Home Economics How Do Banks Lend in Inaccurate Flood Zones within the Fed’s Second District?

How Do Banks Lend in Inaccurate Flood Zones within the Fed’s Second District?

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How Do Banks Lend in Inaccurate Flood Zones within the Fed’s Second District?

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In our earlier publish, we recognized the diploma to which flood maps within the Federal Reserve’s Second District are inaccurate. On this publish, we use our information on the accuracy of flood maps to look at how banks lend in “inaccurately mapped” areas, once more specializing in the Second District particularly. We discover that banks are seemingly conscious of poor-quality flood maps and are usually much less more likely to lend in such areas, thereby demonstrating a level of flood danger administration or danger aversion. This propensity to keep away from lending in inaccurately mapped areas may be seen in jumbo in addition to non-jumbo loans, as soon as we account for a collection of confounding results. The outcomes for the Second District largely mirror these for the remainder of the nation, with inaccuracies resulting in related reductions in lending, particularly amongst non-jumbo loans.

Inaccurate Flood Maps

As supervisor of the Nationwide Flood Insurance coverage Program (NFIP), the Federal Emergency Administration Company (FEMA) works with communities to attract maps that denote the danger of a catastrophic flood occurring no less than as soon as in 100 years. Areas which can be prone to such flooding are thought-about to have a 1 % (or extra) annual flood danger. An necessary implication of being in a flood zone is the insurance coverage requirement for mortgage debtors. Particularly, any mortgage applicant in a flood zone whose mortgage meets sure standards—akin to being eligible for securitization or being made by a monetary establishment—should purchase flood insurance coverage. This system—in addition to the implications for the mortgage market—are mentioned in earlier Liberty Road Economics posts on this collection (see right here or right here).

In our earlier publish, we mentioned the truth that sure flood maps could also be inaccurate. These inaccuracies come up partly as a result of it takes time to replace the maps within the face of local weather change, and partly due to enhancements and different adjustments made to native infrastructure and constructing supplies that take time to be mirrored in official flood maps. We use property-level data on flood harm publicity from CoreLogic in addition to digitized flood maps for 2022 to outline inaccuracies (as described in our earlier publish).

Maps may be inaccurate in one in all two methods: both they designate an excessive amount of of an space as being a “flood danger,” or they designate too little. For the needs of this publish, we focus solely on the latter difficulty and outline two classes of inaccuracy. If a property faces important flooding harm (highest harm quartile) however will not be “mapped” right into a flood zone, its map is “very inaccurate.” If a property faces average harm however will not be lined by a flood zone, its map is just “inaccurate.” All different properties are both precisely mapped or accurately excluded from a flood map as a result of they face no flood danger. We collapse this information on the census-tract stage after which calculate the share of every census tract that’s “very inaccurate” and “inaccurate” within the analyses beneath. This considerably coarse evaluation is critical as we can not use address-specific mortgage information. As earlier than, we concentrate on properties within the Second District in addition to the nation as a complete for mortgage purposes in 2019 and 2020.

A key query is whether or not lenders are conscious of—and conscious of—these inaccuracies. To this finish, we make use of Residence Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) mortgage information on the census tract stage. We first take a look at easy correlations between the share of a census tract that’s “very inaccurate” and the acceptance fee of mortgage purposes. Within the left panel of the chart beneath, we see that for non-jumbo (“conforming”) loans, there’s little or no relationship between the 2 variables. That is presumably a consequence of many of those loans transferring off of a financial institution’s stability sheet within the close to time period. Nevertheless, jumbo loans, which usually tend to be retained by banks, present a way more detrimental correlation, as proven in the fitting panel. In different phrases, census tracts during which a better proportion of houses are inaccurately mapped see a decrease acceptance fee for jumbo purposes, on common.

Lending in Areas with Inaccurate Flood Maps

Two-panel Liberty Street Economics binscatter chart showing banks’ approval rates for non-jumbo loans (left panel) and jumbo loans (right panel) in inaccurate flood map areas.

Sources: Authors’ calculations; Federal Emergency Administration Company (FEMA); Residence Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) information; CoreLogic.
Notes: This chart reveals binscatter plots that relate the share of a census tract that’s “very inaccurately” mapped to the mortgage acceptance fee. It contains time controls however no different changes. Information cowl the Second District excluding Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and are cut up into conforming (non-jumbo) and non-conforming (jumbo) loans.

This result’s presumably a mirrored image of financial institution danger administration. Retaining a mortgage that’s topic to flood danger however that will not have flood insurance coverage (or could even be ineligible for insurance coverage from the NFIP if the group doesn’t take part) could characterize too dangerous a proposition. Nevertheless, since a complete host of different elements go right into a mortgage utility resolution, we use regression evaluation to manage for these different elements.

The Impact of Flood Map Accuracy on Lending

Our consequence variable is the mortgage acceptance chance as measured by a variable that takes the worth of “1” if an utility is accepted. We regress the mortgage acceptance chance on utility quantities in {dollars}, borrower traits (earnings, gender, race, and loan-to-income ratio), the county the place the property is situated interacted with time, the common census tract earnings, previous flood damages, and a bunch of different traits. We additionally embody a variable that denotes the share of properties in a census tract which can be (1) “inaccurately mapped” or (2) “very inaccurately mapped.” Outcomes are proven within the chart beneath.

Impact of Inaccurate Maps, after Accounting for Borrower and Area Traits

Bar chart showing regression results relating loan acceptance rates to various loan, region, and borrower characteristics and variables showing the share of properties in a census tract that are inaccurately or very inaccurately mapped. Results are separated by Second District versus the nation and reflect only non-jumbo loans.

Sources: Authors’ calculations; Federal Emergency Administration Company (FEMA); Residence Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) information; CoreLogic.
Notes: This chart reveals the important thing coefficients for a linear chance regression that relates mortgage acceptance charges (1= accepted by borrower and financial institution) to a bunch of mortgage, area, and borrower traits, in addition to key variables that denote the share of properties in a census tract which can be “inaccurately mapped” or “very inaccurately mapped.” It reveals the Second District (excluding Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and the remainder of the nation individually and focuses solely on the coefficients of curiosity for non-jumbo loans.

We discover that financial institution loans in areas which have inaccurate maps have a considerably decrease acceptance fee, all else equal. Areas which have very inaccurate maps see a extra pronounced discount in acceptances. If we embody borrower traits—particularly borrower earnings and loan-to-value ratios—the connection between the share of inaccurately mapped properties and mortgage acceptance charges turns into much less detrimental amongst jumbo loans than within the uncooked correlation. This can be a mirrored image of the flexibility of those debtors to make a bigger down fee to assist offset the financial institution’s perceived danger.

It’s price mentioning that whereas these reductions within the acceptance charges are statistically important, they’re small relative to the consequences of applicant earnings or wealth. A Second District group during which 10 % of all properties are inaccurately mapped might even see a discount of three % in acceptance charges. A ten % drop in earnings would see a rejection response that’s fourfold bigger. Our outcomes doubtless mirror some residual financial institution danger aversion—not all conforming loans are securitized, in any case. Furthermore, banks which can be conscious of the incorrect mapping doubtless count on maps to vary following future updates. Since lenders/servicers have to make sure that pre-existing debtors who’re newly mapped into flood zones purchase insurance coverage after a grace interval expires, they could be ex ante unwilling to lend to those inaccurately mapped households. Alternatively, banks could also be fearful in regards to the potential of the marginal borrower to make the required insurance coverage funds.

The response of lenders to inaccurate maps within the Second District is corresponding to that within the nation as a complete, particularly amongst non-jumbo debtors. The response to very inaccurate maps is considerably stronger in southern states, which can mirror elevated danger of catastrophic flooding. Whereas we don’t totally account for a variety of region-specific elements that will differ between the Second District and the remainder of the nation, we nonetheless discover that financial institution responses to inaccuracies are broadly comparable—that’s to say, they scale back lending. This means that financial institution reactions to inaccurate maps aren’t state-specific however usually tend to be a mirrored image of common danger aversion.

Concluding Remarks

We discover that banks are considerably conscious of inaccurately mapped areas. They’re much less prepared to lend in areas with poor flood maps, even when these loans may be securitized. On this regard, the Second District is not any completely different than the remainder of the nation. Whereas financial institution reactions to inaccurate maps are small, the presence of statistically significant lending variations implies that banks handle and are conscious of flood danger, no less than to a point. The subsequent publish on this collection exploits the newly up to date maps to look at whether or not corporations take flood danger into consideration when selecting their enterprise places.

Photo: portrait of Kristian Blickle

Kristian Blickle is a monetary analysis economist in Local weather Threat Research within the Federal Reserve Financial institution of New York’s Analysis and Statistics Group.

Katherine Engelman is a former information scientist within the Information and Analytics Workplace within the Financial institution’s Know-how Group.

Theo Linnemann is a knowledge scientist within the Information and Analytics Workplace within the Financial institution’s Know-how Group.

Photo: portrait of João A.C. Santos

João A.C. Santos is the director of Monetary Intermediation Coverage Analysis within the Federal Reserve Financial institution of New York’s Analysis and Statistics Group.

Learn how to cite this publish:
Kristian S. Blickle, Katherine Engelman, Theo Linnemann, and João A. C. Santos, “How Do Banks Lend in Inaccurate Flood Zones within the Fed’s Second District?,” Federal Reserve Financial institution of New York Liberty Road Economics, November 13, 2023, https://libertystreeteconomics.newyorkfed.org/2023/11/how-do-banks-lend-in-inaccurate-flood-zones-in-the-feds-second-district/.


Disclaimer
The views expressed on this publish are these of the creator(s) and don’t essentially mirror the place of the Federal Reserve Financial institution of New York or the Federal Reserve System. Any errors or omissions are the duty of the creator(s).

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