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Press Release

Home loan outcomes in Fayette County, Kentucky – home to Lexington – vary by income and race, according to Cleveland Fed researcher’s analysis of HMDA data

Using Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data to examine trends in mortgage lending in Fayette County, Kentucky–home to Lexington–during a 27-year period beginning in 1990, Matt Klesta, a policy analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, finds that:

  • Loan application and origination activity in Fayette County peaked in 2003 but plummeted as the Great Recession set in. From 2003 to 2008, loan application and origination activity dropped by 60 percent and 66 percent, respectively.
  • The rate of home purchase loans per 1,000 households declined for all race and income groups following the Great Recession, but for black borrowers, the decline was steeper, and their recovery has been weaker.
  • Prior to 2008, loan application rates per 1,000 housing units were fairly similar across all neighborhood income groups in Fayette County. After 2008, application rates began diverging; middle- and high-income neighborhoods saw more erratic changes primarily driven by refinance activity, while application rates in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods remained depressed, with slight upticks in 2012 and 2016.
  • Following a sharp jump of 12 percentage points on average across all neighborhood income groups in 2009, loan origination rates continued increasing through 2016. These increases ranged from 3 percentage points in high-income neighborhoods to 13 percentage points in low-income neighborhoods. When compared to the nation, Fayette County’s loan origination rates were higher across all neighborhood income groups and years.

Find more information in Home Lending in Fayette 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, and this related infographic.

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