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Where Mortgage Refi Applications Get the Greenlight

A new study by LendingTree found that nearly 75% of mortgage refinance applications are approved nationally and Utah has the highest approval rate in the nation at 82.4%. 

Utah also comes in at No. 8 in home-price appreciation and No. 19 the average consumer credit scores. 

Home values between 2012-2018 have increased 39% and the average consumer credit score is 713.

Following Utah was North Dakota with an approval rate of 80.5% and South Dakota at 80.1%. LendingTree reports New Mexico had the lowest approval rate at 66.5%, which is followed by Florida at 68.2%. 

North Dakota led the nation in home-price appreciation from 2012-2018 at 60%. Colorado was a close second at 58% and Nevada saw home prices grow at 56%. 

Connecticut was the only nation that saw declines in price appreciation at -3%. New Jersey had the second-lowest appreciation at 2% and Rhode Island and Delaware both had appreciation rates at 6%. 

Washington D.C. was found to have the highest average loan amount at $419,634. Indiana had the lowest average loan amount at $144,967. 

LendingTree states that mortgage interest rates fell more than 1% since November 2018 when they reached a seven-year high. The most recent average rate of 3.75 is lower than 77% of the rates that were available in the market over the last decade. 

“The availability of a lower interest rate is only one of the conditions needed to refinance a mortgage,” said Tendayi Kapfidze, LendingTree’s Chief Economist who led the study. “Borrowers often need to have some equity in their home, especially if they want to take cash out, and a solid credit score. Fortunately, increases in home prices since 2012, combined with paying down their loan balances, means many borrowers have built considerable equity in their homes.”

Ellie Mae reported last month that the share of refinances accounted for 51% of all closed loans in October—the highest share of refinances since March 2015.

Purchases accounted for 49% of total closed loans, which is a 2% decline from September. This occurred during the same time mortgage rates rose, as the 30-year mortgage rate increased to 3.94% for all closed loans—up from 3.93% in September. 

About Author: Mike Albanese

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Mike Albanese has worked for news publications since 2011 in Texas and Colorado. He has built a portfolio of more than 1,000 articles, covering city government, police and crime, business, sports, and is experienced in crafting engaging features and enterprise pieces. He spent time as the sports editor for the "Pilot Point Post-Signal," and has covered the DFW Metroplex for several years. He has also assisted with sports coverage and editing duties with the "Dallas Morning News" and "Denton Record-Chronicle" over the past several years.
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