Millennials Making a Name in Housing

What’s in a name? If you’re a real estate data-miner, a lot.

ATTOM Data Solutions, Irvine, Calif., released an analysis of home buyer first names. It reported the biggest increases in homes purchased in 2017 were by buyers with first names popular among millennials–Dylan (1992), Chelsea (1993), Austin (1995), Alexandra and Taylor (1993)–all of which spiked in popularity as baby names between 1992 and 1995.

The analysis also reported the biggest decreases were by buyers with first names popular among Gen-Xers and the pre-baby boomer Silent Generation and Greatest Generation–Gerald (1939), Kristin (1970), Stanley (1916), Kurt (1966) and Jaime (1976)–which spiked in popularity as baby names between 1916 and 1976.

As more Millennials enter the home buying market, some lenders are making it easier to get a home loan by lowering their FICO score requirements. Ellie Mae, Pleasanton, Calif., said its latest Millennial Tracker showed a slight decline in average scores for closed loans to Millennials year-over-year, particularly for FHA and VA loans.

Ellie Mae reported In November 2016, the average FICO score on a closed FHA refinance loan to a Millennial borrower fell to 669 in November, from 678 a year ago. Likewise, average FICO scores on closed VA refinance loans decreased from 725 to 710 year-over-year.

“With the average credit score dipping, lenders are extending credit to borrowers who may have had no previous access to the housing market,” said Joe Tyrrell, executive vice president of corporate strategy with Ellie Mae. “While these scores are still significantly above the levels seen a few years ago, it is encouraging to see increased accessibility, especially as the millennial population continues to pursue home ownership.”

Ellie Mae reported top Metropolitan Statistical Areas for Millennials by percentage of mortgage loans closed in November included Toccoa, Ga. (77 percent), Victoria, Texas (76 percent), as well as Aberdeen, S.D. and Casper, Wyo. (both 65 percent).