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Economic Center Blog

Tightening Supply Squeezes Market Potential

By Mark Fleming on December 19, 2017

First American’s proprietary Potential Home Sales model examines November 2017 data and includes analysis from First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming on how the real estate market is performing versus its potential.

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Topics: Interest Rates, Homeownership, Potential Home Sales, mortgage rates

Outlook For Real Estate Rises Despite Supply Constraints

By FirstAm Editor on December 12, 2017

We invite you to browse the fourth quarter 2017 First American Real Estate Sentiment Index, which is based on a quarterly survey of independent title agents and other real estate professionals, providing a unique gauge on the real estate market using the crowd-sourced wisdom and expertise of real estate experts.

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Topics: Homeownership, Real Estate Sentiment Index

Best Cities To Maximize Borrowing Power For First-Time Home Buyers

By Mark Fleming on December 11, 2017

It’s a near certainty that the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will raise the short-term Federal Funds rate this week. The CME group estimates the probability of a 25 basis-point increase at 90.2 percent. Some may fret about how this will impact the housing market, but they are missing the point on mortgage rates and affordability for first-time home buyers.

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Topics: Interest Rates, Federal Reserve, affordability, insider, mortgage rates

Loan Defect Risk Stabilizes Nationally, But Surges In Florida And Texas

By FirstAm Editor on November 30, 2017

We’ve posted the October First American Loan Application Defect Index, which estimates the frequency of defects, fraudulence and misrepresentation in the information submitted in mortgage loan applications. The Defect Index remains the same as compared with the previous month, and increased 22.1 percent as compared with October 2016. The Defect Index is down 18.6 percent from the high point of risk in October 2013.

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Topics: Loan Application Defect Index

What’s Behind September’s Surprise Increase In Affordability?

By FirstAm Editor on November 27, 2017

First American’s proprietary Real House Price Index (RHPI) looks at September 2017 data and includes analysis from First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming on the market forces that sparked a surprising increase in affordability in September.

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Topics: Interest Rates, Homeownership, Real House Price Index, income, affordability

What's Keeping The Market Below Potential?

By Mark Fleming on November 20, 2017

First American’s proprietary Potential Home Sales model examines October 2017 data and includes analysis from First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming on how the real estate market is performing versus its potential.

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Topics: Interest Rates, Homeownership, Potential Home Sales, mortgage rates

Five Best Cities For Economic Opportunity

By Mark Fleming on November 16, 2017

Amazon’s very public search to identify the best location for its second headquarters made me wonder - what criteria would be helpful for young professionals when making their personal decision on where to live and work? Affordable housing would be important. For example, you can buy so much more home in Texas or Ohio than you can in California. But, when making the decision about where to live, considering what and how many job opportunities exist is also a critical point. The most attractive places to live for young professionals would be where housing costs are reasonable and great job opportunities are abundant. In other words, the top cities for economic opportunity.

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Topics: Real House Price Index, affordability, insider

Many Experts Miss The Point On Mortgage Rates And Affordability For First-Time Home Buyers

By Mark Fleming on November 6, 2017

Last week, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) met for the second to last time this year. As most prognosticators expected, the FOMC decided to leave the short-term Federal Funds rate unchanged. While good news for those with credit card debt, car loans and adjustable rate mortgages, the impact of FOMC inaction, or action for that matter, is less clear for the mortgage market. Additionally, Jerome Powell was nominated to be the next Chairman of the Federal Reserve and he is widely believed to hold a similar stance on monetary policy as the current chair, Janet Yellen.

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Topics: Interest Rates, Federal Reserve, affordability, insider, mortgage rates

Will Post-Disaster Mortgage Fraud Risk Trends Play Out In Florida And Texas?

By FirstAm Editor on October 31, 2017

We’ve posted the September First American Loan Application Defect Index, which estimates the frequency of defects, fraudulence and misrepresentation in the information submitted in mortgage loan applications. The Defect Index decreased 1.2 percent as compared with the previous month, and increased 20.3 percent as compared to September 2016. The Defect Index is down 18.6 percent from the high point of risk in October 2013.

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Topics: Loan Application Defect Index

Will August Uptick In Affordability Continue?

By FirstAm Editor on October 30, 2017

First American’s proprietary Real House Price Index (RHPI) looks at August 2017 data and includes analysis from First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming on what’s behind the surprising increase in affordability in August and whether or not that trend will continue.

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Topics: Interest Rates, Homeownership, Real House Price Index, income, affordability