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.

What Global Uncertainty Means For The Housing Market

By Mark Fleming on January 10, 2020

Global events and uncertainty, such as the conflict between the U.S. and Iran, clearly impacts geopolitical relations, but also impacts the U.S. economy, and more specifically, the U.S. housing market. How? Against a backdrop of uncertainty, investors worldwide look for a safe place to put their money. U.S. bonds, backed by the full faith and...

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Federal Reserve Affordability

Why Did Defect Risk For Purchase Transactions Rise For The First Time Since March?

By Mark Fleming on December 27, 2019

As we predicted last month, the Loan Application Defect Index for purchase transactions reached a turning point in November. After falling since March, the Defect Index for purchase transactions increased 2.7 percent compared with October, while the Defect Index for refinance transactions fell by 1.6 percent, its eighth straight month of...

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Topics: Fraud Loan Application Defect Index

Interviews On CNBC And Yahoo! Finance: 2020 Housing Outlook – Why Persistently Low Mortgage Rates May Help And Hurt Home Buyers

By FirstAm Editor on December 23, 2019

First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming was interviewed on CNBC and Yahoo! Finance last week, discussing the 2020 outlook for the housing market and how persistently low mortgage rates may both help and hurt home buyers in the year ahead.

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Topics: Housing In The News Interest Rates Affordability

What Will Drive House-Buying Power In 2020?

By Mark Fleming on December 20, 2019

Affordability improved in October as two of the three key drivers of the Real House Price Index (RHPI), household income and mortgage rates, modestly swung in favor of increased affordability relative to one year ago. The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell by 1.1 percentage points and household income increased 2.6 percent compared with October...

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability

Will Housing Market Potential In 2020 Exceed 2019?

By Mark Fleming on December 18, 2019

In November 2019, the housing market outperformed its potential, as actual existing-home sales exceeded market potential by 2.8 percent, or an estimated 146,340 seasonally adjusted annualized sales. Housing market potential increased 1.4 percent relative to last month and 3.9 percent compared with November of last year, an increase of 196,480...

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Topics: Interest Rates Potential Home Sales tenure

Where Lower-Income Renters Can Pursue The Dream Of Homeownership

By Odeta Kushi on December 12, 2019

In 2019, the growth in consumer house-buying power outpaced house price appreciation for the median renter trying to buy the median priced home. But, there are many renters with household incomes below the median income in their cities. We can measure affordability for all renter households based on their household income and the share of homes...

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Topics: Housing Affordability Homeownership First-Time Home Buyer Outlook Report