Ellie Mae: Rate Declines Spur Refi Activity

Ellie Mae, Pleasanton, Calif., said the third straight monthly drop in 30-year fixed interest rates led to another increase in refinancing activity in March.

The company’s monthly Origination Insight Report said the 30-year note rate dropped for the third straight month to 4.77 percent, down from 4.86 percent in February and 5.01 percent in January. The percentage of refinances on all loans increased to 35 percent, up from 34 percent in February; a year ago, the rate was 38 percent.

“As we enter the busy spring home buying season, we are seeing activity tick back up across the board with the 30-year note rate decline,” said Jonathan Corr, President and CEO of Ellie Mae. “We will continue to watch closing rates as they have stayed at or above 75 percent through the first quarter of 2019, a possible indication of buyers’ conviction.”

Other report findings:

–FHA refinances increased to 23 percent in March, up from 20 percent in February.

–Conventional loans were unchanged at 64 percent in March.

–Time to close all loans continued to decrease, to 42 days in March, down from 43 in February and 45 in January. Time to close a purchase loan dropped to 45 days in March, down from 47 in February and 49 in January.

–Adjustable-rate mortgages decreased to 7.4 percent, down from 7.6 percent in February.

–Average FICO score for closed first-lien loans was 726.