CoreLogic announced a new strategic alliance with the Urban Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based economic and social policy research organization. Through the alliance, CoreLogic data will help power the research conducted by the Urban Institute’s newly formed Housing Finance Policy Center. To kick off this initiative, CoreLogic and the Urban Institute recently co-hosted a day-long D.C. event titled “Data, Demand and Demographics: A Symposium on Housing Finance.”
The symposium featured housing and economic experts from the government, nonprofit and private sectors who delivered keynote presentations and led interactive panel presentations with open discussions. A number of pressing topics were discussed, including the demographics of the homeowner and rental populations of the future, how to increase liquidity and transparency in the mortgage-backed-securities markets, the future needs for rental housing financing and how to best improve credit availability. Among the highlights were remarks by Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council and assistant to the President for economic policy. Speaking on behalf of the administration in his remarks he said, “It is crucial that we address the fundamental flaws in the system while preserving the policies that are working now in the recovering market.”
The principal goal of the CoreLogic and Urban Institute strategic alliance is to enable Urban's Housing Finance Policy Center to enhance its analytical work with high integrity datasets provided by CoreLogic. In support of this objective, the Urban Institute will produce data-driven reports, policy analyses and white papers that will inform public policy. In addition, the alliance will enable the companies to co-sponsor ongoing D.C.-based discussion seminars to encourage debate of pertinent housing policy questions.
“We believe this is a real win-win relationship,” said Faith Schwartz, senior vice president of the Government Solutions Group at CoreLogic. “The Urban Institute is a prominent and well-respected research organization. We couldn’t be happier to work with them. This event has given our strategic alliance some great momentum. When we look at the quality of speakers, panelists and the turn out, it’s easy to get excited about what this alliance can bring to the table in terms of housing policy insight.”
Laurie Goodman, director for the Housing Finance Policy Center at the Urban Institute said, “We are very pleased to have a strategic alliance with CoreLogic. They are an incredible provider of data; this data is critical to doing independent, broad based public policy research in the housing finance area. It’s our hope that the alliance will continue to grow from here.”
In addition to the remarks delivered by Gene Sperling, Dr. Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, offered insight on the current and future state of the housing market, followed by a keynote address from Dr. Ed Glaeser, Fred and Eleanor Gimp professor of economics at Harvard University. In his remarks, Dr. Fleming noted how future households are trending towards being multigenerational, and though the next generation of homeowners still want to purchase a home, increasing constraints such as student loan debt, insufficient down-payments and tighter loan-to-value (LTV) and FICO score requirements are leading many to postpone homeownership.
In his keynote speech, Dr. Glaeser spoke about lessons learned from taking a look back at economic booms and busts and their correlating impacts on the housing market over the past two centuries. Among them Dr. Glaeser remarked that low interest rates can rarely explain the booms, though credit tightening always plays a role in the bust. When it comes to homebuilding he continued that, “the U.S. has geographic areas with different restrictions to homebuilding, and those restrictions are crucial to housing price limits and price volatility. If there were no barriers to building, costs should revert to basically the cost of construction.” In addition, he noted that the current mortgage interest deduction (MID), actually creates more debt, which adversely affects wealth creation, a primary benefit of homeownership. If the goal is to encourage homeownership, then we should consider making the MID a flat credit.”