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Black Knight’s October 2021 Originations Market Monitor

Origination Activity Down 6% in October as Locks on Rate/Term Refinance Mortgages Drop Another 23%

Black Knight’s October 2021 Originations Market Monitor
  • While rate locks on cash-out refinances (-0.3%) and purchase loans (+0.4%) remained relatively flat in October, overall volumes fell by 5.9% due to a more than 23% decline in rate/term refinance locks
  • Rate/term refinance activity is now down nearly 63% from the same time last year when 30-year rates were still in the sub-3% range
  • Black Knight’s OBMMI daily interest rate tracker showed the month-end conforming 30-year rate at 3.27%, 6 basis points higher than at the start of October and up nearly 30 basis points over the last three months
  • Likewise, rates on FHA and VA loans jumped roughly 15 basis points over the course of the month, while jumbo mortgage offerings continued to rise at a slower rate and are now 10 basis points below conforming rates
  • The decline in rate/term activity drove the refinance share of the market down to just 45% of all lock volume, the lowest it’s been since June of this year
  • Average credit scores on both cash-out and rate/term refinances fell slightly from September, as higher credit borrowers tend to sit on the sidelines in rising rate environments
  • Conforming loan products gained back market share in October, while government products lost ground and the jumbo share ticked up slightly

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Nov. 8, 2021 – Today, Black Knight, Inc. (NYSE:BKI) announced the release of its latest Originations Market Monitor report, looking at mortgage origination data through October 2021 month-end. Leveraging daily rate lock data from Black Knight’s Optimal Blue PPE – mortgage lending’s most widely used pricing engine – the Originations Market Monitor provides the industry’s earliest and most comprehensive view of origination activity.

“The ongoing decline in rate/term refinance locks picked up pace in October as 30-year rates continue to rise,” said Black Knight Secondary Marketing Technologies President Scott Happ. “In fact, locks on rate/term refinance loans were down by more than 23% since last month and are now almost 63% off where they were this time last year. Back then, 30-year rate offerings hovered in the 2.8-2.9% range, whereas our OBMMI daily interest rate tracker showed October’s month-end conforming 30-year rate at 3.27%. Jumbo offerings, on the other hand, have risen more slowly over the past three months and ended October nearly 10 basis points below conforming rates.”

The month’s pipeline data showed overall rate locks were down 5.9% from September, driven by a 23.3% month-over-month drop in rate/term origination activity. The month’s decline puts rate/term refinance lending down 62.5% off last October’s level and has resulted in the overall refinance share of the market mix falling to just 45%, the lowest it’s been since June 2021. Locks on both cash-out refinance (-0.3%) and purchase loans (+0.4%) held relatively steady for the month. Despite the marginal decline, cash-out lock volumes are still up nearly 33% from this time last year. Average credit scores on both cash-out and rate/term refinances ticked down two points in October as higher credit borrowers tend to sit on the sidelines of a rising rate environment. Conforming loan products gained back market share, while government products lost ground.

“As Black Knight noted in our most recent Mortgage Monitor report, the dynamics of the refinance market are changing, with a sharp shift away from rate/term refis to cash-out lending,” Happ continued. “This shift tends to happen in any rising rate environment, never mind one in which American mortgage holders have more than $9 trillion in tappable equity available to them. While we did see cash-out locks tick down in October, the overall trend toward an equity-centric refi market remains strong and one we will continue to watch closely in the coming months.”

Each month’s Originations Market Monitor provides high-level origination metrics for the U.S. and the top 20 metropolitan statistical areas by share of total origination volume. Much more detail on October’s origination activity can be found in the full Black Knight Originations Market Monitor report located here.

About Black Knight

Black Knight, Inc. (NYSE:BKI) is an award-winning software, data and analytics company that drives innovation in the mortgage lending and servicing and real estate industries, as well as the capital and secondary markets. Businesses leverage our robust, integrated solutions across the entire homeownership life cycle to help retain existing customers, gain new customers, mitigate risk and operate more effectively.

Our clients rely on our proven, comprehensive, scalable products and our unwavering commitment to delivering superior client support to achieve their strategic goals and better serving their customers. For more information on Black Knight, please visit www.blackknightinc.com/.

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