Mortgage refinancing volume increased for the fourth straight month in November as interest rates continued to fall, according to Ellie Mae's Origination Insight Report.
Refinance volume increased from 40% of all originations in October to 45% of all originations in November, according to the report, which is based on data flowing through Ellie Mae's Encompass loan origination system (LOS).
Meanwhile, purchase volume fell from 60% of all volume in October to 54% in November.
Since July, refinances as a percentage of lenders' overall loan volume have climbed 13%, according to the report.
In addition to higher refinance volume, closing rates on purchase loans rose to 66.5%, the highest since Ellie Mae began tracking this figure in August 2011.
The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in November was 4.273%, the lowest level since June 2013.
‘With 2014 coming to an end, lenders are hopeful for a steady improvement in market conditions,’ says Jonathan Corr, president and chief operating officer of Ellie Mae. ‘Winter is normally a slow time for housing sales, yet the increase in refinancing volume is protecting many lenders from the cold. Meanwhile, lower interest rates and the return of the government-sponsored enterprises' three-percent down payment loan programs may help lenders and home buyers get off to a great start this New Year.’
The average length of time to close a purchase loan rose to 41 days in November, compared to 40 days in October.
The average time to close a refinance loan dipped to 37 days, tying the lowest mark of the year.
Credit requirements are roughly the same as one year ago, as 31% of borrowers had an average FICO score of under 700 compared to 30% in November 2013.
The average FICO score for loans closed in November was 729, according to the report.
Ellie Mae says the report is based on about 57% of the data flowing through its LOS.