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.

Dispelling The Myth Of The 20 Percent Down Payment

By Odeta Kushi on August 6, 2019

Since hitting a low point of 63 percent in 2016, the homeownership rate has rebounded, largely driven by millennial households purchasing their first homes. Many surveys, like one by Bank of the West, indicate that millennials are no different from previous generations – they view homeownership as a main tenet of the American Dream.

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Topics: Millennials Affordability Homeownership

Why Florida Cities Suddenly Lead The Charge In Declining Fraud Risk

By Mark Fleming on July 31, 2019

This month, the Loan Application Defect Index for purchase transactions continued its downward trend, declining 7.8 percent in June compared with the month before, the third consecutive month defect risk in purchase transactions has fallen. The Defect Index for refinance transactions also fell 6.5 percent compared with the previous month. The...

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Topics: Fraud Loan Application Defect Index

Why Consumer House-Buying Power May Reach A Record In 2019

By Mark Fleming on July 29, 2019

Later this week, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will convene and likely announce a rate cut, according to experts. The first Fed rate cut since December 2008 will trigger industry and media speculation about mortgage rates declining further. While changes to the federal funds rate don't directly influence mortgage rates, a rate cut...

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Why Lower Mortgage Rates Have Not Closed The Housing Market Performance Gap

By Mark Fleming on July 19, 2019

The housing market underperformed its potential in June 2019, as actual existing-home sales were 1.5 percent below the market’s potential. The market potential for existing-home sales increased 1.1 percent compared with May, according to our Potential Home Sales model.

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Topics: Interest Rates Federal Reserve Homeownership Potential Home Sales

What Is Preventing The Homeownership Rate From Reaching Its Potential?

By Mark Fleming on July 18, 2019

Ten years after the Great Recession, homeownership remains one of the main tenets of the American Dream. Amid the recovery from the housing crisis, the homeownership rate hit a generational low of 63 percent in 2016, but it has been steadily rising since. What’s behind the steady rise since the 2016 low point? The explanation lies in the shifts...

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Topics: Homeownership Progress Index

Interview On Nightly Business Report: Discussing Record-setting Economic Expansion And The Health Of The Housing Market

By FirstAm Editor on July 9, 2019

First American Deputy Chief Economist Odeta Kushi was interviewed on Nightly Business Report last week and discussed the record-setting economic expansion and the health of the housing market in 2019.

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Topics: Housing In The News Interest Rates