The interest rates on loans that closed in April were the highest since Ellie Mae started tracking data in 2011.  According to the company's Origination Insight Report for April, the 30-year fixed rate for loans averaged 4.79 percent, up from 4.69 percent in March. 

Not unrelated to that rapid rise is the increased domination of purchase loans.  Their percentage share increased 4 percentage points to 66 percent in April as refinancing shrunk to a 34 percent share.  The percentage of Adjustable Rate Mortgages also increased, claiming the highest share of total loans, 6.6 percent, since June 2014.

The declining numbers of refinances affected all lenders.  FHA refinances fell from 23 percent in March to 22 percent in April. Conventional refinances dropped from 43 percent to 38 percent, and VA refinances lost 1 percentage point to 27 percent.

 "This month we saw interest rates increase to the highest percentage point since Ellie Mae began reporting data in 2011, and with that, the percentage of purchases increased four percentage points to 66 percent of total closed loans," said Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae. "We're entering the peak summer homebuying months and despite tight inventories, we expect to see a robust purchase market.

The distribution of loans remained virtually unchanged from other recent Origination Reports.  FHA loans represented 20 percent of those closed and Conventional loans 66 percent.  VA loans lost 1 percent, accounting for a 9 percent share.

The closing rate for all loans and for refinances inched down 0.1 point to 69.5 percent and 64.8 percent respectively. The purchase loan closing rate however took a bigger hit, declining from 76.3 to 73.9 percent.  To calculate the closing rate Ellie Mae reviews a sampling of loan applications initiated 90 days earlier, in this case the January 2018 applications.

The time to close all loans held steady across the board with time to close all loans at 41 days. Time to close a conventional purchase dropped one day to 41 days in April.

Overall FICO scores increased slightly for the third consecutive month to 723. LTV remained at 79 and DTI remained at 26/39.

Ellie Mae's Origination Insight Report mines data from a sampling of approximately 80 percent of all mortgage applications that were initiated on its mortgage management system.  The company says its report is a strong proxy of the underwriting standards employed by lenders across the country.