According to the Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker, 39 percent of millennial women chose FHA loans for their home purchases that month while only 32 percent of millennial men did.
At a more granular level, single, female millennials also outpaced their male counterparts in acquiring FHA financing by a significant margin. While 41 percent of single, millennial women leveraged FHA loans for their home purchases in December, only 35 percent of single, millennial men did the same.
This tends to show that homeownership is no longer strictly tied to life events, like marriage or starting a family. Millennial women are buying homes of their own accord, often to build equity and credit.
“Last year we saw millennials begin to enter the housing market in force. While life events such as marriage or starting a family often influence borrowers’ decisions to purchase a home, others see homeownership as an opportunity to build equity,” said Joe Tyrrell, EVP of Corporate Strategy at Ellie Mae. “As a result, we saw many single female borrowers pursue homeownership in 2016.”
The Midwest and South were the most common areas for millennial home purchases in December, with Jasper, Indiana; Odessa, Texas; Owensboro, Kentucky; and Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, all claiming the highest millennial loan shares in the country. Each region had 59 percent or more of its closed loans come from millennial buyers. Out of the more populated millennial-heavy metros, St. Louis and Houston took the top spots.
For 2016 as a whole, Owensboro was the top metro area for millennials, where 49 percent of all loans came from this up-and-coming generation.
Overall, credit scores for millennials are standing strong. In December, the average FICO score of millennials who closed on loans was 724. In 2016, it hovered in the low-720s all year. For millennials who refinanced in December, the average FICO score was 748.
“We’re on the cusp of a new era, with potential for an influx of millennials to begin exercising their purchase power,” Tyrell said.
The Ellie Mae Millennials Tracker, a subset of the Origination Insight Report, monitors millennial mortgage applications throughout the year. Data is released on the first Month of every month. To learn more about the report, visit EllieMae.com.