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Millennials Contributing To The Ongoing Refinance Boom

With interest rates nearing 3% for all loans, many millennials took advantage of the opportunity to refinance their mortgages in September, according to the latest Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker. Refinances climbed to 43% of all closed loans for millennials in September, up 3% from the previous month. 

Refinances accounted for 51% of Conventional loans in September, the highest percentage since June, and up from 48% just the month prior. 

In September, older millennials locked in slightly higher interest rates of 3.00%, on average, compared to 2.98% for younger millennials. With interest rates historically low, the share of refinance loans increased for both sub-groups of millennials.

While millennials are buying homes, the end to summer homebuying seasonality meant purchases dipped for the second month in a row, accounting for 56% of all closed loans, down from 59% in August. 

“We have seen a steady increase in refinances among millennials over the past month, as homeowners took advantage of historically low interest rates,” said Joe Tyrrell, president, ICE Mortgage Technology, a division of Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE: ICE). “However, the bulk of the millennial generation is still entering the market as first-time homebuyers and they’re swooping up the limited inventory that is available in most markets.”

Conventional purchase loans shrunk to 48% for the month, down from 52% in August. VA refinances stayed steady at 35% month-over-month, and VA purchase loans held at 65% month-over-month during this same time period. Meanwhile, FHA percentages have held steady for the past four months. 

Time-to-close for all loans increased to 49 days in September, compared to 47 in August. Given the increase in refinances, the time-to-close on refinance loans also increased by two days, month-over-month, to 55 days in September. 

The Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker offers insights into two groups of millennial homebuyers: older millennials between 30 and 40 years old, and younger millennials between 21 and 29 years old.