Refinances accounted  for 33% of all loans closed by millennials in September—the largest share of refinance activity since Ellie Mae began tracking data in 2016.
The share of millennials refinancing rose 8% month-over-month as the average interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 3.91%. Ellie Mae reports that the share of purchase loans fell from 74% to 66% in September.
“Throughout 2019, we’ve seen millennials refinancing in order to take advantage of low interest rates and in September about one out of every three loans closed by this demographic was a home refinance, the highest share we’ve seen since we launched the Millennial Tracker in January 2016,” said Joe Tyrrell, COO at Ellie Mae. “Lenders have done a great job educating millennials on recognizing refinance opportunities, and as a result, this demographic has been able to lock in historically low rates. Going forward, we’ll be keeping a close eye on how these rates impact millennials looking to make a home purchase as well.”
Conventional loans witnessed its share of refinances grow 11% month-over-month to 40%, refinances increased 10% for VA loans to 48, and FHA loans saw its share of refinances fell just 1% to 10% of total closed loans.
The average interest rate for all loan types fell below 4% for the first time since November 2016. Millennials, on average, received interest rates of 3.90% for conventional loans, 3.52% for VA loans, and 3.94% for FHA loans.
The time to close all loans for millennials was unchanged at 42 days. Ellie Mae said the average age of millennial homebuyer was 30.6-years-old in September, which is the highest average age since January 2019.
Los Angeles, California, had the highest share of millennial refinances at 57%. Chicago, Illinois, reported the highest increase—growing from 29% to 41%.
AEI Housing Center previously reported that Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was the most affordable metro for the first-time homebuyers in 2018, with a first-time buyer (FTB) ratio of 2.4.
The report states that across the 50 metros studied, the average FTB ratio was 3.3, which means first-time buyers spent 3.3 times the household income to purchase a home.