Housing Policy: Providing Insight to the Industry

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CoreLogic and Office of the Chief Economist Continue to Drive the Conversation

Led by Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Dr. Frank Nothaft, the Office of the Chief Economist (OCE) at CoreLogic frequently delivers analysis, commentary and forecasting trends in global real estate, insurance and mortgage markets, through keynote speeches at sponsored events and moderated panels, as well as in blog posts and reports. 

In our day-to-day lives, schedules can often get a little hectic, events may slip by unnoticed, and items can fall through the cracks.  I thought it would be of value to offer readers a second opportunity to review the activities of the OCE, providing links below to highlights and firsts from the OCE during the second quarter of this year.

CoreLogic Research Finds Lower-cost Renter Rates Climbing the Fastest – Single-Family Rent Index
Frank was invited to present on the rental market and rent growth measurement as a part of the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) ongoing Realtor University Speaker Series.  He highlighted the recent growth in one-family occupied rental stock and identified other trends that were derived from CoreLogic’s Single-Family Rental Index (SFRI), including the fact that low-rent homes are experiencing faster rent growth than high-rent homes, illustrating the increasing affordability ‘pinch’ that low- and moderate-families experience in their housing budget.

Addressing Consumer Inequality by Analyzing Rental Income
MarketWatch, a leading publication in business news, personal finance information, and investment tools and data, reached out to Sam Khater, CoreLogic Deputy Chief Economist, to provide insight and commentary on the news that rental income hit an all-time high in the first quarter of 2017.  Sam noted that the decline in homeownership, coupled with rising home prices, can be a driver of inequality: “As a lower proportion of Americans own a home and that’s the biggest portion of wealth, that drives a wedge between the haves and have-nots.  Homeownership is a great way for the middle class to achieve wealth and those opportunities are declining.”

OCE Research and the Nation’s Housing Market – Foreclosures and Credit Scores and Other Findings
The Real Estate Hour is a popular show hosted on Business Radio, a Sirius XM radio channel broadcasted from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.  Frank appeared on their first segment in June to provide an update on the housing market, addressing topics such as the 10-year foreclosure retrospective report that the OCE released during Q1, affordability issues, and the lasting effects of foreclosure on credit scores and ability to bounce back into homeownership.

Analyzing Rate Hikes and Their Impacts on the Mortgage Market
To find out more about how the Fed’s plan to shrink its balance sheet might impact the mortgage market, MortgageOrb recently interviewed Frank along with Lindsey Piegza, the chief economist at Stifel Fixed Income.  Frank address the impact that potential rate hikes may have on the market, noting that “the steps the Fed has taken to increase the transparency of its actions have helped to lower volatility in the capital markets.  A gradual approach has been important to lessening the likelihood of interest rate spikes.”

Highlighting Concerns and Disparities in Affordability
On June 16, Frank spoke at the National Association of Real Estate Editors conference in Denver, CO.  He discussed the affordability pinch that some markets are feeling due to a combination of higher mortgage rates and home prices that are increasing faster than incomes.  He also addressed the current low levels of for-sale inventory, noting that the trend will continue as long as mortgage rates continue to rise, since homeowners locked in at lower rates are less likely to move.

Assessing the Intersection of Inventory and Income
In a recent piece authored by POLITICO’s Lorraine Woellert, Sam discussed the current inventory crunch that is unfolding throughout the United States, noting that the crunch has hit lower-income households and first-time buyers the hardest. 

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