The US government collects and distributes an enormous database with information about US mortgages called the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data. The HMDA dataset contains the most comprehensive publicly available information on mortgage market activity. Each fall, new HMDA data are made available. In 2016, almost 7,000 institutions released over 16 million records, making HMDA an invaluable administrative dataset on housing and homeownership for policymakers, regulators, and researchers. The latest records were made available in September 2017.
Researchers with the Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center (HFPC) have used HMDA data in the following work:
Boom and Bust map. Researchers used HMDA data to create an interactive map of the US that allows users to see mortgage originations by census tract, broken down by race and ethnicity over 16 years.
Missing loans analysis. Researchers used HMDA data to calculate the approximate number of mortgages that would have been made since 2009 if credit standards had been more reasonable.
Four Million Mortgage Loans Missing from 2009 to 2013 Due to Tight Credit Standards (April 2015 blog post)
Overly Tight Credit Killed 1.1 Million Mortgages in 2015 (November 2016 blog post)
Small loans analysis. Researchers used HMDA data to examine the demand for and supply of loans under $50,000 in Where Have All the Small Loans Gone? (April 2016 blog post)
VA loans analysis. Researchers used HMDA data to compare the performance of US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans in VA Loans Outperform FHA Loans. Why? And What Can We Learn? (July 2014 brief)
Real denial rate measurement. Researchers used HMDA data to develop and annually publish a new, more accurate and robust measure of mortgage denial rates known as the real denial rate.
Lower-Credit Mortgage Applicants Are Dropping Out of the Market (February 2017 research report)
What a New Measure of Mortgage Denials Reveals about Mortgage Credit Access (January 2015 blog post)
New Measure Shows Mortgage Denial Rate Is Triple Traditional Estimates (December 2014 blog post)
A Better Measure of Mortgage Application Denial Rates (December 2014 research report)
Sloan Administrative Data Research Facility. Researchers linked HMDA data with the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey data and made the linked dataset publicly available to the broader research community on an open-source, cloud-based platform.
Using this new linked dataset, HFPC researchers created interactive maps in Visualizing Hurricane Harvey’s Impact on Houston’s Neighborhoods. (September 2017 blog post)