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.

Recent Posts by Mark Fleming

Mark Fleming is the chief economist for First American Financial Corporation and leads First American’s Decision Sciences team.

How Can Housing Affordability Improve During Periods Of Economic Decline When House Prices Rise

By Mark Fleming on September 28, 2020

Affordability improved in July as two of the three key drivers of the Real House Price Index (RHPI), household income and mortgage rates, swung in favor of increased affordability, outpacing the rise in nominal house price appreciation. The average 30-year, fixed mortgage rate fell by 0.75 percentage points and household income increased 5.5...

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability

Housing Market Potential Reaches Highest Level Since 2007

By Mark Fleming on September 21, 2020

Since hitting a low point during the initial stages of the pandemic, the only major industry to display immunity to the economic impacts of the coronavirus is the housing market. Housing has experienced a strong V-shaped recovery and is now exceeding pre-pandemic levels. This is largely because the economic distress from the pandemic has...

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Topics: Interest Rates Potential Home Sales tenure

Where Housing Affordability Is Declining The Most

By Mark Fleming on August 24, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on global and domestic economies, yet housing has thus far managed an impressive V-shaped recovery. Housing’s strong rebound has been driven by several factors that existed before the coronavirus outbreak but have continued or even gained strength amid the pandemic. Mortgage rates are even lower...

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability

Why Has Housing Market Potential Rebounded During The Pandemic?

By Mark Fleming on August 20, 2020

With a July unemployment rate of 10.2 percent and roughly 30 million Americans claiming unemployment benefits, it’s clear that the domestic economy continues to feel the pain inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic. Yet the housing industry, at least for now, continues its impressive V-shaped rebound. Weekly purchase applications have surpassed...

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Topics: Interest Rates Potential Home Sales tenure

What The Historic Mortgage Rate Drop Means For Affordability

By Mark Fleming on July 27, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on global and domestic economies, housing has thus far proven resilient, managing a V-shaped recovery from the low point reached in April. The strong rebound is largely a result of two dynamics that existed before the pandemic and have continued or even gained strength in the last few months.

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability

Will Household Formation Continue To Boost Housing Market Potential Amid The Pandemic?

By Mark Fleming on July 16, 2020

The domestic and global economy continue to feel the pain inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic. Yet the housing industry, at least for now, is bucking the trend. Weekly purchase applications have surpassed their levels from one year ago for eight straight weeks, as potential buyers respond to record low mortgage rates. The market potential for...

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Topics: Interest Rates Potential Home Sales tenure