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.

Affordability Declines To Its Lowest Level Since 2007

By Mark Fleming on June 29, 2022

In April 2022, the Real House Price Index (RHPI) jumped up by 45.6 percent compared with a year ago, accelerating faster than any other point in the 30-year history of the series. This rapid annual decline in affordability was ... Read More›

Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability

Two Trends Slowing Housing Market Normalization

By Mark Fleming on June 20, 2022

The market potential for existing-home sales in May fell 2 percent to 5.62 million at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR), compared with last month, and is 10.5 percent lower than one year ago. Yet, the market potential for home sales remains ... Read More›

Interest Rates Potential Home Sales tenure

How Aggressive Will The Fed Need To Be To Get Inflation Under Control?

By Mark Fleming on June 13, 2022

The dual mandate of the Federal Reserve is to maintain stable inflation and full employment, and while the latter goal has mostly been achieved post-pandemic, the former remains far from target. One of the primary instruments of monetary policy the Fed... Read More›

Interest Rates

The Housing Market Is Slowing By Design, But Don't Expect A Bust

By Mark Fleming on May 27, 2022

In March 2022, the Real House Price Index (RHPI) increased 32.5 percent year over year, which is the fastest growth in the more than 30-year history of the series. This rapid annual decline in affordability was driven by ... Read More›

Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability

Will Higher Mortgage Rates Bring Normalcy To The Housing Market?

By Mark Fleming on May 18, 2022

The market potential for existing-home sales in April declined 3 percent compared with last month, falling to 5.74 million at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR). Housing market potential is down 8.1 percent, compared with the roaring housing ... Read More›

Interest Rates Potential Home Sales tenure

How Do Rapidly Rising Mortgage Rates Impact Affordability?

By Mark Fleming on April 22, 2022

In February 2022, the Real House Price Index (RHPI) jumped up by nearly 31 percent. That’s the fastest growth in the more than 30-year history of the series. This rapid annual decline in affordability was driven by two fa... Read More›

Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability