The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has just launched this website filled with data provided by financial institutions under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), which requires those institutions to report and publicly disclose information about mortgages. HMDA became law in 1975 and is implemented through Regulation C. In 2009, the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation transferred HMDA rulemaking authority from the Federal Reserve Board to the CFPB, effective in July 2011. As the CFPB explains, HMDA data is "important because they help show whether lenders are serving the housing needs of their communities; they give public officials information that helps them make decisions and policies; and they shed light on lending patterns that could be discriminatory."
The new CFPB website allows visitors to scroll over a map of the U.S. and use drop-down menus to get information on mortgage applications and originations for every U.S. county. Consumers can obtain aggregate figures or limit the data by loan purpose (home purchase, home improvement, or refinancing). You can view changes in applications and originations for each county over the last three years.