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Economic Center Blog

Two Trends Signal Housing Supply Relief On The Way

By Mark Fleming on April 18, 2018

It’s no secret that the limited supply of homes for sale is the biggest issue facing the housing market today. From a short-term perspective, this month’s overall pace of housing starts, 1.32 million units, may modestly alleviate the supply shortage. Housing starts increased 1.9 percent month over month and are 10.9 percent higher compared with March 2017. Housing completions, the number of net new homes added to the housing stock, increased by 1.9 percent compared with a year ago, which provides some immediate relief for the supply shortage.

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Topics: Housing, Homeownership, housing starts

Busting The Myth Of The Millennial Renter Generation

By Mark Fleming on April 13, 2018

It’s a popular myth – the millennial generation is destined to be a generation of renters – avocado toast, anyone? With student loan debt burdens, the scars of the Great Recession, and limited housing supply, the myth is rooted in some real challenges for millennials. However, despite these challenges, millennials are not only interested in homeownership, they are the primary reason that the homeownership rate increased over the past year.

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Topics: Homeownership, millennials, Homeownership Progress Index, insider

How High Is Too High For Mortgage Rates?

By Mark Fleming on March 20, 2018

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting is just around the corner, and experts agree that an increase in the Federal Funds Rate is almost certain. In fact, the expectation of future Fed rate hikes is already putting upward pressure on mortgage rates. The benchmark 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage rate jumped three basis points to 4.4 percent this past week. Since the start of the year, the benchmark rate has climbed almost half a percentage point and has increased for eight consecutive weeks. Concern is growing about the impact of the rising mortgage rates on the housing market, but it is important to keep today’s mortgage-rate environment in perspective.

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

How Will Rising Rates Impact Home Sales?

By Mark Fleming on February 20, 2018

This month, the market potential for existing-home sales increased to a 6.1 million seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR), a 0.4 percent month-over-month increase, and a gain of 210,000 (SAAR) sales from January 2017. The gap between actual market performance (existing-home sales) and market potential (potential home sales) has significantly narrowed as actual existing-home sales have surged in recent months. Nonetheless, the housing market is still underperforming its potential.

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

Housing Market Potential Little Changed, But Will The Supply Shortage Continue In 2018?

By Mark Fleming on January 23, 2018

First American’s proprietary Potential Home Sales model examines December 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

What Does The First Release Of Housing Data In 2018 Say About The Housing Market?

By Mark Fleming on January 20, 2018

The end of 2017 brought mixed news for housing starts, according to Thursday’s release of December 2017 housing starts data, which marked the first report on national housing data this year.

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Topics: Housing, Homeownership, housing starts

The Drag On Affordability Explained

By FirstAm Editor on December 21, 2017

First American’s proprietary Real House Price Index (RHPI) looks at October 2017 data and includes analysis from First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming on the market forces that are keeping a lid on affordability.

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

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

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