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.

Mark Fleming

Recent Posts

Defect Risk Declines Nationally, But Future Increases Possible For Regions Impacted By Natural Disasters

By Mark Fleming on December 3, 2018

For the second month in a row, the Loan Application Defect Index for purchase transactions increased in October compared with the previous month. Year over year, the Defect Index for purchase transactions decreased 8.9 percent compared with October 2017. The Defect Index for refinance transactions increased 1.4 percent compared with the...

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Topics: Loan Application Defect Index, Fraud

Will Fintech Adoption Among Real Estate Professionals Accelerate In 2019?

By Mark Fleming on November 27, 2018

Throughout 2018, we’ve seen many trends that set the groundwork for the acceleration of financial technology (fintech) adoption. It has been a strong seller’s market across the top U.S. metropolitan areas. With inventory low and house prices at historic highs, prospective home buyers felt pressured to settle deals quickly before opportunities...

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Topics: fintech, eClosing, Remote online notarization, chat bots, Real Estate Sentiment Index, Housing, Interest Rates

Why Is Real House Price Appreciation Accelerating?

By Mark Fleming on November 26, 2018

In September, all three of the key drivers of the Real House Price Index (RHPI),  household income, mortgage rates, and an unadjusted house price index, increased compared with a year ago. When household income rises, consumer house-buying power increases. When mortgage rates and house prices increase, consumer house-buying power decreases. The...

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Topics: Real House Price Index, Affordability, Insider, Interest Rates

Can Homebuilders Increase Productivity To Help Close Gap Between Housing Supply And Demand?

By Mark Fleming on November 21, 2018

Yesterday’s Census Bureau report for October indicated that we are falling short of adding homes to the market in the short-term, as completions decreased 6.5 percent compared with October of last year.

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Topics: Housing, housing starts, homeownership, Insider

Do Rising Rates Outweigh The Impact Of The Strong Economy On Housing Market Potential?

By Mark Fleming on November 19, 2018

While the housing market continues to underperform its potential by 6.5 percent, the gap between actual existing home sales and the market potential for home sales narrowed by 1 percent in October compared with September, according to our Potential Homes Sales model. The housing market has the potential to support more than 391,000 additional...

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Topics: Potential Home Sales, Interest Rates, homeownership, Federal Reserve, Insider

Why The Housing Market Can Thrive At 5 Percent Mortgage Rates

By Mark Fleming on November 12, 2018

Last week, the 30-year, fixed mortgage rate hit a seven-and-a-half-year high of 4.86 percent. Most experts believe mortgage rates will continue to rise, reaching 5 percent in 2019.

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Topics: Affordability, Federal Reserve, Interest Rates, Insider

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