Millennial Borrowers Closing More Purchase Loans as Share of Refinances Drops, Latest Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker Finds

PLEASANTON, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Despite a rise in interest rates and tight inventory, Millennials closed
a higher share of purchase loans year-over-year in December 2018.
According to the latest Ellie
Mae Millennial Tracker
, share of purchase loans rose 4 percent,
accounting for 88 percent of all loans closed by members of the
generation in December, compared to 84 percent for the same month in
2017. With interest rates for all 30-year loans reaching 5.12 percent on
average, the highest since Ellie Mae began tracking this data in 2016,
refinance rates dropped 5 percent year-over-year, comprising 10 percent
of all closed loans in December 2018.

For all loans closed by Millennials in December 2018, 68 percent were
Conventional, and 27 percent were FHA, while VA and other loans
accounted for 2 and 3 percent respectively. The share of Conventional
purchase loans increased from 80 to 87 percent from December 2017 to
December 2018.

“Many Millennials are prioritizing homeownership and rather than being
deterred by a tight market, they’re increasingly competing for available
homes or moving to areas where inventory is more robust,” said Joe
Tyrell, executive vice president of corporate strategy for Ellie Mae.

Added Tyrrell, “The average age for a Millennial homebuyer in December
was 29.5 years old, the lowest for any month in 2018. This may be driven
in part by younger borrowers who no longer feel the need to wait for a
typical life event like marriage before buying a home. In fact, from
2016 to 2018, 63 percent of borrowers between the age of 20 and 29 were
single when they closed their loans.”

Additional findings from the December 2018 Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker

  • Thirty-year rates on both Conventional (5.09 percent) and VA (4.86
    percent) loans reached their highest mark since Ellie Mae began
    tracking the data in 2016. Average FHA loan rates remained at their
    highest point in December at 5.18 percent, matching the average figure
    from November 2018.
  • The average FICO score for Millennial borrowers on all closed loans
    dropped to 721, down slightly from 722 in December 2017.
  • On average, all home loans closed in 43 days, flat from the previous
    year. Refinance loans closed in 46 days, up 1 day from 45 in December
    2017. Purchase loans closed in 41 days in December 2018, compared to
    42 days the previous December.
  • Millennial males (both single and married) were listed as the primary
    borrower on 60 percent of closed loans in December. Women were listed
    on 32 percent and the remainder of closed loans did not specify
    primary borrower gender.
  • For all closed loans in December 2018, 52 percent of Millennial
    borrowers were married while 48 percent were single. These figures
    were flat from December 2017.

(NYSE: ELLI) is the leading cloud-based platform
provider for the mortgage finance industry. 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 percent 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. For more information, visit


The Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker focuses on Millennial mortgage
applications during specific time periods. Ellie Mae defines Millennials
as applicants born between the years 1980 and 1999. New data is updated
on the first Monday of every month for two months prior. The Millennial
Tracker is a subset of our Origination Insight Report, which details
aggregated, anonymized data pulled from Ellie Mae’s Encompass
origination platform. Additional information regarding the Origination
Insight Report can be found at
News organizations have the right to reuse this data, provided that
Ellie Mae, Inc. is credited as the source.


Ellie Mae (NYSE:ELLI) is the leading cloud-based platform provider for
the mortgage finance industry. Ellie Mae’s technology solutions enable
lenders to originate more loans, reduce origination costs, and shorten
the time to close, all while ensuring the highest levels of compliance,
quality and efficiency. Visit
or call 877.355.4362 to learn more.

© 2019 Ellie Mae, Inc. Ellie
, Encompass®,
the Ellie Mae logo and other trademarks or service marks of Ellie Mae,
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Erica Harvill
Ellie Mae, Inc.
(925) 227-5913

Alexandra Gardell Kreuter
(646) 428-0618

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