OLD Media Moves

When numbers don't tell the right story about housing

August 25, 2009

Gwen Moritz, the editor of Arkansas Business, digs into a story in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the newspaper in Little Rock, about homes in the state where the owner owes more on the mortgage than the house is worth and came away questioning the data.

Moritz writes, “I called all three economists — Pakko, Kathy Deck at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and Jeff Collins of Streetsmart Data Services — and asked them point blank: Do you believe it? All three said they felt the number was inflated.

“‘It seems impossible for the numbers to be quite that high,’ Kathy Deck told me, ‘but I didn’t have any alternative data.’

“In fact, Deck said, she wasn’t sure how CoreLogic came up with its data since she wouldn’t be able to replicate it on a small scale — say, just for Washington County.

“That was something that nagged at me, too. Our real estate writer, George Waldon, has been mining public records for more than 20 years, and the best he can do is tell you the original amount of a mortgage, not how much is owed on it on any given day.”

Read more here.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry daily or weekly.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry.