The percentage of mortgage loans refinancing as part of the overall origination market continued to grow in February following January's blockbuster month, according to data released Wednesday by Ellie Mae.
The Ellie Mae Origination Insight Report determined that the refi share of mortgage originations spiked to 59% in February, eight percentage points higher than the month prior. That figure is nearly double the 33% share the report recorded in August and 16 percentage points higher year-over-year.
The closing rate for mortgages was 60% for February, dropping from the record high level of 62.4% in January.
Additionally, the average time to close a refi loan fell to 36 days, its lowest level since Ellie Mae began its report in 201.
Interest rates also fell in February — the average rate for a 30-year Federal Housing Administration loan fell below 4% for the first time since June 2013, while 30-year fixed rate mortgages fell to 4.008% and their lowest level in two years.
"The drop in the average 30-year fixed rate in last few months has kept lenders busy with increased refinance business," said Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae in a press release accompanying the report. "Considering the demand, the fact that lenders are taking fewer days to close the average refi loan is very good news."