Housing Trends: Informing (and Transforming) the Industry

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CoreLogic and Office of the Chief Economist Identify Trends to Watch in 2018

Led by Executive 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.

Over the past few months, many of us have been wrapped up in the holiday season, so you may have missed some of our economists’ recent insights. We would like to offer readers a second opportunity to review these analyses, providing links below to highlights and firsts from the OCE during the final quarter of last year.

Providing Trusted Economic Outlooks for the Industry

Every month, the OCE produces a video blog that provides an economic outlook for the U.S. housing market. These blogs discuss topical issues and trends and are often picked up by news outlets throughout the industry due to their superb track-record of providing accurate forecasts and analytics.  Over the past quarter, the OCE explored “boom and bust” cycles in the housing industry, new highs in home equity wealth, and the erosion of housing affordability heading into 2018.  Oftentimes, our economists are asked to provide insight on the effects that legislative policy may have on the housing industry, and recently spoke with the Wall Street Journal to discuss the implications for homeowners with the passage of the recent tax reform bill.

Driving the Conversation at CoreLogic’s Annual Housing Finance Symposium

On November 1, CoreLogic collaborated with the Urban Institute to present our fifth annual housing symposium, titled Housing Finance, Affordability and Supply in the Digital Age, and hosted at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.  This daylong symposium featured several presentations and comments from the OCE, who explored housing policy changes, discussed the economic outlook for the U.S. housing market, and noted opportunities for reaching emerging markets.

Delivering Accurate Calculations of Homeowner Equity

In December, the OCE released its home equity analysis for the third quarter of 2017, which demonstrated that U.S. homeowners with mortgages have collectively seen their equity increase 11.8 percent year over year.  As highlighted by CoreLogic Principal Economist Molly Boesel, the decrease in the number of homes with negative equity has been national, with all but two states registering a year-over-year decrease in Q3.  This data has helped to fuel discussion on topics from rental affordability to overheated housing markets.

Offering Insight to the Industry’s Intellectual Leaders

The OCE is a critical component of CoreLogic’s broader engagement with think tanks and trade associations that influence the housing industry. This includes the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), which recently hosted its sixth annual conference on housing risk alongside the Collateral Risk Network (CRN) and invited two CoreLogic economists, Molly Boesel and Deputy Chief Economist Sam Khater, to present on back-to-back panels.  Molly’s panel focused on the current state of the housing market with a specific focus on FHA, while Sam’s panel tackled the impact of credit liberalization and supply constraints on home prices throughout the country.

Identifying Affordability and Inventory Issues to Watch in the Coming Year

Heading into 2018, will home prices continue to climb? And will supply remain tight for potential homebuyers?  Several recent pieces by the Wall Street Journal tackle these issues, using data produced by the OCE to address the impact of tight housing supply on potential homebuyers and how that shortage is causing home prices to jump.  Additionally, in two separate interviews with Scotsman Guide, Frank Nothaft discussed the warning signs that come with overvalued metros as well as affordability concerns in a rising interest-rate environment.  Furthermore, Sam Khater published an article on the CoreLogic Insights Blog using data to demonstrate that inventory constraints are driving up home prices.

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