Loan closings edged up to 50.5% in September as more borrowers chose conventional loans due to refinancing initiatives provided in HARP 2.0, Ellie Mae said in its latest origination report for September.
Ellie Mae (ELLI) compiled the report after studying a sampling of loan applications that moved through its Encompass360 mortgage management software. About two million loans, or 20% of all U.S. mortgages, move through the system.
The September closing rate of 50.5% is well above the August 2012 closing rate of 47.8%, Ellie Mae said.
"During the past six months, FHA loan (closings) have dropped from 28% to 19% while conventional loans have risen from 64% to 72%," reported Jonathan Corr, chief operating officer for Ellie Mae. He attributes this switch in activity levels to increases in FHA insurance premiums that took place in April as well as HARP 2.0 initiatives.
Closing rates for refinances also jumped significantly to 45.3% in September, up from 40.9% in August.
The average loan closing time edged up to 53 days in September, up from 51 in August.