source: Victoria Transposrtation Policy Institute, 2006
While we are spotlighting the H+T index developed by the Center for Technology, we should also return to a more “homely” instrument used by a few Boomers to buy their first home.
The L.E. M., or location efficient mortgage, was introduced by the Center for Neighborhood Technology and the National Resources Defense Council, and backed by Fannie Mae (FNMA),circa 1999. One article called it the “Bus-Riders Mortgage” (Wikipedia). The goal was to let borrowers who lived in an area close to jobs centers and shopping opportunities qualify for a larger mortgage. The intuition was that they could cut down on their transportation costs, which are typically 1/3 of more of the household expense. There were offered in SF, Seattle, Chicago and Los Angeles.
During the housing recession, “exurb” homes did fall in value more than urban properties. The L.E.M. mortages, although few in number, are thought to have had a lower default rate.
The chart, presented by the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, is from 2006 data. It would be timely to look at the current affordability index.