Seventh annual AEI-CRN conference on housing markets and finance: Supply, demand, and pro-cyclical forces

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Event Materials

Panel I: Home prices in a seller’s market, Presentations
Panel II: What and where have we been building?, Presentations
Panel III: Policy-driven supply constraints, Presentations
Panel IV: Where is housing demand headed?, Presentations
Panel V: Expanding single-family and multifamily supply, Presentations
Panel VI: Modernization of the appraisal process, Presentations Handout

Event Summary

On October 24 and 25, policymakers, academics, and experts from the housing industry traveled to AEI to present research on housing supply and demand. Wednesday’s panels covered a range of topics related to housing: prices in a seller’s market, the location and types of homes being built, policy-driven supply constraints, and the direction that housing demand is headed. On Thursday, panelists addressed methods of expanding single and multifamily supply, as well as the modernization of the appraisal process.

The event featured a keynote address from the commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Brian Montgomery. Mr. Montgomery discussed the mission of the FHA and his focus on ushering the FHA into the 21st century through the use of improved technology and analytics. Moreover, a number of AEI scholars presented their research at the event, including presenting new AEI data that analyze the effects of leverage on home prices in various price tiers.

— Neil Filosa

Event Description

Join AEI for a two-day conference, highlighting the latest insights from several mortgage and collateral risk measures. Experts from a variety of backgrounds will share lessons learned from their efforts to objectively measure housing risk and apply it to today’s market conditions. A particular focus will be on the implications of too much demand chasing too little supply as evidenced by the nearly six-year-old seller’s market and the resulting boom in home prices, particularly for entry-level homes.

This year’s conference will feature six panels of experts from AEI’s Center on Housing Markets and Finance, along with industry, academia, the financial community, and regulatory bodies.


Day 1: Wednesday, October 24, 2018

7:45 AM
Registration and continental breakfast

8:15 AM
Welcoming remarks:
Lynn M. Fisher, AEI
Edward J. Pinto, AEI
Joan Trice, Collateral Risk Network

8:30 AM
Panel I: Home prices in a seller’s market

Tobias Peter, AEI

Mark Fleming, First American Financial Corporation
Aaron Terrazas, Zillow

Tom LaMalfa, industry consultant

10:00 AM

10:30 AM
Panel II: What and where have we been building?

Lynn M. Fisher, AEI
Ed Olsen, University of Virginia; AEI
Issi Romem, BuildZoom

Morris Davis, Rutgers University

12:00 PM
Lunch and keynote speech

Keynote speaker:
Brian Montgomery, Federal Housing Administration; US Department of Housing and Urban Development

1:30 PM
Panel III: Policy-driven supply constraints

Paul Emrath, National Association of Home Builders
Hamilton Fout, Fannie Mae
Raven Molloy, Federal Reserve Board

Susan Wachter, University of Pennsylvania

3:00 PM

3:15 PM
Panel IV: Where is housing demand headed?

Sam Khater, Freddie Mac
Mark Palim, Fannie Mae

Lynn M. Fisher, AEI

4:30 PM

5:00 PM
Adjournment and reception

Day 2: Thursday, October 25, 2018

8:00 AM
Registration and continental breakfast

8:30 AM
Panel V: Expanding single-family and multifamily supply

Jason Ballard, ICON
Edward J. Pinto, AEI
Jerome D. Smalley, Blueprint Robotics
Tom White, contributor to AEI Center on Housing Markets and Finance

Judson Murchie, Wells Fargo

10:00 AM
Coffee break

10:30 AM
Panel VI: Modernization of the appraisal process

Ritesh Bansal
, Appraisal.AI.
Adam Johnston, Genworth
Scott Reuter, Freddie Mac

Joan Trice, Collateral Risk Network

12:00 PM

1:15 PM
Wrap-up and adjournment

Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact Neil Filosa at [email protected], 202.862.5903.

Media Contact Information

For media inquiries or to register a camera crew, please contact [email protected], 202.862.5829

Ritesh Bansal is the cofounder and CEO of Appraisal. Appraisal harnesses the power of artificial intelligence and big data to produce accurate and unbiased automated valuation models of human-level performance or better. It is also the first provider to bring updated loan-to-value estimates for government-sponsored enterprise, mortgage-backed security, and credit risk transfer pools to market with lifetime value insights. Mr. Bansal began his career at Long-Term Capital Management in 1997 and has worked for the past 20 years in financial institutions, developing quantitative valuation models for trading and risk management. He studied mathematics and computer science at Carnegie Mellon University and economics at the City University of New York Graduate Center.

Morris Davis is the Paul V. Profeta Chair of Real Estate and the academic director of the Center for Real Estate at the Rutgers Business School. He is an adjunct scholar at AEI and an independent director of the American Capital Agency Corporation. Previously, he was the James A. Graaskamp Chair of Real Estate in the Department of Real Estate at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the academic director of the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate. Earlier in his career, Dr. Davis was an economist at the Federal Reserve Board, where he routinely briefed Alan Greenspan on housing and macroeconomics. He is widely published on issues related to the US housing markets and has developed price indexes for land in residential use. He is regularly interviewed by NPR’s “Marketplace,” Bloomberg Radio, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times on house prices and housing markets, and he is a frequent lecturer at universities and central banks around the world. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Paul Emrath is vice president for Survey and Housing Policy Research for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), where his responsibilities include conducting statistical and economic research for NAHB and managing NAHB’s Survey and Housing Policy departments. The Survey Department produces the widely cited NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. The Housing Policy Research department conducts a broad range of policy-related research such as estimating the economic impact of home building and analyzing government regulations. Since joining NAHB in 1992, Dr. Emrath has developed many of the statistical methods NAHB uses to analyze housing data, produced over 800 local impact of home building studies, and published more than 150 articles on a wide variety of housing-related topics. Before joining NAHB, he taught economic theory and statistics at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. He has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.

Lynn M. Fisher is a resident scholar and the codirector of the Center on Housing Markets and Finance at AEI, where she focuses on housing markets and housing finance. Before joining AEI, Dr. Fisher was vice president of research and economics and the executive director of the Research Institute for Housing America at the Mortgage Bankers Association. She was previously on the faculty of Washington State University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the University of North Carolina. At MIT, she was director of the Housing Affordability Initiative in the Center for Real Estate. Dr. Fisher has three degrees from Pennsylvania State University: a Ph.D. in business administration with a concentration in real estate finance, an M.S. in business administration, and a B.A. in international politics.

Mark Fleming serves as the chief economist for First American Financial Corporation, where he leads an economics team responsible for analysis, commentary, and forecasting trends in the real estate and mortgage markets. His research interests primarily include real estate and urban economics, applied econometrics, and mortgage risk. He has published research in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, in the International Journal of Geographic Information Science, and in the book “Advances in Spatial Econometrics: Methodology, Tools and Applications” (Springer, 2004). He is a US patent author. Dr. Fleming is frequently quoted by national news outlets and industry trade publications, such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Housing Wire, and he is a regular guest on high-profile broadcast news channels including CBS, CNBC, Fox Business News, and NPR. Before joining First American, he developed insights and analytical products for CoreLogic and property valuation models at Fannie Mae. Dr. Fleming graduated from the University of Maryland with an M.S. and a doctorate in agricultural and resource economics and holds a B.A. in economics from Swarthmore College.

Hamilton Fout provides the forecasts of loan volumes and profiles to various business units of Fannie Mae. He is an expert on regional housing risks, the transmission of macro-developments through the mortgage market, and issues related to mortgage risks and cash flows. Before joining the economics group, Dr. Fout worked in the underwriting and pricing division of Fannie Mae, focusing on issues related to credit risk. In this role, he had primary responsibility for tracking and reporting on regional risks in Fannie Mae’s credit portfolio and developing property-level and loan-level risk models. Before joining Fannie Mae, he worked as an assistant professor at Kansas State University, where he taught econometrics and undergraduate- and graduate-level macro courses, and he remains an adjunct member of the faculty. His research at Kansas State focused on issues involving dynamic learning and the transmission of technology shocks through the macroeconomy. Dr. Fout received a Ph.D. in economics from the University of North Carolina and a B.S. in economics and business from Florida State University.

Adam Johnston is chief appraiser and director of investigations and appraisals for Genworth Financial’s US mortgage insurance business. In this role, he manages a team of licensed appraisers and multiple teams of mortgage fraud investigators who provide support to all US mortgage insurance functions. A certified residential appraiser in several states, Mr. Johnston is a designated member of the Appraisal Institute, with the Senior Residential Appraiser and Appraisal Institute–Residential Review Specialist designations. He holds the Project Management Professional designation from the Project Management Institute, the Certified ScrumMaster designation from Scrum Alliance, and the Certified Professional Inspector designation from InterNACHI. Mr. Johnston serves on the board of trustees of The Appraisal Foundation and is currently serving as the 2018 chair. Before Genworth, Mr. Johnston served as an independent fee appraiser and bank staff appraiser before becoming chief appraiser at a national settlement services company. In addition to his 25 years of appraisal experience, he is a former police officer and served in the United States Marine Corps.

Sam Khater is vice president, chief economist, and head of Freddie Mac’s economic and housing research department. In this position, he is responsible for research, analysis, and forecasts of the macroeconomy with a special focus on housing and mortgage markets. Mr. Khater came to Freddie Mac from CoreLogic, where he served as vice president of research and deputy chief economist. His responsibilities included producing original research and advising clients, regulators, policymakers, and investors on real estate and mortgage market trends. He is regularly quoted in national, local, and real estate trade media outlets. Before joining CoreLogic, Mr. Khater was a senior economist at Fannie Mae and an economist at the National Association of Realtors.

Tom LaMalfa has spent the past 40 years studying mortgage finance as a researcher, analyst, and consultant. His past interests have included the revenue and expense structures of the various mortgage production channels, mortgage brokers, government-sponsored enterprises, and the domestic economy. Mr. LaMalfa’s firm, TSL Consulting, specializes in survey research. He has done projects for many of the major mortgage lenders.

Raven Molloy is chief of the Real Estate Finance section at the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, where her policy responsibilities cover residential and commercial mortgage credit conditions, real estate prices, and potential risks to the financial system stemming from mortgage lending. Her primary fields of research are urban and labor economics, and she has written on topics that include housing supply regulation, foreclosure, vacancy, mortgage credit availability, migration, and executive compensation. She serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Housing Economics, Journal of Urban Economics, and Regional Science and Urban Economics. She received a bachelor’s degree in economics and Asian studies from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.

Brian Montgomery serves as the assistant secretary for housing and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) commissioner for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). He is the first individual to serve in this role twice, under three different administrations. He is well-known for his past work in reforming the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, developing solutions to assist struggling homeowners during the financial crisis, and leading FHA modernization efforts that led to legislation passed in 2008. Immediately before joining HUD, Mr. Montgomery was vice chairman at the Collingwood Group LLC, a real estate finance consulting firm he cofounded in 2009. In addition to his first term as FHA commissioner, he served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005, including service as secretary of the cabinet from 2003 to 2005. He has also served on the Federal Housing Finance Board and the boards of NeighborWorks America, the Radian Group, and Reverse Mortgage Investment Trust Inc. Mr. Montgomery holds a bachelor of arts in political science from the University of Houston. He also attended the University of Texas at Austin.

Judson Murchie is the policy researcher for Wells Fargo’s Government Relations and Public Policy team. Much of his research examines policy effects on cities, especially the behavioral responses of agents operating in housing and rental markets. Before joining Wells Fargo, he received a Ph.D. from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, where he focused on public finance and urban policy. He earned an M.A. in urban planning and policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2012, focusing on the use of tax incentives targeting economic and community development. Preceding his graduate studies, Dr. Murchie spent nearly a decade in the financial services industry as a strategy consultant, focusing on corporate treasury and liquidity.

Ed Olsen is a visiting scholar at AEI and a professor of economics and public policy at the University of Virginia, where he served as chairman of the economics department and was heavily involved in creating its new public policy school. His research specialty is low-income housing policy. He has published papers on housing markets and policies in leading professional journals. He wrote the chapter on low-income housing programs in “Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, Volume 1” (University of Chicago, 2003) and the chapter on US housing policy in the “Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics” (North Holland, 2015). He worked on the National Housing Policy Review that led to the US housing voucher program, was a visiting scholar at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) during its Experimental Housing Allowance Program, has testified on low-income housing policy before congressional committees seven times, and has been an expert witness on the topic in two major class-action lawsuits. He was also a consultant to the US Government Accountability Office and HUD, a member of the 2007 National Academy of Sciences Committee to Evaluate the Research Plan of HUD, and a member of the Moving to Opportunity for Fair Housing Technical Review Panel.

Mark Palim is Fannie Mae’s vice president and deputy chief economist. He is responsible for overseeing the Economic and Strategic Research Group’s forecasting functions. He also manages multidisciplinary partnerships across the company to address specific business issues facing Fannie Mae. Dr. Palim is a key spokesperson on economic trends and a frequent speaker at national mortgage finance and housing industry events. Before joining Fannie Mae in 2009, he was an economic consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers and LECG. His practice focused on applying economic and financial theory to a variety of business disputes and policy questions. He worked as a consulting and testifying expert in antitrust cases and disputes in the financial services industry. In addition, he led a team of 75 adjudicators charged with valuing claims for the Department of Justice and the special master administering the federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. Dr. Palim’s involvement in economic forecasting and mortgage securities began in 1988 as a portfolio manager at Mercantile-Safe Deposit and Trust Company. Subsequently, he continued his work on macroeconomic and policy issues as a staff economist for the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions.

Tobias Peter is a senior research analyst at AEI, where he researches risk in housing and mortgage markets. Mr. Peter is the coauthor of several policy studies, including “The Impact of Federal Housing Policy on Housing Demand and Homeownership: Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment,” “The Wealth Building Home Loan,” and “The Taxpayer Protection Housing Finance Plan.” He holds a B.A. in history and applied economics from the College of St. Scholastica and a master’s in public policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Edward J. Pinto is a resident fellow at AEI and the codirector of the Center on Housing Markets and Finance. He is the co-creator of the AEI Mortgage Risk, Housing Market, and Price Trend and Leverage Indices. He is currently researching reforms to reduce the government’s role in housing finance and approaches to increase the supply of market-rate economical apartments for hourly wage earners.

Scott Reuter is the chief appraiser and single-family director of valuation for Freddie Mac. His team at Freddie Mac leads the effort for ongoing development and refinement of property valuation risk-management strategies, underwriting products, and establishing and maintaining a credible quality-assurance process across multiple lines of business support. He is a certified general appraiser with more than 30 years of experience in valuation, appraisal, and collateral risk-management concerns. His previous management experience includes positions with Bank of America, GE, and Goldman Sachs. He holds a B.A. from The Ohio State University and completed the executive leadership program at Cornell University’s Samuel Curtis Johnson College of Business.

Issi Romem is chief economist at BuildZoom and a fellow at the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley. He researches and writes about cities, metropolitan growth patterns, housing, real estate, and construction for a lay audience. His work has been featured in publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and many more. In his role at BuildZoom, he has overseen data aggregation and data science work. He co-chairs the National Association for Business Economics’ Data and Analytics Roundtable. Previously, Mr. Romem has worked in economic consulting for clients involved in complex commercial litigation and has consulted for the Bay Area Council Economic Institute on matters involving housing, transportation, and the regional economy. He has also served as an officer in the Israeli Air Force. He earned a Ph.D. in economics from University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught econometrics as an adjunct faculty. He earned master’s and bachelor’s degrees in economics from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University.

Jerome D. Smalley is the cofounder and CEO of Blueprint Robotics. He and his team are at the forefront of offering builders and architects an entirely new and innovative process to bring their single or multifamily projects to life. Previously, Mr. Smalley cofounded Stonington Partners, a development company that quickly grew to become one of the premier builders of townhomes in the Baltimore area. From 2007 to 2011, he served as CEO of Haven Homes, a modular home manufacturer owned by a private equity firm. From 1979 to 2003, he held numerous positions with the Rouse Company, including serving as vice chairman and chief operating officer. Mr. Smalley has served on the boards of the Reinvestment Fund of Philadelphia and the Maryland Film Festival and on the board of directors of Enterprise Social Investment Corporation and Enterprise Homes. He also served as a trustee of the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore and chairman of the board of directors of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Research Park. He has a B.S. in engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an M.B.A. from Loyola University Maryland. He spent seven years with the United States Army Corps of Engineers, serving in the United States, Germany, and the Pacific and achieving the rank of captain.

Aaron Terrazas is the senior economist and director of economic research at Zillow, where he researches and speaks broadly on national and regional housing market trends and their implications for the US economy. Before joining Zillow in January 2014, he was an economist at the US Treasury Department’s Office of Economic Policy. He was educated at Georgetown University and Johns Hopkins University.

Joan Trice is the founder and CEO of Allterra Group LLC, the parent company of Appraisal Buzz, Valuation Expo, and Collateral Risk Network. In 2011, she founded Clearbox LLC, an appraiser credentials database and appraisal ordering platform. She began her career in 1981 as an appraiser at Loyola Federal Savings & Loan.

Susan Wachter is the Albert Sussman Professor of Real Estate and professor of finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and codirector of Penn Institute for Urban Research. From 1998 to 2001, she served as assistant secretary for policy development and research at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). At The Wharton School, she was chairwoman of the Real Estate Department until her 1998 appointment to HUD. She founded and currently serves as director of Wharton’s Geographic Information Systems Lab and Initiative. She was the editor of Real Estate Economics from 1997 to 1999 and currently serves on the editorial boards of several real estate journals. Her academic publications include more than 200 scholarly articles and 15 books. Dr. Wachter serves on the Fannie Mae National Housing Advisory Committee and the Financial Research Advisory Committee for the Office of Financial Research in the US Treasury Department.

Tom White works with the AEI Center on Housing Markets and Finance. He is retired from Fannie Mae, where he was the senior vice president responsible for all Fannie debt and equity investments for multifamily properties, including the Delegated Underwriting and Servicing program. He was also executive vice president of the National Council of State Housing Agencies; held senior positions at the US Department for Housing and Urban Development, Bear Stearns, and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority; and codirected a major study of the US Department of Agriculture multifamily programs. Early in his career, Mr. White was a social worker, a community organizer for the city of Detroit, and a state legislator representing downtown Detroit.

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