CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft Dies Unexpectedly

CoreLogic Chief Economist Dr. Frank Nothaft, a trusted source of information for real estate and business publications for more than 20 years, died suddenly and unexpectedly over the weekend, CoreLogic announced Monday.

Nothaft “was a brilliant spokesperson and brand ambassador” whose absence “will be felt profoundly throughout the organization and beyond,” the company said.

It was unclear how Nothaft died. A statement from CoreLogic issued Monday evening did not include details surrounding the tragedy or his age. However, Housing Wire reported his age as 66.

Mike Fratantoni, senior vice president and chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association, said in a statement that he and his MBA colleagues were “shocked and saddened” by the news, adding that “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

“For decades, Frank has been a key voice for the mortgage industry – at Freddie Mac and then at CoreLogic,” Fratantoni said. “He was the best housing market analyst in the business, able to clearly and concisely convey information that helped our industry understand the current market and make decisions to prepare for the future. Frank had an inimitable style, both in terms of his presentations and his ever-present bow tie.”

Frank Nothaft

In a presentation published Friday, for example, Nothaft explored the devastation wreaked by last year’s Hurricane Ida as a way to gauge the potential impact of the 2022 hurricane season, which is expected to run from June through November.

After earning a bachelor’s degree from New York University in mathematics and computer science with a minor in economics in 1976, Nothaft went on to complete a doctorate in economics from Columbia University in New York in 1986.

While he was earning his Ph.D., Nothaft served as an economist for the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors from 1983-86. He was an assistant to Fed Governor Henry C. Wallich and an economist in the Research and Statistics Division, within the Mortgage and Consumer Finance Section.

Before taking on the role of CoreLogic’s chief economist in 2015, he spent nearly three decades at mortgage giant Freddie Mac starting in 1986, where he served as a senior economist and deputy chief economist before being promoted to chief economist in 2001.

As Freddie Mac’s chief economist, Nothaft published an academic paper, “The Contribution of Home Value Appreciation to U.S. Economic Growth,” documenting how rising home prices helped mitigate the impacts of the 2001 recession.

His more recent academic papers included “The Pandemic’s Effect on the Housing Market and Mortgage Delinquency,” in the Fall 2020 edition of The Journal of Structured Finance.

CoreLogic noted that Nothaft was also active in his local community through his volunteer commitments, serving on the board of directors of the non-profit Falls Church Housing Corporation, a provider of Section 8 housing in northern Virginia.

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