Transforming Complex Challenges into Novel Opportunities

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CoreLogic Hosts Second Annual Federal User Group Data Symposium

On January 16, CoreLogic hosted the second annual Federal User Group Data Symposium in Washington, D.C.  The daylong event featured some of the nation’s leading data experts in housing, mortgage, and finance who explored the latest market trends, the forces driving them, and the role data and analytics can play in transforming complex challenges into novel opportunities.

CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft kicked off the event with an update on the housing and mortgage markets, using CoreLogic data to identify important trends that will impact the markets over the upcoming calendar year.  Frank demonstrated that affordability continues to be a pressing issue for prospective buyers, especially in high-cost markets, but higher levels of new construction can help alleviate some of these pressures by increasing the housing stock.  He projects a 5 percent increase in housing starts in 2018, which may help alleviate some pressure on home prices but the market will require an even larger increase in home building to alleviate the erosion of affordability.

Moderated by Bob Avery, project manager of the National Mortgage Database within the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the first panel of the morning focused on data blending and matching issues and featured CoreLogic Advisory Services Principal Catherine Castle and Deputy Chief Economist Sam Khater.  Sam discussed CoreLogic’s ability to track loan origination in low-income neighborhoods by blending CoreLogic purchase loan data with FHFA low-income tract area designations.  Catherine delved into the CoreLogic Lien & Equity Analytics Radar (CLEAR), which provides up-to-date lien position and equity analysis data on an entire mortgage and home equity portfolio, allowing lenders to monitor risk effectively. 

The morning’s second panel was moderated by CoreLogic Spatial Solutions Principal Howard Kunst and discussed the challenges faced in disaster response when there is inadequate data available.  The discussion also included CoreLogic Consulting Senior Leader Kent David, who spoke to some of the issues that arose during the most recent hurricane season:  recovery efforts to support Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria were hampered by the challenge of identifying damaged properties by standardized street addresses, as well as inadequate geocoding options, damage to lifelines (roads, power, telecom), and the resulting difficulties coordinating disaster response.  Alternatively, disaster response to Hurricane Harvey in Texas benefited from numerous technologies, including the capability to assess the impact of the hurricane using modeled insights into flood depth and extent.  Together, these natural disasters highlight the need for accurate mapping data, especially when dealing with localized weather events.

After lunch, the attendees were given a presentation from Ed Golding of the Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center and former acting head of the Federal Housing Administration in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He spoke to some of the issues that are creating affordability concerns in the housing market, including home price appreciation, tight lending standards, and prevailing interest rates.  For more of Ed’s thoughts, you can check out a recent paper he co-authored with his Urban Institute colleagues titled Barriers to Accessing Homeownership.

The final panel of the day included two CoreLogic representatives, Product Management Principal Sherrie Clevenger and Data Strategy Solutions Principal Helen McMillan.  The discussion focused on data & innovation related to universal parcel identification as approached by the Department of Energy, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and CoreLogic; followed by a discussion on common and less common replacement cost use cases.  The ensuing questions revolved around the use of building footprints in property identification efforts, the utilization of feature extraction from imagery in identification and attribution, the use of reconstruction costs in risk assessments, and the use of manufactured homes as chattel (personal property).

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