The average 30-year mortgage rate crept up to 3.81%, which historically is low; however, it is the still the highest level since last July, according to the Ellie Mae March origination report.
"This slight increase didn’t dampen the continuing strength of the purchase market. As spring began last month, purchases accounted for 38% of the volume, up from 32% in February 2013 and 27% in January 2013," said Jonathan Corr, president and chief operating officer of Ellie Mae (ELLI).
March continued to show a slight ease in credit, with the average FICO score trickling down to 743 last month, which is the lowest level since Ellie Mae began tracking in August 2011, the company stated.
Additionally, Corr said, "The other good news as we move into the time-sensitive spring purchase market was that the overall time to close decreased from 50 days in February 2013 to 46 days in March 2013."
The average closing rate sank to 55.1%, from 56.8% in February, which Ellie Mae sampled loan applications initiated 90 days prior to calculate.
Meanwhile, "borrowers continued to take advantage of HARP 2.0. Conventional refinances at 95%-plus LTV continued their upward trend, rising to 13% in March 2013 from 12.1% in February 2013 and from 3.6% in March 2012," said Corr.