The Dismal State of Mortgage Data

 On May 29, 2019, FHFA published its final Monthly Interest Rate Survey (MIRS), due to dwindling participation by financial institutions. MIRS had provided information on a monthly basis on interest rates, loan terms, and house prices by property type (all, new, previously occupied); by loan type (fixed- or adjustable-rate), and by lender type (savings associations, mortgage companies, commercial banks and savings banks); as well as information on 15-year and 30-year, fixed-rate loans. Additionally, MIRS provided quarterly information on conventional loans by major metropolitan area and by Federal Home Loan Bank district, and was used to compile FHFA’s monthly adjustable-rate mortgage index entitled the “National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for the Purchase of Previously Occupied Homes by Combined Lenders,” also known as the ARM Index.

Another one bites the dust! Travesty! "Due to dwindling participation...". This is yet another series of data which is no longer available from our Government Agencies. These Agencies need to step it up. The loss of this dataset will be felt over time.

Wait a minute...

Yet the FHFA publishes home price indexes based on repeat sales of the properties underlying Freddie and FNMA mortgages, instead of conducting a survey could they not just use this data to compute the time-series data now lost?

The FHFA House Price Index (HPI) is a broad measure of the movement of single-family house prices. The HPI is a weighted, repeat-sales index, meaning that it measures average price changes in repeat sales or refinancings on the same properties. This information is obtained by reviewing repeat mortgage transactions on single-family properties whose mortgages have been purchased or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac since January 1975.

Also when is the FHFA going to update the summary statistics of the National Mortgage Database?? This seems long overdue. Also why is the HMDA data so difficult to update and use as the basis of a summary spreadsheet??

The current state of mortgage disclosure is pathetic!