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Refi-Dominated Market Giving Way to Purchases

The originations market has been dominated by refinances for some time, but purchases are beginning to make a comeback, according to Ellie Mae's latest ""_Origination Insight Report._"":http://www.elliemae.com/origination-insight-reports/origination-insight-report-june-2013/#?page=4

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""The percentage of purchase loans vs. refis is the largest since we began tracking the data in August 2011,"" Ellie Mae stated in its report.

Still, refinances made up just over half the market in June, with 51 percent of loan applicants seeking refinances. This is down from 58 percent in May and 54 percent in June of last year.

Ellie Mae president and COO Jonathan Corr attributes the shifting in the market to higher rates and climbing home prices, which make refinancing less attractive while pushing potential buyers to buy before prices and rates rise even higher.

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The interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate loans in June was 3.92 percent, up from 3.75 percent the previous month but down from 3.99 percent a year ago.

The rate for 15-year loans rose from 15.8 percent last year to 16.5 percent in June. Its month-over-month increase was just 0.1 percentage point.

""The transition from a refinance to a purchase market may also be why we saw a growth in adjustable rate mortgages in June 2013, hitting 4% for the first time since May 2012,"" Corr said.

He also observed, ""HARP-related refinancing activity continued to cool with conventional refinances at 95%-plus LTV dropping from 9.40% in May 2013 to 8.00% in June 2013.""

Purchases closed one day faster than refinances in June, though both categories took longer to close in June than they did in May.

Refinance applications took 47 days to close in June after taking 44 days to close in May.

Closing time for purchase loans increased from 45 days in May to 46 days in June.

While credit scores among loan applicants remain high, expectations may be waning slightly. Those who were granted loans in June had an average FICO score of 742, down from 746 a year ago.

Applicants denied loans in June had an average FICO score of 701, unchanged from last June.

About Author: Krista Franks Brock

Krista Franks Brock is a professional writer and editor who has covered the mortgage banking and default servicing sectors since 2011. Previously, she served as managing editor of DS News and Southern Distinction, a regional lifestyle publication. Her work has appeared in a variety of print and online publications, including Consumers Digest, Dallas Style and Design, DS News and DSNews.com, MReport and theMReport.com. She holds degrees in journalism and art from the University of Georgia.
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