Single women are the most popular users of FHA-backed loans within the Millennial population, a phenomenon that left experts at Ellie Mae citing several potential causes.
In December, 41% of single women primary homebuyers utilized FHA loans, compared to 38% of men, according to Ellie Mae’s Millennial Tracker.
The story is the same even among married Millennials. Among married female primary homebuyers, 35% used FHA loans, up from married men’s 28%. Overall, 39% of women closed FHA loans compared to 32% of men.
However, experts at Ellie Mae are not sure why women tend towards FHA loans, citing everything from more education about options available to lower income levels.
“It is interesting that average loan-to-value, debt-to-income and loan amounts are so similar for millennial males and females, but that we’re seeing a higher share of females choose FHA loans,” Joe Tyrrell, Ellie Mae executive vice president of corporate strategy, told HousingWire. “We don’t know for sure why that is, but it could be driven by a number for factors.”
“While in some cases it could be that females make less than their male cohorts, it could also be that more females have greater education on FHA loan products or that they are offered those products more frequently than males,” Tyrrell said. “It’s a trend we’re going to continue to follow.”
Millennials’ FICO scores hovered near 2016’s average, settling at 724 in December for all closed loans. Millennials’ average score for refinancing in December was 748 while the average FICO score for closed mortgages held steady at 746.
Millennial homeownership is becoming a reality as Tyrrell explains the generation began to hit the market in force.
“Last year we saw millennials begin to enter the housing market in force,” Tyrrell said. “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.”
“As a result, we saw many single female borrowers, pursue homeownership in 2016,” he said. “We’re on the cusp of a new era, with potential for an influx of Millennials to begin exercising their purchase power.”