Who’s moving in? A longitudinal study of mortgage lending applications in rail transit neighborhoods

Authors: Elizabeth Delmelle*, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Isabelle Nilsson, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Claire Schuch, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Tonderai Mushipe, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Topics: Transportation Geography, Urban Geography, Urban and Regional Planning
Keywords: Public Transit, Neighborhood Change, Mortgage Lending
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 2:35 PM / 4:15 PM
Room: Coolidge, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Recent research has found that lower-income residents do not have a higher propensity of leaving neighborhoods following the opening of a new rail transit station (Delmelle and Nilsson 2018, Rodnyansky 2018). However, studies using aggregate level data suggest that neighborhoods that have recently received (or are about to receive) a rail transit station have a higher likelihood of seeing an increase in median household income, educational attainment, and in the share white residents. This suggest that while lower income residents may not be moving out, higher income individuals are moving in. In this research we take a disaggregate approach to examine differences in the characteristics of individuals attracted to rail transit neighborhoods, before and after opening of a station. In a case study on Charlotte, North Carolina, we first analyze how properties in rail transit adjacent neighborhoods are marketed by using content analysis and property ad data from Zillow around the time of opening of Charlotte’s Blue Line extension. Next, using various statistical techniques and longitudinal data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), we examine trends in mortgage lending activity (home purchase and home improvement), loan amounts, as well as differences in socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of loan applicants over time in neighborhoods around Charlotte’s Blue Line and its extension.

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