Data Dictionary: ACS 2008 -- 2010 (3-Year Estimates)
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Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Table: B25087. Mortgage Status And Selected Monthly Owner Costs [29]
Universe: Owner-occupied housing units
Table Details
B25087. Mortgage Status And Selected Monthly Owner Costs
Universe: Owner-occupied housing units
Variable Label
B25087001
B25087002
B25087003
B25087004
B25087005
B25087006
B25087007
B25087008
B25087009
B25087010
B25087011
B25087012
B25087013
B25087014
B25087015
B25087016
B25087017
B25087018
B25087019
B25087020
B25087021
B25087022
B25087023
B25087024
B25087025
B25087026
B25087027
B25087028
B25087029
Relevant Documentation:
Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey 2008-2010 Summary File: Technical Documentation.
 
Selected Monthly Owner Costs
The data on selected monthly owner costs were obtained from Housing Questions 11 and Questions 17 through 21 in the 2010 American Community Survey. The data were obtained for owner-occupied units. Selected monthly owner costs are the sum of payments for mortgages, deeds of trust, contracts to purchase, or similar debts on the property (including payments for the first mortgage, second mortgages, home equity loans, and other junior mortgages); real estate taxes; fire, hazard, and flood insurance on the property; utilities (electricity, gas, and water and sewer); and fuels (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.). It also includes, where appropriate, the monthly condominium fee for condominiums (Question 13) and mobile home costs (Question 21) (installment loan payments, personal property taxes, site rent, registration fees, and license fees). Selected monthly owner costs were tabulated for all owner-occupied units, and usually are shown separately for units "with a mortgage" and for units "not mortgaged."

Selected monthly owner costs provide information on the monthly housing cost expenses for owners. When the data is used in conjunction with income data, the information offers an excellent measure of housing affordability and excessive shelter costs. The data also serve to aid in the development of housing programs to meet the needs of people at different economic levels.

Adjusting Selected Monthly Owner Costs for Inflation
To inflate selected monthly owner costs from previous years, the dollar values are inflated to the latest year's dollar values by multiplying by a factor equal to the average annual Consumer Price Index (CPI-U- RS) factor for the current year, divided by the average annual CPI-U-RS factor for the earlier/earliest year.

Median Selected Monthly Owner Costs
This measure divides the selected monthly owner costs distribution into two equal parts: one-half of the cases falling below the median selected monthly owner costs and one-half above the median. Medians are shown separately for units "with a mortgage" and for units "not mortgaged." Median selected monthly owner costs are computed on the basis of a standard distribution. (See the "Standard Distributions" section under "Appendix A.") Median selected monthly owner costs are rounded to the nearest whole dollar.
Question/Concept History
Since 1996, the American Community Survey questions have been the same. The American Community Survey collected the monthly cost of electricity and gas, and the 12-month cost of water and sewer. Since 2004, selected monthly owner costs has been shown for all owner-occupied housing units. In previous years (1996-2003), the question was shown only for specified owner-occupied housing units.
Comparability
Caution should be used when comparing selected monthly owner costs data between the American Community Survey and Census 2000. For Census 2000, tables for both total owner-occupied housing units and specified owner-occupied housing units were released, thus comparisons can be made only when comparing the same universes between the two data sets. Additionally, for Census 2000 tables with full distributions were released for total owner-occupied housing units but medians were not shown.
Selected Monthly Owner Costs as a Percentage of Household Income
The information on selected monthly owner costs as a percentage of household income is the computed ratio of selected monthly owner costs to monthly household income. The ratio was computed separately for each unit and rounded to the nearest whole percentage. The data are tabulated only for owner-occupied units.
Separate distributions are often shown for units "with a mortgage" and for units "not mortgaged." Units occupied by households reporting no income or a net loss are included in the "not computed" category. (For more information, see the discussion under "Selected Monthly Owner Costs.")

Selected monthly owner costs as a percentage of household income provide information on the monthly housing cost expenses for owners. The information offers an excellent measure of housing affordability and excessive shelter costs. The data also serve to aid in the development of housing programs to meet the needs of people at different economic levels.
Median Selected Monthly Owner Costs as a Percentage of Household Income
This measure divides the selected monthly owner costs as a percentage of household income distribution into two equal parts: one-half of the cases falling below the median selected monthly owner costs as a percentage of household income and one-half above the median. Median selected monthly owner costs as a percentage of household income is computed on the basis of a standard distribution. (See the "Standard Distributions" section under "Appendix A.") Median selected monthly owner costs as a percentage of household income is rounded to the nearest tenth. (For more information on medians, see "Derived Measures.")
Comparability
Caution should be used when comparing selected monthly owner costs as a percentage of household income data between the American Community Survey and Census 2000. For Census 2000, tables for both total owner-occupied housing units and specified owner-occupied housing units were released, thus comparisons can be made only when comparing the same universes between the two data sets. Additionally, for Census 2000 tables with full distributions were released for total owner-occupied housing units but medians were not shown.
Specified Owner-Occupied Units
Specified owner-occupied units include only 1-family houses on less than 10 acres (cuerdas) without a business or medical office on the property. The data for "specified units" exclude mobile homes, houses with a business or medical office, houses on 10 or more acres (cuerdas), and housing units in multiunit buildings.
Specified owner-occupied unit information is used to maintain a comparable universe between the American Community Survey and earlier census data. Financial housing characteristics in earlier census data were based on a specified owner-occupied unit, however the ACS does not provide information solely for this universe. Therefore, the characteristics for a specified owner-occupied unit are maintained within the PUMS file to ensure comparisons can be made between the two data sets.

Question/Concept History
Prior to 1990, much of the owner-occupied housing inventory was comprised of single-family homes, either detached or attached. Therefore, earlier census data provided financial housing characteristics for the specified owner-occupied unit universe. However, the housing market began to change during the 1990's as an increasing number of units in multiunit structures were constructed and sold as condominiums, as well as the increase of mobile homes as an option for lower-income owners to purchase a home. As a result of these changes, the ACS abandoned the concept of the specified owner- occupied universe to ensure housing data was provided for all owner-occupied units.
Comparability
The ACS only publishes financial housing characteristics for all units. The ACS PUMS file will provide the individual characteristics of a specified owner-occupied unit to allow comparisons to be made between the ACS and earlier census data. Census 2000 data provide financial housing characteristics for both all owner-occupied units and the more restricted universe of specified owner-occupied units.