Credit RiskIn The News

Average Homebuyer Credit Score Hits 6-Year High

Optimal Blue’s March 2024 Originations Market Monitor report, which reveals the average homebuyer credit score has reached 737 — an all time high since the company began tracking this data in January 2018.

The prevalence of highly qualified purchase applicants has driven a 17% increase in rate lock volumes even in the face of affordability challenges such as increasing home sale prices and a 6.74% 30-year benchmark rate in the month of March.

Some other notable findings include:

  • More on credit scores:
  • In February and March 2024, average FHA borrower credit scores reached 676 and 675 — all time highs since OMM tracking commenced in January 2018.
  • VA borrower credit scores reached their peak since February 2021.
  • Conforming loan borrower credit scores achieved their highest mark since January 2021.
  • Loan amounts and home prices increase:
  • The average loan amount rose by $8,000 to $367.3k
  • The average home purchase price increased $9,700 to $463.8k
  • Interest rates tick down:
  • The OBMMI 30-year benchmark rate decreased by 15 bps to 6.74%
  • The OBMMI Jumbo index saw the largest rally, dropping 27 bps to 7.07%
  • Rate lock activity surge:
  • MoM locks increased 17% , driven by a 17% rise in purchase locks
  • Rate/term refi activity rose 19% and cashout refi activity rose 11%, aided by improving rates
  • Easter YoY decline: Despite strong MoM gains, March purchase lock counts were down 24% from the same period in 2023, likely due to the Easter holiday weekend falling in March this year and April last year.