Press Release

Millennial Refinance Activity Slows as Interest Rates Rise, According to the Latest Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker

PLEASANTON, Calif. – January 8, 2020 - The share of refinances closed by millennials decreased in November 2019 as interest rates on 30-year loans climbed. According to the latest Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker, 31% of loans closed by millennials in November were refinances, down 3% from the month prior. This marks the first month-over-month decrease for refinance share since May 2019.

The refinance market slowed as the average interest rate on all 30-year loans increased for the first time in 2019. For all loans closed by millennials in November, the average interest rate was 3.95%, up from 3.90% in October. Key markets across the United States saw the effects of surging interest rates as refinance share declined month-over-month in Los Angeles (56% to 50%), Chicago (43% to 38%), Austin (32% to 26%), Miami (28% to 22%), San Francisco (51% to 48%) and Dallas (30% to 26%).

While the average interest rate on FHA and VA loans dropped in November compared to the month prior, the average rate for Conventional loans, which accounted for 73% of all loans closed by millennials for the month, increased from 3.90% to 3.97%. Refinance share declined for all three loan types.

“Millennials are well-educated on their options as homeowners and have played a major role in driving the refinance market in 2019,” said Joe Tyrrell, chief operating officer at Ellie Mae. “Interest rates increasing in November for the first time this year may indicate that the refinance boom has passed its peak, however rates are still relatively low and refinance share is up 21 percentage points year-over-year.”

With the decline in share of refinances as a percentage of total closed loans, purchase activity was on a relative upswing. As such, time to close on all purchase loans increased from 41 days to 42 days month-over-month. Time to close on all refinance loans reached 45 days, up from 44 days in October.

The average FICO score for all loans closed in November remained relatively flat month-over-month, dropping one point to 729 while the average borrower age dipped slightly from 30.6 to 30.4.

“For millennials, 29 and 30 are prime homebuying ages and millions of millennials will reach this marker next year,” added Tyrrell. “Millennials expect a balance of automation and human touch in the mortgage process and as their purchasing power continues to grow, it’s important that lenders invest in technology to meet this demographic’s expectations.”

Ellie Mae® is the leading cloud-based platform provider for the mortgage finance industry. The Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker is an interactive online tool that provides access to up-to-date demographic data about this new generation of homebuyers. It mines data from a robust sampling of approximately 80 percent of all closed mortgages dating back to 2014 that were initiated on Ellie Mae’s Encompass® all-in-one mortgage management solution. Given the size of this sample and Ellie Mae’s market share, it is a strong proxy of Millennial mortgage indicators across the country. Searches can be tailored by borrower geography, age, gender, marital status, FICO score and amortization type. For more information, visit

About the Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker

The Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker focuses on Millennial mortgage applications during specific time periods. Ellie Mae defines Millennials as applicants born between the years 1980 and 1999. New data is updated on the first Monday of every month for two months prior. The Millennial Tracker is a subset of our Origination Insight Report, which details aggregated, anonymized data pulled from Ellie Mae’s Encompass origination platform. Additional information regarding the Origination Insight Report can be found at News organizations have the right to reuse this data, provided that Ellie Mae, Inc. is credited as the source.

About Ellie Mae

Ellie Mae is the leading cloud-based platform provider for the mortgage finance industry. Ellie Mae’s technology solutions enable lenders to originate more loans, reduce origination costs, and shorten the time to close, all while ensuring the highest levels of compliance, quality and efficiency. Visit or call 877.355.4362 to learn more.


Erica Bigley
Ellie Mae, Inc.
(925) 227-5913

Caitlin Coffee
(312) 635-8204

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© 2020 Ellie Mae, Inc. Ellie Mae®, Encompass®, AllRegs®, Mavent®, Velocify®, the Ellie Mae logo and other trademarks or service marks of Ellie Mae, Inc. appearing herein are the property of Ellie Mae, Inc. or its subsidiaries. All rights reserved. Other company and product names may be trademarks or copyrights of their respective owners.

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