Stats: Which Home Buyers Are Getting Mortgages Approved

Ellie Mae reports that lenders approved more home buyer mortgage applications in February 2020 than at any time in recorded history.

April 02, 2020 by Dan Green

The Housing Headline

Mortgage lenders approved more mortgage applications for home buyers in February than at any time in recorded history.

The News Behind The Housing Headline

In its monthly Origination Insight Report, mortgage software company Ellie Mae reports that mortgage lenders closed on 80.7 percent of the mortgage applications taken within the previous 90 days.

The reading is up two percentage points from a year ago and marks the highest recorded closing rate of all-time.

Also noteworthy: today’s typical home buyer profile is less credit-worthy. The average credit score on approved FHA loans and VA loans dropped by one point from the previous month.

Down payment sizes shrunk one percentage point over the same time period.

Why This Housing News Matters To You

One of the most challenging parts about buying your first home is that you don’t know what’s “normal” in mortgage lending. You might have an idea of the credit score you need or the down payment size required – but you’re never 100 percent certain.

For a lot of home buyers, that lack of certainty around “what do I need to get a mortgage approved” eventually evolves into fear of rejection. Home buyers worry that they won’t be approved, so they never apply at all.

The Ellie Mae Origination Insight Report shows why first-time home buyers should always apply for that mortgage – regardless of the worry.

Mortgage lenders approved 80.7 percent of all home buyer applications last month, up close to twenty percentage points higher from just six years ago. And, it’s not that home buyers are suddenly more qualified, either. The increase in  approvals is because mortgage lenders are getting better at making loans.

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