Mortgage originations held steady through summer

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Despite a slight rise in interest rates, the percentage of refinance loans remained steady at 35% of total mortgage loans in August, according to Ellie Mae's Origination Insight Report.

Overall closing rates rose from 70.6% in July to 71.7% in August, the highest level closing rates have been since January 2017.

Interest rates ticked up to 4.27%, sitting just above their 2017 low of 4.25% in July.

The percentage breakdown of all closed loans in August held steady for the third consecutive month with conventional loans making up 64% of all closed loans and Federal Housing Administration loans comprising 22% of loans closed. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs loans represented 10% of all closed loans.

The movement of FICO scores in August was mixed. While the average FICO score for all closed loans remained at 724, the average FICO score for FHA refinances increased 3 points from July to 649, and the average score for conventional purchase loans declined month-over-month to 752 in August. FICO scores for refinances increased from 700 to 702.

About 71% of purchase loans had FICO scores over 700 and 67% of refinance loans had scores over 700. Regarding all loan types, approximately 70% of closed loans had FICO scores over 700.

The average closing time for all loan types decreased to 42 days in August; the time to close a refinance loan inched down to 41 days from 42 in July, and the average time to close a purchase loan remained at 43 days in August.

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Originations Purchase Refinance Credit scores Ellie Mae FHA The VA