According to the latest Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker, refinances represented 33% of all loans closed by millennials in September 2019 as interest rates continued to drop. This marks the highest share of refinance activity since Ellie Mae began tracking the data in January 2016. The share of refinances among this demographic jumped 8% month-over-month as the average interest rate on all 30-year notes fell to 3.91%, the lowest average rate since December 2016. Share of purchase loans decreased from 74% to 66% in September.

For Conventional loans, the share of refinances jumped 11 percentage points month-over-month to 40%, and for VA loans, refinance share increased 10 percentage points to 48% of total VA loans closed by millennials in September. In parallel, for FHA loans, the share of refinances rose 1 percentage point to 10% of total closed FHA loans.

Average interest rates for all loan types fell below 4% for the first time since November 2016. On average, millennials received interest rates of 3.90% for Conventional loans, 3.52% for VA loans and 3.94% for FHA loans.

“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, chief operating officer 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.”

The average FICO score for millennial borrowers in September was 729, higher than at any other point this year. For Conventional loans, average FICO scores by loan type were 748 for purchase loans, flat from the month prior, and 759 for refinances, up three points from August.

Additional insights from the September Millennial Tracker include:

  • Time to close for all loans remained flat at 42 days.
  • The average age of millennial homebuyers in September was 30.6, the highest average age since January 2019.
  • Conventional loans accounted for 75% of all loans closed during the month, compared to 21% for FHA loans, 2% for VA loans and 2% for other loan types.
  • Share of refinances in key metro areas rose month-to-month in September including in Los Angeles (51% to 57%), Chicago (29% to 41%), Austin (19% to 29%), San Francisco (50% to 55%) and Dallas (19% to 26%).

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