Introducing the First Annual Ellie Mae Borrower Insights Survey

As the housing market goes through a period of transition, we’re keeping our finger on the pulse of the wants and needs of borrowers so that we can continue to help make their dreams of homeownership a reality.

To better understand the preferences of U.S. home owners and renters, we surveyed more than 3,000 Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. Our first annual Ellie Mae Borrower Insights Survey provides deep insights into borrowers’ needs and expectations for their mortgage experience, what motivates homebuyers, what is keeping renters out of the housing market and more.

We found that across generations and genders, homebuyers want a mortgage experience that combines the speed, convenience and security that technology provides with a reassuring personal interaction with their lender:

  • 57 percent of homebuyers applied for and completed their latest mortgage completely in person
  • More than one-quarter of homebuyers (28 percent) applied for their most recent mortgage using a combination of online and in-person interaction
  • 11 percent of homebuyers applied for their latest mortgage completely online with no in-person interaction.

While you might expect digital native Millennials to favor an online-only mortgage application process, this generation was the most likely to begin the process online and finish it through in-person interaction with their lender. In fact, after a faster process, nearly one quarter of Millennials most desired more face to face interaction in the mortgage application experience. As many Millennials enter the housing market for the first time (and most likely, prepare to make the most significant purchase decision of their lives), it makes sense they would value a high-tech experience coupled with personal interaction with their lender.

But it’s not only younger borrowers who are seeking a faster and more streamlined mortgage application experience: Gen X (28 percent) and Baby Boomer (20 percent) borrowers weren’t far behind in using this online and in-person approach.

Overall, when asked what factor would have improved the mortgage process, approximately 40 percent of homeowners indicated they would have liked a faster process with fewer delays. Twenty percent indicated that a shorter, easier to understand application would be preferable, while 11 percent asked for more communication with their lender throughout the process.

Here’s a snapshot of the top factors that different groups of borrowers value most in the mortgage application process:

  • Millennials: Security (35 percent), followed by Speed of the Process (23 percent)
  • Gen Xers: Speed of the Process (34 percent), followed by Security (23 percent)
  • Baby Boomers: Speed of the Process (36 percent), followed by Simplicity (22 percent)
  • Females: Security (32 percent), followed by Speed of the Process (29 percent)
  • Males: Speed of the Process (30 percent), followed by Security (27 percent)

Insights such as these are invaluable as we continue to innovate and create new solutions, such as the new Encompass Consumer Connect®, to streamline the mortgage process and provide borrowers with a better home loan experience.

To learn more and for additional data, please visit:

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