Millennial mortgage refinancing activity goes to the next level

Register now

Millennials took advantage of the low mortgage rate landscape as their refinance share reached a high point since Ellie Mae started tracking the data in January 2016.

After taking a leap in September, the refinance share continued to rise, ascending to 34% in October, up from a downwardly revised 11% a year earlier. October and September marked the only months in which the 30-year rate has been below 4% since December 2016.

"Declining interest rates have significantly increased millennials' awareness of refinancing as a fiscally responsible option and we're seeing more and more homeowners in this demographic take advantage of refinancing their mortgages," Joe Tyrrell, chief operating officer at Ellie Mae, said in a press release.

"Heading into 2020, lenders should proactively reach out to prospective millennial homebuyers whose likelihood of purchasing a home has now increased due to these historically low interest rates."

The time to close a loan rose to 43 days, up one day from both the year and month prior. About 74% of mortgages completed in October were conventional and 21% were Federal Housing Administration loans. Mortgages guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs accounted for 2%, while other unspecified types of financing constituted the remaining 3%.

The average millennial FICO score stepped up to 730 from last year's 722 and September's 729, reaching the highest average since May 2015. At 30.6 years, the average age for millennial borrowers remained static compared to the month before, but increased from 29.7 in October 2018.

Married individuals represented approximately 57% of loans closed, while about 43% of primary borrowers were single. Nearly 60% were male, 30% female and 10% unspecified. The average loan amount jumped to $204,920 from $189,686 year-over-year.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.
Refinance Purchase First time home buyers Housing market Mortgage rates Ellie Mae FICO FHA The VA