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Economic Center Blog

Why ARMs Today Are Different

By Odeta Kushi on October 10, 2018

Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), a symbol of the housing market crash, are making a comeback, but their resurgence is not an indicator of a potential negative turn in the housing market. An ARM is a mortgage that typically has a 30-year repayment term, but the interest rate is fixed for the first few years of the loan. Once the fixed period ends, the interest rate adjusts based on market changes. 

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Topics: Affordability, Interest Rates, Insider, Real House Price Index

Interview On CNBC: Discussing The Impact Of Rising Rates On Affordability And Home-buying Demand

By FirstAm Editor on October 5, 2018

First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming was interviewed on CNBC yesterday and discussed the impact of rising interest rates on affordability and home-buying demand.

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Topics: Housing, In The News, Interest Rates, Millennials, Affordability

How Will Rising Mortgage Rates Impact Housing Affordability In 2019?

By Mark Fleming on September 24, 2018

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting is just around the corner and a rate hike is almost certain, according to experts, which will trigger conversations about rising mortgage rates across the housing industry. While changes to the federal funds rate won’t necessarily spur further increases in mortgage rates, mortgage rates are expected to rise nonetheless.

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Topics: Real House Price Index, Affordability, Interest Rates, Insider

Interview On CNBC: Discussing The Housing Market’s Potential Shift Toward A Buyer’s Market

By FirstAm Editor on September 21, 2018

First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming was interviewed on CNBC earlier this week and discussed the housing market’s potential shift toward a buyer’s market and the challenges facing the market: affordability and interest rates.

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Topics: Housing, In The News, Interest Rates, Millennials, Affordability

Does Rising Housing Inventory Signal The Beginning Of A Buyer’s Market?

By Mark Fleming on September 17, 2018

Last month, we noted in our latest Real House Price Index (RHPI) report that house price appreciation may be slowing. According to our RHPI, 21 cities experienced a monthly decline in their real, consumer house-buying power-adjusted price level. One reason for the price appreciation slowdown is that 21 of the 50 largest cities in the U.S. experienced an increase in the number of houses on the market in July compared with a year ago, according to realtor.com data.

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Topics: Affordability, Real House Price Index, Mortgages, Insider, Interest Rates

Has House Price Appreciation Reached A Tipping Point?

By Mark Fleming on August 27, 2018

House price appreciation remains on a tear, as unadjusted home prices nationwide increased by 7.3 percent compared with a year ago and are now 1.3 percent above the housing boom peak in 2006, according to DataTree by First American. The U.S. economy continues to perform well, as the current economic expansion reaches record levels, prompting some to ponder when it will end.

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Topics: Real House Price Index, Affordability, Insider

Interviews On CNBC: Discussing Rising Mortgage Rates, House Price Appreciation, Millennial Demand And Lack Of New Home Construction

By FirstAm Editor on August 24, 2018

First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming was interviewed on CNBC earlier today as well as last Friday, August 17 and discussed how rising mortgage rates, house price appreciation, millennial demand and a lack of new homes may be squeezing affordability.

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Topics: housing starts, In The News, Interest Rates, Millennials, New Home Buying, Affordability

Where Can Renters Find Affordable Homes To Buy?

By Odeta Kushi on August 20, 2018

Limited housing supply and growing millennial demand continue to drive home prices higher across the country. Even when adjusted for income growth and mortgage rates, prices are 11.4 percent higher than a year ago, according to our Real House Price Index. Unless income growth accelerates and begins to outpace house price appreciation, or housing supply surges, prices will likely continue to rise in the coming year, which may be discouraging to renters looking to buy a home.

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Topics: homeownership, Affordability, Housing, Insider

Why Renter House-Buying Power Is The Key To Understanding Housing Affordability

By Mark Fleming on August 6, 2018

With unadjusted house prices recently eclipsing their 2006 housing boom peak, housing affordability is a concern in the industry and for potential home buyers. Existing home owners, by definition, can afford one so, when we are speaking about housing affordability, it is really a conversation about first-time home buyers.

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Topics: homeownership, Affordability, Housing, First-Time Homebuyer, Insider

Interview On CNBC: Explaining The Shortage Of Supply In The Housing Market And Demographic Wave Of Demand

By FirstAm Editor on August 1, 2018

First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming was interviewed yesterday on CNBC and discussed housing supply and demand, affordability and challenges facing new home builders.

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Topics: Housing, Affordability, In The News, Interest Rates, Millennials