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.

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

Millennial Homeownership Delayed, But Not Denied

By Mark Fleming on July 1, 2020

As we navigate the unprecedented impact of COVID-19, home has taken on added significance and there are signs that homeownership remains one of the main tenets of the American Dream. After hitting a bottom in the second week of April, mortgage applications to purchase a home increased for nine consecutive weeks, even exceeding levels from a...

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Topics: Housing Millennials Homeownership Progress Index Homeownership

Will Low Mortgage Rates Prevent Decline In Affordability This Summer?

By Mark Fleming on June 30, 2020

The economic fallout and impacts to the housing market from the pandemic appeared to peak in April. The number of existing-home sales fell 18 percent relative to March, housing starts fell 26 percent, and the supply of homes available for sale approached record lows. While historically low mortgage rates made it more affordable for those with...

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability

How Mortgage Rates Have Fueled Housing Market Potential Amid The Pandemic

By Mark Fleming on June 18, 2020

The early signs of a housing market comeback that appeared in mid-April, rising weekly purchase loan applications, continued to surge through May and into June. In fact, weekly purchase loan applications have now exceeded pre-pandemic levels.

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Topics: Interest Rates Potential Home Sales tenure

Why Housing Overvaluation Is Not As Prevalent As Many Believe

By Mark Fleming on May 22, 2020

In March, data began to reveal the depth of the impact from the pandemic on the housing market. The number of existing-home sales fell 8.5 percent relative to February, and the number of new listings continued to dwindle. While historically low mortgage rates make it more affordable for those with stable incomes to buy a home, tightening credit...

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability