Ellie Mae: As Interest Rates Decline, Refinances Increase

Interest rates on all closed loans continued to decline in April to 3.48 percent, down from 3.65 percent in March, according to the March Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae.

The 30-year rate on conventional loans fell again, dropping to 3.48 percent, down from 3.65 percent in March. Similarly, the 30-year rate on FHA loans fell to 3.56 percent in April, down from 3.76 percent in March. The 30-year rate on VA loans dropped to 3.31 percent in April, down from 3.45 percent in March.

As rates dropped, the percentage of refinances continued to increase, representing 65 percent of closed loans, up from 55 percent in March and 51 percent in February.

Other statistics of note in April included:

  • The time to close all loans increased to 42 days in April, up from 40 days in March.
  • FICO scores on all loans increased to 749 in April, up from 742 in March.
  • Conventional refinance FICO scores increased to 763, up from 758 in March and representing the highest such score since January of 2013

“Interest rates continued to decline in April, driving up the share of refinances by 10 percent,” said Jonathan Corr, President and CEO of Ellie Mae. “We’re also seeing FICO scores increase as lenders manage the current economic uncertainty by tightening credit. Ellie Mae has seen record volumes on our Encompass Digital Lending Platform in recent weeks, indicating that by leveraging digital mortgage technology, our lenders are able to serve their customers through this time of rapid change.”

The Origination Insight Report mines data from a robust sampling of approximately 80 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.