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Community Stabilization Index

Maps, Methodology, and Applications

The Community Stabilization Index (CSI) is a composite index that provides a relative measure of local housing market conditions, with a particular focus on recovery potential. The index is specific to conditions at the zip code level and is comparable across all zip codes within a metropolitan statistical area (MSA). Periodic recalculations of the CSI allow community leaders, for example, to track relative changes in housing market conditions through time at the zip code level.

The CSI synthesizes several variables into a single comparable measure of recovery potential. However beneficial, this simplification should not deemphasize the importance of tracking underlying and other available housing variables or preclude understanding the limitations of this tool. The methodology and data sources for this tool are explained at the bottom of the page; click on the large map or scroll down to the individual MSA images to explore the index and its components.

Access the 2016 interactive maps and analysis here
Download the PDF (analysis and all maps)

Dickey Community Garden in the Warren, Ohio, area, where neighborhood revitalization efforts are ongoing, is one of many examples of reimagining and using vacant lots. (Credit: Courtesy of Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership)

Akron, Ohio MSA

Akron, Ohio, MSA

Explore Akron CSI map and indicators here

Canton, Ohio MSA

Canton, Ohio, MSA

Explore Canton CSI map and indicators here

Cincinnati, Ohio MSA

Cincinnati, Ohio, MSA

Explore Cincinnati CSI map and indicators here

Cleveland, Ohio MSA

Cleveland, Ohio, MSA

Explore Cleveland CSI map and indicators here

Columbus, Ohio MSA

Columbus, Ohio, MSA

Explore Columbus CSI map and indicators here

Dayton-Springfield, Ohio MSA

Dayton-Springfield, Ohio, MSA

Explore Dayton-Springfield CSI map and indicators here

Erie, Pennsylvania MSA

Erie, Pennsylvania, MSA

Explore Erie CSI map and indicators here

Huntington-Ashland, West Virginia-Kentucky-Ohio MSA

Huntington-Ashland, West Virginia-Kentucky-Ohio, MSA

Explore Huntington-Ashland CSI map and indicators here

Lexington, Kentucky MSA

Lexington, Kentucky, MSA

Explore Lexington CSI map and indicators here

Lima, Ohio MSA

Lima, Ohio, MSA

Explore Lima CSI map and indicators here

Mansfield, Ohio MSA

Mansfield, Ohio, MSA

Explore Mansfield CSI map and indicators here

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania MSA

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, MSA

Explore Pittsburgh CSI map and indicators here

Toledo, Ohio MSA

Toledo, Ohio, MSA

Explore Toledo CSI map and indicators here

Wheeling, West Virginia & Weirton-Steubenville, West Virginia-Ohio MSA

Wheeling, West Virginia, & Weirton-Steubenville, West Virginia-Ohio, MSA

Explore Wheeling & Weirton-Steubenville CSI map and indicators here

Youngstown, Ohio MSA

Youngstown, Ohio, MSA

Explore Youngstown CSI map and indicators here

The index draws data from Lender Processing Services, Inc. Applied Analytics (LPS), the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Consumer Credit Panel, and the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) database. The LPS dataset comprises the servicing portfolios of the largest residential mortgage servicers in the US, covering about two-thirds of installment-type loans nationwide. The Consumer Credit Panel is a nationally representative 5 percent random sample of all individuals with a social security number and a credit report as provided by Equifax. The database contains approximately 40 million individuals each quarter and includes household-level credit and debt, including credit cards, auto loans, student loans, mortgages (separately for first and second liens), and other loans. The HMDA dataset contains data on home mortgage loans as reported by depository institutions and certain for-profit, nondepository institutions.

Records in LPS include active and inactive loans. The status of active loans can be current, delinquent, or in foreclosure. Inactive loans are those loans on properties that have moved into REO (real estate owned) status, been transferred to another servicer, or have terminated. Only first-lien loans on residential properties are included in our analysis.

The index comprises the following six components calculated for each zip code:

  1. Loans in 90-day delinquency: This component represents the percent of active loans that are at least 90 days delinquent in July of the reported year.
  2. Loans in foreclosure: This component represents the percent of active loans that are in foreclosure status in July of the reported year.
  3. REO: This component represents the ratio of real estate owned properties to the number of active loans in July of the reported year. Inactive loans related to properties in REO status add to the shadow inventory of the zip code.
  4. Originations-to-shadow-inventory ratio: This component represents the ratio of purchase originations in the most recent year available from the HMDA database to the number of REOs, foreclosures, and loans greater than 90 days delinquent in a given month as calculated in components one through three.
  5. Change in median value of purchase and refinance originations: For this component, we calculate the median estimated value of mortgage-financed homes in the zip code for two time periods: 2005, the year prices peaked; and the most current full year available. In the case of a purchase, the value refers to the sale price. If the first-lien loan is originated because of a refinance, the value refers to the appraisal amount. The index tracks the percent change of these two median values.
  6. Nonmortgage credit delinquency: This component represents the percent of active accounts at least 60 days delinquent or in severe derogatory status in June of the reported year. "Nonmortgage" refers to auto loans, credit cards, consumer finance, retail cards, and student loans.

For each zip code, all components are normalized to a scale of zero to one based on each zip code's relative level of distress with respect to other zip codes in the MSA. Thus, for each of the components, the most distressed zip code in the respective MSA—say, the one with the highest foreclosure rate—is assigned a value of one, and the least distressed is assigned a value of zero. The composite index, a simple average of its components, is also normalized to a zero-to-one scale. A higher score on the index indicates a more distressed housing market.

In general, greater potential for the local housing market and neighborhoods to recover may be observed via:

  1. A decreasing influx of properties entering the high delinquency, foreclosure and REO processes and an increasing outflow of properties from foreclosure/REO back into the market or into the hands of local institutions, such as land banks.

  2. Consumers’ positive expectations of stability in the area as signaled by lower depreciation of home prices and higher level of new mortgage originations relative to the number of properties that are vacant and in REO, foreclosure, or greater than 90 days delinquent.

  3. Decreasing non-mortgage delinquency rates indicating improved household finances, this in turn can lead to fewer mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures.

CSI components
Components 1-3 of the index relate to the inflow-outflow perspective of recovery, while components 4 and 5 relate to the positive expectations interpretation of recovery potential. Finally, component 6 measures non-mortgage signs of household financial stability that could influence housing outcomes. Overall, the composite index aims to reflect the health of the overall housing market across zip codes, given the high negative impact of the mortgage foreclosures crisis.

2015:    Interactive Maps  |  Download the PDF

2014:    Interactive Maps  |  Download the PDF

Community Stabilization Index maps prior to 2014 are available upon request.

Please send questions, comments, or requests to Brett Barkley.

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