As mortgage rates continued to move higher, the share of home purchase loans began to increase in December, according to Ellie Mae's latest Origination Insight Report.
The share of purchase loans rose to 54% from 53% the previous month, Ellie Mae said Wednesday. The Pleasanton, Calif.-based company said that the 30-year note rate moved up to 4.05% from 3.81% in November.
Closing rates also rose to 73.2%, the highest in all of 2016. The closing rate for refinances ticked up to 69.6% from 68.7% the month before, while the rate for purchases increased to 77% from 76.1% during that same timeframe.
"As rates began to increase we saw purchases tick back up in December, signaling the start of a trend we expect to continue into 2017," Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae, said in a news release. "We also saw closing rates rise to the highest percentage in 2016 as homebuyers locked in rates and lenders closed loans before the conclusion of the year."
Additionally, Ellie Mae reported that the average time to close rose a day month over month to 50 in December. And the average FICO scores dipped slightly to 726 in December from 728 in November.