ICE’s Joe Tyrell on how the pandemic transformed home buying


HousingWire Editor in Chief Sarah Wheeler was able to catch up with Joe Tyrell, president of ICE Mortgage Technology, during ICE Experience in Las Vegas. Tyrell shared his takeaways on ICE’s latest borrower insights survey, which explored how COVID-19 impacted home buying. 

The study found that the pandemic “permanently and drastically changing the way borrowers use technology and what they expect from a lender.” To Tyrell, the most surprising findings were surrounding the Gen Z and Millennial populations and their reasons for buying homes in the past two years. Against his expectations, record-low mortgage rates were not the No. 1 motivator for the two generations. According to the study, 26% of Gen Z and Millennials list interest rates as the primary reason. 

“Fifty-three percent – So more than double those who said that interest rates influenced their decision – identified that living closer to family was the number one reason why they decided to buy a home,” Tyrell said. “That was surprising to us.”

The insights survey also examined how technology played a role in homebuyers’ choice of lender. It found that 61% of Millennials 65% of Gen Z  were influenced by what lender they chose based on who offered digital apps. 

“That’s an announcement for lenders to pay attention to,” Tyrell said. “You’re talking about a digital native generation that’s expecting to interact on their terms, which means when they have time, to be able to enter an application or start the process on their own…. And so as a lender, it’s really telling us that we all need to be focused on providing an engagement, a digital engagement, that meets the same level of expectations as if we were in person with that homebuyer.”

To read more about ICE Mortgage Technology’s findings, click here

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