Digital strategy advancements have helped Ellie Mae shrink construction loan closing times since launching its construction lending support via Encompass in February. This comes at a time when homebuilders are already facing challenges producing enough supply to meet demand.

Since changing its processing methods for construction-only and construction-to-permanent loans within Encompass, Ellie Mae reports a significant drop in closing times and increased volumes for both loan types.

Closing times for construction-to-permanent loans decreased by an average of eight days since February, while closing times for construction-only loans decreased by about 10.5 days.

"With our latest version of Encompass, our support for construction loans enable our banks, credit unions and mortgage lenders to close loans faster, improving efficiency while ensuring compliance and loan quality," Ellie Mae President and CEO Jonathan Corr said in a press release.

Susan Brown, construction and renovation production manager at Umpqua Bank, reports seeing positive construction loan results using Encompass.

"Our construction loan production has increased 30% based on 2016 year-over-year volume," Brown said in the press release. "Leveraging Ellie Mae's technology enhancements to construction lending has improved our efficiency as we build on our past success in construction originations."

"We anticipate this trend to continue and look forward to growing our business throughout 2017 and beyond," she added.

Total housing starts rebounded in June, signaling positive momentum for new construction homes for the second half of the year, according to Kiplinger. Building permits for single-family homes jumped 4.1% from May to June, signaling new construction growth in the coming months.

Despite these figures, a number of factors are constraining builders, according to Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan. But a more efficient construction closing process may help alleviate some stress for builders already suffering from land and labor shortages and rising property taxes.

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