The closing rates in August increased to their highest point since the beginning of this year, according to the latest Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae.

Closing rates increased to 71.7% in August, the highest point since January this year. This is up from 70.6% in July, according to the report.

The report also showed that while refinance originations saw a slight boost in July, they held steady in August at 35% even as interest rates continued to increase.

“As the summer season drew to a close, refinances held steady at 35% of all closed loans coupled with a slight increase in interest rates to 4.27%, up from the 2017 low of 4.25% in July,” Ellie Mae President and CEO Jonathan Corr said.

For the third consecutive month, the breakdown of all closed loans held steady with conventional loans making up 64% of all closed loans, Federal Housing Administration loans making up 22% and Department of Veterans Affairs loans representing 10% of all closed loans.

FICO scores also held steady in August with an average 724 on all closed loans. For FHA refis, FICO scores increased three points to 649, but decreased for conventional purchases to 752. The average FICO score for VA refis increased two points to 702 in August.

Closing times became slightly faster, decreasing by one day to 42 days for all loans in August, according to the report. The time it took to close a refi dropped one day to 41 days while the time to close a purchase held steady at 43 days.