Data from the latest Ellie Mae Origination Insight report reveals that purchase mortgage loans spiked to a 57% share of all mortgage loan originations in February, an increase of 5 percentage points from the previous February.
Conventional mortgage loans represented a 63% share of the market, compared to 66% in January. FHA increased its portion to 23% and VA showed a slight uptick at 10%.
Ellie Mae reported that closing times dropped notably in February, falling from 51 days in January to 46 days last month for all loans. Closing times for refinances fell to 53 days on average and purchase mortgage loans decreased to 45 days, down from 48 days.
Closing rates for all loans decreased slightly from 72.2% in January to 70.6% in February. The close rate for purchases waned marginally from 76.8% to 75.9% and for refinancing from 67.9% to 65.4%. Ellie Mae calculates closing rates on a cross section of loan applications initiated 90 days prior, in this case November, 2016.
The average FICO score was 11 points lower than last year’s high, which was hit in August and September. According to Ellie Mae, borrowers had scores of 700 or more for 67% of all closed loans, which includes 70% of purchase mortgages, and 64% of refinance loans.
Jonathan Corr, President and CEO of Ellie Mae, stated, “Along with the growing purchase market, we’re seeing the time to close all loans decrease and FICO scores decline, trends that we will continue to watch in the coming months.”