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1991 residential finance survey.

1991 Residential Finance Survey

The second phase will soon be under way in the 1991 Residential Finance Survey (RFS) being conducted by the Bureau of the Census, U.S. Department of Commerce, as part of the 1990 Decennial Census.

In this lender phase, questionnaires will be mailed to lending institutions and individuals who have financed mortgages on residential properties. In the first phase of the survey, homeowners and the owners of rental properties were contacted and asked to provide information on the property itself and the owner(s) of the property.

The 1991 Residential Finance Survey will update the statistics collected in comparable surveys taken in conjunction with earlier censuses. It will provide lending institutions with a comprehensive package of basic statistical data relating to the current financial status of the nation's investment in residential properties. A comparison of data collected in the 1991 survey with those collected in 1981 will allow analysts to measure the changes that have occurred in mortgage finance during this 10-year period.

Subjects covered

Among the many subjects to be covered in the lender phase of the survey that were covered in earlier surveys are mortgage insurance status (FHA, VA, insured conventional, uninsured); outstanding method of payment; current status of payments; and extent and characteristics of junior mortgage liens. One type of information of particular interest to lending institutions, which the survey will continue to provide, is the volume of interregional flow of funds.

Many subjects covered in the 1991 survey are new or have been revised or modified since 1981 to reflect the changes in mortgage finance over the past decade. One important financing method that has gained popularity in the 1980s is the home equity line of credit or home equity loan. Some of the information collected in the survey on home equity lines of credit ask about current interest rate; current unpaid balance; caps on the interest rate change per adjustment period; and type of institution holding the home equity line of credit.

Data are also obtained regarding the main reason for obtaining a home equity line of credit, that is, for additions, improvements or repairs to the property; consolidation of debts; education or medical expenses; or purchase of consumer product (automobile, truck, furniture and so on).

Another financing alternative popular in the 1980s is the adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM). Some of the data collected in ARMs include what index is used to adjust interest rates; what the margin is over the index used; what the caps are on the interest rate change per adjustment period or over the life of the mortgage; and whether the loan is convertible to a fixed-rate mortgage.

From the survey data, a number of rates will be developed relating various debt, property and owner characteristics to one another, including:

For homeowner properties: * Interest and principal payments as percent of homeowner's

income * Annual housing costs as percent of homeowner's income * Purchase price-income ratio

For rental properties: * Interests and principal payments as percent of rental

receipts * Rental receipts as percent of value

For all properties: * First mortgage loan as percent of purchase price * Outstanding mortgage debt as percent of value


Results of the survey will be published as part of the 1990 Decennial Census. Information will be tabulated and published in late 1992 in a report for the United States and the four census regions (Northeast, Midwest, South and West). In addition to this printed report, RFS data will be prepared in the form of a microdata file available on computer tape and CD-ROM presenting data for the United States, regions, metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas, central cities and the suburbs, and some states. Analytical reports on selected RFS topics will be released periodically.

The information gained from this survey will be the basis for financial planning and decision making by government lending institutions, investors and home builders. These decisions can influence the supply of homes and apartments, the level of home prices and apartment rentals, and the availability of credit for the purchase, repair or improvement of homes or apartment buildings.

Response to this survey is required by law (Title 13, United States Code). That same law ensures that all information collected in the Residential Finance Survey will be held in strict confidence and seen only by sworn Bureau of the Census employees. Any release or publication of the information will be in summary form that will not permit identification of any individual, lender, property or property owner. The Census Bureau has the authority to request the mortgage information under the provisions of Section 1113(d) of the Right to Financial Privacy Act (12 U.S.C. 3413[d]). Section 113(d) provides that "Nothing in this chapter shall authorize the withholding of financial records or information required to be reported in accordance with any Federal statute."
COPYRIGHT 1991 Mortgage Bankers Association of America
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:United States. Bureau of the Census
Publication:Mortgage Banking
Date:Jun 1, 1991
Previous Article:Canada's rising star.
Next Article:Residential Mortgage Lending, 2d ed.

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