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Press Release

Home loan outcomes in Montgomery County vary by race and income, according to Cleveland Fed researcher’s analysis of HMDA data

Using Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data to examine trends in mortgage lending in Montgomery County – home to Dayton — during a 27-year period beginning in 1990, Lisa Nelson, a community development advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, finds that:

  • The number of loan applications and loan originations in Montgomery County peaked in 2003. They fell to their lowest point in 2014 before they rebounded slightly in 2015 and increased again in 2016.
  • Since the Great Recession ended, origination rates — the share of loan applications approved by the lender and accepted by the borrower — have increased, exceeding 65 percent since 2009. In the years leading up to the Great Recession, origination rates in the county hovered around 55 percent.
  • In the post-Great Recession years, loan application rates in Montgomery County’s low-income neighborhoods remained relatively flat, while the middle- and high-income neighborhoods experienced jumps in application activity driven mainly by low interest rates and refinance applications. Nelson says this was similar to the national trend. She notes that deteriorating housing values plus tightened lending standards during and after the recession may have impacted the ability of some homeowners to refinance their homes, particularly in the LMI areas within the county.
  • While the number of home purchase loan originations declined from 2005 to 2016 for both non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black borrowers, the declines were greater for black borrowers (59 percent) than they were for white borrowers (28 percent). And looking at origination rates by race and borrower income, Nelson says black borrowers, regardless of income, are less likely to get approved for a home purchase loan than white borrowers in each year she examined. Nelson says the HMDA data doesn’t include information used in lending decisions – including a borrower’s credit score, debt, and employment history. Therefore, she says it is not possible with HMDA data alone to identify what might help explain the differences she observes.

Read Home Lending in Montgomery County Neighborhoods.

To examine trends in mortgage lending for other US metro areas, check out the Home Mortgage Explorer, a tool developed by the Cleveland and Philadelphia Feds.

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that along with the Board of Governors in Washington DC comprise the Federal Reserve System. Part of the US central bank, the Cleveland Fed participates in the formulation of our nation’s monetary policy, supervises banking organizations, provides payment and other services to financial institutions and to the US Treasury, and performs many activities that support Federal Reserve operations System-wide. In addition, the Bank supports the well-being of communities across the Fourth Federal Reserve District through a wide array of research, outreach, and educational activities.

The Cleveland Fed, with branches in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, serves an area that comprises Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.

Media contact

Doug Campbell,, 513.455.4479