Millennials see their mortgage rates drop even lower in September

Register now

More millennials are leveraging the historically low mortgage rates to either buy their first homes or slash their monthly payments, according to Ellie Mae.

Borrowers between 21 and 40 locked in an average 30-year interest rate of 3.011% in September — a declining number that keeps hitting new record lows for the Millennial Tracker. The rate dropped from 3.913% the year before and from 3.105% in August.

Average millennial loan amount rose $5,904 annually to $213,285 since buyers attaining 90 basis point gains in interest rates could afford more house.

Purchase loans occupied the majority of originations but shrunk to 56% from 66% year-over-year and 59% month-over-month.

"The bulk of the millennial generation is still entering the market as first-time homebuyers and they're swooping up the limited inventorythat is available in most markets," Joe Tyrrell, president of ICE Mortgage Technology, said in a press release.

The refinance share increased to 43% as millennials — especially the older contingent — continue taking advantage of low mortgage rates. That's up from 33% a year ago and 40% the month prior.

With the volume saturation of the market, time to close increased to 49 days, up two from August and seven from September 2019.

For the fourth consecutive month, the average millennial FICO score stayed at 739. However, that jumped 10 points year-over-year as credit standards constricted to the lowest point since February 2014 amid economic and governmental uncertainty.

Conventional mortgages took on a larger share of loans month-over-month, inching up to 81%. Federal Housing Administration loans fell slightly to 15% and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs loans stayed static at 1%. Other unspecified types of financing represented the remaining 2%.

Married individuals retained a 60% segment of loans closed from the month earlier but the number marked an uptick from 57% the year before. Overall, about 56% of primary borrowers were male, 30% female with 14% who didn't specify.

The average age for millennial borrowers increased to 32 years from 30.6 years a year ago and 31.8 years in August.

The splits change when looking at the data between older borrowers (between 30 and 40 years old) and younger borrowers (between 21 and 29 years old) millennials.

The elder group's September purchase share made up 48% compared to 77% for the younger group. By loan type, conventional mortgages accounted for 85% share for older millennials versus 77% for younger while FHA loans accounted for 12% and 24%, respectively. Older millennials had average FICO scores of 747 while the younger set — who haven't accumulated credit for as long — hit 728.

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