Millennial refinance rate hits near 4-year high

A study by earlier this year showed that by the end of 2018, Millennials represented 45% of all new mortgages. This meant the younger generation surpassed both Generation X, at 36%, and Baby Boomers, at 17%.

Since the generation hit the housing market, the studies and surveys have analyzed its every move, from which cities Millennials are choosing to live in, to how much they shell out for a down payment

Now, it appears Millennials are in step with a trend that has been dominating the housing industry for several months now: refinancing.

According to a recent survey by the Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker – which defines the generation as those born between the years 1980 and 1999 –  refinances climbed to 25% of all closed loans for Millennials in August. This is up 2% from the previous month, and is the highest percentage since December 2015, according to Ellie Mae. 

“We are seeing Millennial homeowners who may have purchased homes only a few years ago quickly taking advantage of the industry’s extremely low interest rates,” said Joe Tyrrell, chief operating officer at Ellie Mae. “We will also be watching to see if the increased purchase power from a lower rate environment enables some Millennials to make the leap into homeownership as we enter the fall home buying season.”

While low mortgage rates have certainly spurred increased refinance activity across all generations, the survey also attributes the percentage spike to affordable housing issues. 

“Lack of affordable homes in growing markets also led to purchases dipping for the second month in a row, accounting for 74% of all closed loans,” the survey stated. 

The August Millennial Tracker also found that the average age of Millennial homebuyers remained at 30.5, the highest average since November 2015. While Millennial homebuyers’ age is increasing, their credit is also going up: the average FICO score for Millennial borrowers stayed steady at 728, the highest average since May 2015.