Press Release

Older Millennials Drove Refinance Surge In February as Interest Rates Decreased, According to the Latest Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker

PLEASANTON, Calif. – Apr. 1, 2020 – According to the latest Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker, refinance activity among millennials surged in February as interest rates dropped to near-record lows. Refinance share – the percentage of all loans closed during the month that were refinances – decreased month-over-month in both November and December 2019, before seeing month-over-month growth in both January and February 2020.

This February, the average interest rate on all closed loans to millennial borrowers dropped to 3.86%, down from 3.94% the month prior. Millennials have not seen an average rate this low since November 2016 and took advantage of the opportunity by refinancing and securing more favorable rates for their mortgages. The refinance share for all closed loans to millennial homeowners in February was 34%, tied for the highest share since Ellie Mae began tracking this data in 2016. For Conventional loans, which represented 75% of all loans closed by this group for the month, refinance share shot up to 41% as average rates for this loan type lowered month-over-month from 3.98% to 3.86%.

The Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker now divides millennials into two groups: older millennials – borrowers between 30 and 40 years old, and younger millennials – borrowers between 21 and 29 years old. Older millennials were the driving force behind the refinance surge in February, as 41% of all loans closed by this group were for refinances, compared to just 18% for younger millennials. For younger millennials, the average interest rate on all loans decreased from 3.9% to 3.83% month-over-month. For older millennials, this figure dropped from 3.95% to 3.85%.

“Economic impacts due to coronavirus (COVID-19) played a role in lowering interest rates in February and millennial homeowners were quick to take advantage and refinance their mortgages,” said Joe Tyrrell, chief operating officer at Ellie Mae. “While rates are currently favorable for consumers, we’re closely monitoring how COVID-19, and the resulting rate cut from the Federal Reserve, will impact every step of the homebuying and refinancing process and, in turn, the mortgage finance industry. Lenders who have invested in the requisite technology will be better positioned to work with buyers and owners who are increasingly interested in taking these processes virtual.”

Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker – Older Millennials vs. Younger Millennials

Older Millennials Younger Millennials
Closed Loans (Share) — All
Refinance 41% 18%
Purchase 58% 81%
Loan Type — All
FHA 17% 28%
Conventional 79% 67%
VA 2% 1%
Other 2% 4%
Time To Close (Days) - All
All 42 39
Refinance 38 36
Purchase 43 40
Average Interest Rates
30 Year Note Rate — ALL 3.85% 3.83%
30 Year Note Rate — FHA 3.85% 3.86%
30 Year Note Rate — Conventional 3.86% 3.83%
30 Year Note Rate — VA 3.45% 3.39%

Despite the increased focus on refinances, time-to-close for this loan purpose saw a significant drop, decreasing 12 days month-over-month, from 50 to 38 days on average. Time-to-close for all loans closed by millennials in February dropped from 47 to 41 days on average.

Ellie Mae® is the leading cloud-based loan origination platform provider for the mortgage 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

# # #

© 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.

Share this:

« Back to Press Releases

Required Field
Required Field
Required Field
Required Field
Required Field
Required Field
Required Field
{{ calc.x }} {{ calc.o?'+':'-' }} {{ calc.y }} =
Incorrect challenge answer

By submitting this form, you agree to receive marketing communications from ICE Mortgage Technology. You can unsubscribe at any time. Your personal information will be handled according to ICE Mortgage Technology’s Privacy Policy.