The purchase mortgage share increased 15 percentage points in the first five months of 2017.
Approximately 68% of loans closed in May were for home purchases, compared with a 65% share for purchase mortgages in April, 53% in January and 62% for May 2016, according to Ellie Mae's Origination Insight report.
"The start of the peak summer home-buying period combined with fewer refinances due to higher interest rates, drove purchases to the largest percentage of total loans since we began tracking data in 2011," said Ellie Mae President and CEO Jonathan Corr in a press release.
Government loans had a much higher share of purchase activity than conventional mortgage. Nearly 82% of Federal Housing Administration-insured and 73% of Veterans Affairs-guaranteed mortgages were for a purchase. Only 61% of conventional loans were used to buy a home.
Conventional loans made up 63% of closed mortgages in May, while FHA had a 23% share, VA had a 10% share and others represented 4%. Share data remained unchanged for the fourth consecutive month.
The time to close a loan was unchanged from April, remaining at 42 days for all loans, 42 days for purchases and 41 days for refis.