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1 in 6 Millennial Homeowners Will Refinance a Mortgage in 2020

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Whenever mortgage rates hover near historic lows, they can create an ideal environment for mortgage borrowers to revisit their loan terms and try to take advantage of any savings they can snap up. 

To better understand the sentiments around mortgage refinancing, LendingTree commissioned a survey of current homeowners to learn about their future plans for their home loan and mortgage rate predictions. 

Key findings 

Millennials – also known as Generation Y – are the group most likely to apply for a mortgage refinance in 2020. 

Members of Gen Y — those ages 23 to 38 — are ready to save money on their mortgages. Of the millennials surveyed, 1 in 6 (16%) of millennials say they have plans to refinance their home loan this year. Another 19% plan to refinance in the next two to five years. 

Just 2% of baby boomers plan to refinance their mortgage this year. 

Within the next decade, 10% of boomers (ages 54 to 73) are planning to apply for a refinance. Only 5% of homeowners in the silent generation — ages 74 or older — are considering a mortgage refi in the next five years. 

More than 1 in 7 Gen Xers are also aiming for a mortgage with better overall terms. 

Among those surveyed, 15% of Generation X, those ages 39 to 53, say they’ll apply for a mortgage refi in 2020. Nearly 18% plan to do so within the next two to 10 years. 

Other takeaways 

Across homeowners of all ages, just over 1 in 10 will refinance their mortgage in 2020. However, 59% have no refi plans on the horizon anytime soon. 

More than half (56%) of the homeowners surveyed think 2020 will bring an increase in mortgage rates. Just under a third (31%) think rates won’t budge, and 13% expect rates to drop. 

About 1 in 7 millennials (14%) and Gen Xers (15%) anticipate a decrease in mortgage rates. Only about 10% of boomers share their optimism for a rate drop. 

Questions to answer before refinancing 

If you’re considering a mortgage refinance, be sure to answer the following questions before moving forward. 

  • What’s your goal for refinancing your mortgage? Do you want a lower mortgage rate and monthly payment? Have you built a ton of home equity and want access to some of it? Do you have an adjustable-rate mortgage and want a fixed-rate loan instead? 
  • Have your credit score and DTI ratio improved? You more than likely want to lock in a better rate on your refinance than what you currently have. The better your credit score and the lower your debt-to-income ratio, the higher chance you have of qualifying for the best rates. 
  • How long will you continue to live in your home? If you’re only staying for a few years, it may not be worth the time and money it takes to refinance your loan. Use a mortgage refinance calculator to find your breakeven, or the amount of time it takes to recoup the closing costs on your refi.
  • How will you cover your closing costs? Mortgage refinance closing costs range from 2% to 6% of your loan amount. You could either pay these costs out of pocket or finance them into your new loan. If you decide on the latter, keep in mind your loan will cost more over time. 

You’ll also want to shop around with multiple lenders once you’ve decided you’re ready to refinance. Check out LendingTree’s guide to comparing refinance rates for extra help. 

Methodology 

For this survey, LendingTree commissioned Qualtrics to conduct an online survey of 1,107 American homeowners. The survey was fielded Dec. 13-16, 2019, and the sample base was proportioned to represent the overall population. 

Generations are defined by the following ages: 

  • Millennials: ages 23-38 
  • Generation X: ages 39-53 
  • Baby boomers: ages 54-73 
  • Silent generation: ages 74+ 

Members of Generation Z (ages 18 to 22) were also surveyed, and their responses are included within the total percentages among all respondents. However, their responses are excluded from the charts and age breakdowns due to the smaller population size among our survey sample. 

 

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