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Ellie Mae Data: Millennials Will Lead Surge In Purchase Market

Millennial purchase activity is on the rise, according to the latest Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker. Purchase share – the percentage of all loans closed during the month that were purchases – grew for the second straight month, reaching 56% in June, up nine percentage points from May. This marks the highest purchase share since March 2020. 

“Millennials represent the single biggest opportunity in the housing market today,” said Ellie Mae Chief Operating Officer, Joe Tyrrell. “Per U.S. Census data, there will be over 4 million millennials reaching the age of 29 to 30, each year for the next several years.  That is important, because our data shows that is the average age when Millennials enter the homebuying market.”

According to Ellie Mae data, in Q2 2020, millennials were responsible for more closed purchase loans than any other generation. 

“Millennials are emerging as a dominant force relative to driving the purchase market forward in the next few years,” said Tyrrell. “Our data indicates that while we’re currently seeing an upturn in millennial purchase activity, the true boom is just starting.  We expect that their entry into the market, as they reach prime homebuying age, will fuel purchase transactions in 2021, 2022 and 2023.”

During June, millennial purchasing power grew as the average interest rate for all loans closed by this generation fell to a new Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker low of 3.36%. The previous low occurred just one month prior, when the average rate dropped to 3.42%. 

Average time to close on all loans increased from 43 days in May to 45 days in June. Time to close for refinances jumped five days – from 44 days to 49 – during this time. Average time to close has risen month-over-month during every month since March. 

“With every passing day, it becomes more apparent just how critical digital mortgage technology is to lenders right now,” said Tyrrell. “Capabilities like online applications, automatic updates and eClosing offer millennial customers the seamless digital experiences they expect while freeing up time for the human interaction necessary to answer questions or concerns they may have as they navigate the homebuying process for the first time.”

The Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker divides millennials into two groups: older millennials – borrowers between 30 and 40 years old, and younger millennials – borrowers between 21 and 29 years old.

Average interest rates were nearly identical for the two groups, with younger millennials securing an interest rate of 3.35%, on average, compared to 3.34% for older millennials. Younger millennials also had a lower average FICO score, as this sub-group gravitated toward FHA loans, which have less stringent credit requirements. 

Millennials in their 20s were more likely to buy homes in June. Their share of purchase was 78%, compared to 47% for older millennials, who are more likely to already own a home and seek to refinance.