TransUnion Finds Most Mortgage Shoppers in Q1’17 Were Renters

A recent TransUnion analysis finds that 55% of those who shopped for a mortgage in Q1’17 were non-homeowners, most of which were renters. This is a significant rise from Q1’16 (50%) and Q1’15 (45%), demonstrating that consumers may be shifting preferences from renting to homeownership.

TransUnion’s report found that millennials’ interest in homeownership is growing steadily over time. In 2017, three in 10 (29%) non-homeowners who shopped for mortgages were millennials – up slightly from 28% in 2016 and 27% in 2015.

In addition, 34 million renters between the ages of 25 and 44 – typically a prime age range for homeownership – were credit-eligible for a mortgage. Just 34% of renters under 44 years old had a VantageScore 3.0 credit score: a common benchmark used by some institutions to determine whether a borrower qualifies for a low-down-payment loan, below 580.

“The rental market has seen sustained growth for the last several years, but occupancy rates have flattened from their peak in the second quarter of 2016,” says Mike Doherty, senior vice president of TransUnion’s rental screening solutions group.

“This new uptick in mortgage shopping could be a precursor to further declines in occupancy, which would impact rent growth – and, ultimately, revenue – for multifamily property owners.”

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