Economic Center Blog
Welcome to the First American Economic Center Blog, a top source for the latest housing market research and analysis driven by Chief Economist Mark Fleming.

Are Negative Mortgage Rates On The Horizon?

By Odeta Kushi on March 18, 2020

Given both emergency rate cuts of the Federal Reserve and the recent economic uncertainty due to the spread of the Coronavirus, the 10-year Treasury yield dropped to its lowest level in 150 years, according to  Nobel Laureate Robert Shiller. For added perspective, that takes us back to the time of Ulysses S. Grant’s presidency. The 10-year...

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Topics: Interest Rates Federal Reserve economic outlook

Where Rent-Burdened Households Declined The Most

By Odeta Kushi on March 11, 2020

Beginning in 2011 and continuing through 2018, the share of rent-burdened households declined nationally – a trend reversal from the decade between 2000 and 2010. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, rent-burdened households spend over 30 percent of their income on rent. However, as the old adage goes, it’s all about...

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Topics: Affordability Renter Affordability

Why The Share Of Rent-Burdened Households Has Declined In The Post-Recession Era

By Odeta Kushi on March 2, 2020

After nearly 20 years of rising rents, renter affordability, or the lack thereof, is a hot topic in housing. The long-running increase in rents has fueled a rise in the share of rent-burdened households, defined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as households that spend over 30 percent of their income on rent.

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Topics: Affordability Renter Affordability

Mini Refinance Boom Drives Fraud Risk To New Low

By Mark Fleming on February 28, 2020

Overall defect risk, as measured by our Loan Application Defect Index, has largely trended down since early 2019 with a few exceptions. In January 2020, this long-run trend continued as overall defect risk reached its lowest level since we began tracking it in 2011. While the Defect Index for purchase transactions remained the same after two...

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Topics: Fraud Loan Application Defect Index

Where Wages Grow, Affordability Follows

By Mark Fleming on February 24, 2020

As 2019 came to a close, potential home buyers received a year-end gift as affordability improved relative to one year ago. Two of the three key drivers of the Real House Price Index (RHPI), household income and mortgage rates, swung in favor of increased affordability in December.

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability

Housing Market Potential Reaches Its Highest Level In Nearly Two Years

By Mark Fleming on February 20, 2020

The housing market started the year off strong, with the market potential for existing-home sales reaching its highest level since January 2018, according to our Potential Home Sales Model. Housing market potential increased 1.4 percent in January 2020 relative to the previous month, and grew 4.7 percent year over year, an increase of 240,050...

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Topics: Interest Rates Potential Home Sales tenure