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Black Knight, Inc. announced the launch of the Originations Market Monitor, a new monthly data report that leverages daily rate lock data from Black Knight's Optimal Blue PPE. This loan product and pricing engine will provide the industry’s earliest view of origination activity. Each month, the Originator Market Monitor will publish a series of key indicators drawn from Optimal Blue PPE data as well as secondary market insight from Black Knight's hedging platforms.
"In an environment like this, having access to the fullest, most current market data is essential," Happ said. "In recognition of this fact, Black Knight is launching the Originations Market Monitor to provide the public a high-level view of the kind of data our clients use daily to drive greater profitability and efficiencies," said Black Knight secondary marketing technologies president, Scott Happ.
The inaugural report shows that while overall rate locks were up 2.5% for the month of March, there was a sharp divergence between purchase and refinance activity. Purchase locks were up nearly 70% since the start of 2021, with cash-out refinances up a marginal 4.1% for the month. However, refinances fell drastically, down more than 26% for the month and more than 35% since December.
"It's little wonder that rate/term refinance activity would be down in March," Happ said. "Our OBMMI interest rate tracker shows the average conforming 30-year rate offering came in at 3.34% at month's end, 60 BPS higher than at the end of February." Happ also cited the decline in rate/term lending that shifted the originator’s market to 52% purchase and 48% refinance. "This marks the first time -- but almost certainly not the last -- that purchase loans have made up a majority share of monthly mortgage lending since December 2019," he said.
Each month’s report will provide 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 March's origination activity can be found in the full Black Knight Originations Market Monitor Report.