(Sept. 2015*)

Closed Loans
Refinance     45%     43%     45%     42%
Purchase 54% 56% 55% 57%
FHA 20% 20% 22% 23%
Conventional 68% 68% 66% 64%
VA 9% 9% 9% 9%
Days to Close
All 48 46 44 46
Refinance 50 46 44 46
Purchase 47 46 45 46
Percentage of ARM and Fixed Loan Volume
ARM % 4.0% 4.1% 4.4% 5.3%
30-Year Rate
Average 3.75% 3.77% 4.12% 4.25%

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


      Closed First-Lien Loans
(All Types)
FICO Score (FICO) 731
Loan-to-Value (LTV) 78
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

To get a meaningful view of lender pull-through, Ellie Mae reviewed a sampling of loan applications initiated 90 days prior—or the June 2016 applications—to calculate an overall closing rate of 71.8 percent in September 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 or call (877) 355-4362 to learn more.

© 2016Ellie Mae, Inc. Ellie Mae®, Encompass®, AllRegs®, DataTrac®, Ellie Mae Network™, Mavent®, Mortgage Returns®, Prospect Manager®, Total Quality Loan®, True CRM®, TQL®and the Ellie Mae logo are trademarks of Ellie Mae, Inc. or its subsidiaries. All rights reserved. Other company and product names may be trademarks or copyrights of their respective owners.


Ellie Mae, Inc.
Erica Harvill, 925-227-5913
Alexandra Gardell Kreuter, 646-428-0618


Ellie Mae, Inc.
Erica Harvill, 925-227-5913
Alexandra Gardell Kreuter, 646-428-0618