On August 16, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) released 2018 median family income (MFI) statistics for metropolitan areas to be used in fair lending and CRA analysis.  This blog presents some interesting discoveries when comparing 2018 to 2017 MFIs.

(The 2018 MFIs are live in Fair Lending Magic™ and will be live in LendingPatterns™ by September 15.)

In some cases, the MFI statistics represent significant changes compared to 2017. The reason for the differences in changes across metro areas involves relying on different census data. The 2017 MFIs rely on one- and five-year 2014 income estimates, whereas the 2018 MFIs rely on one- and five-year 2015 income estimates.

There are 409 Metropolitan Statistical Areas or Metropolitan Divisions (MSA/MDs) in the 2017 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data. For 2018, the MSA/MD code has been dropped from the list of reported fields. However, with the addition of one new MSA in Idaho (Twin Falls), there are 410 MSA/MDs in which one could conduct a HMDA analysis.

25 of the top 100 Within the top 100 mortgage markets in terms of 2017 HMDA applications (excluding purchased loans), below are shown the top 25 increases in MFI, in percentage terms:


Shifting LMI Definition Of particular importance to bankers are changes in the threshold that determines what is a low- or moderate- income (LMI) borrower in terms of applicant income.

Among the top 50 HMDA markets for 2017, there were seven (14.0%) where that threshold increased by more than $5,000.  Those markets are listed below:


Some Incomes Are Falling Finally, one can see that income changes are uneven across metro areas.  Some bad news: in nine of 409 markets (2.2%), the MFI actually decreased. Those nine markets are sorted below by the magnitude of the decrease in dollars. None of the top 80 mortgage markets are included in this list: