Ellie Mae: Millennials Rush To Refi As Interest Rates Hit New Lows

According to the latest Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker, refinance activity climbed to 45% of all loans closed by millennial borrowers in November 2020, up three percentage points from the month prior, and the highest percentage since May 2020. Year-over-year, refinance share – the percentage of all loans closed by millennial borrowers during the month that were refinances – increased by 14 percentage points. The continued increase in refinance activity happened as the average interest rate on all 30-year loans dipped for the eighth consecutive month down to 2.97% – the lowest point since Ellie Mae began tracking the data in January 2016.

Millennials refinancing their mortgages to lower their monthly payments continued to increase loan volume, causing the average time to close a refinanced loan to increase by two days month-over-month, from 58 days to 60 days. Overall, average time to close for all loan types increased from 49 days in October to 52 days in November.

“With interest rates reaching historic lows, millennials have refinanced to take advantage of a significant savings opportunity they will see play out over the long-term,” said Joe Tyrrell, president, ICE Mortgage Technology. “Lenders are continuing to manage the refinance pipeline by investing in virtual solutions such as eClosing, online borrower portals, and virtual verifications, and turning this boom in loan volume into business growth.” 

The Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker divides millennials into two groups: older millennials – borrowers between 30 and 40 years old, and younger millennials between 21 and 29 years old. For older millennials, refinance share reached 52% in November, more than double the refinance share of younger millennials at 24%. Both millennial sub-groups secured historically low average interest rates; 2.97% and 2.94%, respectively, for older and younger members of this demographic.

Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker – Older Millennials vs. Younger Millennials 

 Older MillennialsYounger Millennials 
Closed Loans (Share) — All 
Refinance52%24%
Purchase47%75%
Loan Type – All
FHA12%23%
Conventional85%74%
VA2%1%
Other1%2%
Time To Close (Days) — All
All5348                                    
Refinance59 59 
Purchase4545
Average Interest Rates 
30 Year Note Rate — ALL2.97%2.94%
30 Year Note Rate — FHA2.96%2.95%
30 Year Note Rate — Conventional2.97%2.92%
30 Year Note Rate — VA2.55%2.56%
Average FICO760729

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.