Community Lending Fact Book 2020 Edition

Each year we analyze home and small business lending data for Chicago and the metro region and share it on our Data Portal. In 2020, we found that lending disparities grew in the Chicago region, while overall loan volume increased mostly due to refinance loans.

The Community Lending Fact Book 2020 Data Edition reports on access to loans and financial opportunity in the Chicago metropolitan area and beyond. Here are highlights from the new edition:

1. Racial disparities grew in loan amounts …

  • Average loan amount per household increased by 47% on the North Side, where the population is predominantly White.
  • On the West Side, where the population is predominantly Black and Latino/a, average loan amount per household increased by only 30%.
  • In other words the average loan amount per West Side household was 74% of the average on the North Side … a 9% drop from just a year ago.

2. Racial disparities continued in loan originations …

  • 2020 loan origination rates for Black (50%) and Latino/a applicants (56%) were substantially lower than for White applicants (65%.)

… As did loan denial rates

  • 2020 loan denial rates for Black (20%) and Latino/a (15%) loan applicants were higher than for White applicants (9%).

4. Overall, lending increased dramatically from 2019 to 2020, primarily due to refinancing

  • In Chicago, total dollar volume of mortgage lending increased by over 41% and the number of loans increased by 51%
  • Refinancing really fueled those increases with a 120% increase in Chicago and nearly a 140% in the seven-county region
  • In contrast, purchase loans were up only 2% in Chicago and 11% in the region

In addition to changes in the data, we continue to evolve our Fact Book to make it more useful and user-friendly. New this edition: each Chicago community area has a map to place it in its geographic context. New data includes gross rent, property values and changes over time in the number of bank branches by geographic area. Highlights on mortgage purchase loans, refinances, average loan amounts, average borrower income and average property values are also new.

The Fact Book presents data for 7 counties, suburban Cook sub-regions, Chicago, and Chicago Community Areas,  as well as region-wide and Chicago summaries.

It is freely available as a PDF download, online with customization features at woodstockinst.org/data-portal or contact our office to request a free print copy.

Woodstock Institute has produced the Fact Book since 1986 as part of our mission to analyze and disseminate data on access to loans and financial opportunity in the Chicago metropolitan area and beyond. We’re grateful to our supporters and funders who make analysis and sharing of this information possible.