Black Knight: March 2022 Origins Market Watch

  • Black Knight’s Optimal Blue Mortgage Market Indices tracked 30-year conforming rates daily throughout March as they rose above 4.9% before falling back and ending the month at 4.79% .

  • The spread between mortgage rates and 10-year Treasuries widened another 20 basis points, as the rise in mortgage rates outpaced the roughly 50 basis point rise in Treasury yields

  • Overall rate lock activity was up 19% from January, driven by a 31% increase in buying volume, which is now up nearly 70% over the past three months

  • Withdrawal locks were mostly flat (+1.6%) while rate/term refinance volumes continued to contract, falling another 15.4% in March for an 81% decline in year after year

  • Continued decline in refinance rate/duration lock-ins caused market refinance share to fall to just 28%, lowest point since November 2018

  • As the rate of house price growth continues to set records, non-compliant products captured additional market share in March and now account for 18% of foreclosure activity

  • Similarly, upward pressure on house prices pushed the average loan size up another $8,000 to just under $362,000.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – April 11, 2022 – Today, Black Knight, Inc. (NYSE: BKI) announced the release of its latest Originations Market Monitor report, examining mortgage origination data through the end of the month. Of March. Leveraging daily rate lock data from Black Knight’s Optimal Blue PPE – the most widely used pricing engine for mortgages – Mount Market Monitor provides the oldest and most comprehensive view of the sector assembly activity.

“Mortgage interest rates soared in March, with 30-year offers climbing 70 basis points during the month,” said Scott Happ, president of Optimal Blue, a division of Black Knight. “In fact, our daily OBMMI interest rate monitor showed the 30-year average conforming rate hitting 4.93% at the end of the month before pulling back slightly to close March at 4.79%. And yet, despite the fastest one-month rate hike in nearly 13 years, we’ve seen purchase lock-in volumes increase by 31% from February – likely as potential buyers decided to lock in their loans before the rates do not rise any further.”

Pipeline data for the month showed overall rate locks up 19.1% from February, led by a 31.5% increase in purchase lending activity. While encashment refinancing lock-ups remained relatively stable (+1.6%), rate/term refinancing activity continued to fall, with March marking the sixth consecutive monthly decline. The continued decline in refinance rate/duration locks caused the refinance market share to fall to just 28%, the lowest point since November 2018. Non-conforming lending products continued to gain market share at the expense of agency volumes as the pace of price growth hit new records. Withdrawal rates – the share of locks that result in funded loans – fell for both purchase and rollover locks, with the rollover rate falling to just 65.7%.

“As house prices continue to climb — even in the face of sharply rising interest rates — we have also seen the average loan size increase,” Happ continued. “The average loan increased by $8,000 to just under $362,000 in March, representing an increase of more than 23% from the increase in February. In turn, non-compliant products – y including jumbos and loans with expanded guidelines – continued to take market share from conforming loans and accounted for 18% of foreclosure activity for the month.FHA’s share of foreclosure activity also increased due to the high demand for purchase loans.

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

About the Dark Knight

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

Our customers rely on our proven, comprehensive, and scalable products and our unwavering commitment to providing superior customer support to achieve their strategic goals and better serve their customers. For more information about Black Knight, please visit

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