According to the latest Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker, the average interest rates on all 30-year notes dipped to 4.059% in August, the lowest since December 2016, spurring a surge in refinances for Millennial homebuyers. Refinances continued to climb to 25% of all closed loans for Millennials, up 2% from the previous month and the highest percentage since December 2015. Lack of affordable homes in growing markets also led to purchases dipping for the second month in a row, accounting for 74% of all closed loans.
Conventional refinance loans rose to 29% in August, up from 27% the month prior, while Conventional purchase loans shrunk to 69%, down from 72% in July and 82% in June. Likewise, VA refinances rose to 38%, a steady month-over-month increase from 34%, as purchases fell from 66% to 62%, respectively. FHA percentages slightly varied from the previous month, with purchases down from 92% to 91% in August, and refinances up one point from 8% to 9%, the highest percentage since February 2019.
“We are seeing Millennial homeowners who may have purchased homes only a few years ago quickly taking advantage of the industry’s extremely low interest rates,” said Joe Tyrrell, chief operating officer at Ellie Mae. “We will also be watching to see if the increased purchase power from a lower rate environment enables some Millennials to make the leap into homeownership as we enter the fall homebuying season.”
Additional insights from the August Millennial Tracker include:
- Time-to-close for all loans increased slightly to 42 days in August, compared to 41 in July. Given the increase of refinances, the time-to-close on refinance loans held at 42 days from the previous month. Purchase loans also held steady for the third consecutive month at 40 days.
- The average age of Millennial home buyers remained at 30.5, the highest average since November 2015.
- The average FICO score for Millennial borrowers stayed steady at 728, the highest average since May 2015.
The Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker is an interactive online tool that provides access to up-to-date demographic data about this new generation of homebuyers. It mines data from a robust sampling of approximately 80% of all closed mortgages dating back to 2014 that were initiated on Ellie Mae’s Encompass® all-in-one mortgage management solution. Given the size of this sample and Ellie Mae’s market share, it is a strong proxy of Millennial mortgage indicators across the country. Searches can be tailored by borrower geography, age, gender, marital status, FICO score and amortization type.