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.

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

Why The 2022 Housing Market Is Very 2019

By Mark Fleming on April 19, 2022

Since the start of the global pandemic in March 2020, we have weathered unprecedented pandemic-induced changes and the housing market has been no exception. The typically hot spring home-buying season in 2020 was initially frozen by the pandemic’s impa... Read More›

Interest Rates Potential Home Sales tenure

Is Affordability Worse Than The 2006 Housing Boom Peak?

By Mark Fleming on March 29, 2022

In the first report with 2022 data, the Real House Price Index (RHPI) jumped up by nearly 27 percent, the fastest growth in the RHPI since 2004. This rapid... Read More›

Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability

What Is Driving Housing Market Potential As The Spring Home-buying Season Begins?

By Mark Fleming on March 18, 2022

Following nearly two years of a soaring housing market, the 2022 spring home-buying season will be watched closely for signs that more balance may be returning to the housing market. Our Potential Home Sales Model estimates the expected level of existi... Read More›

Interest Rates Potential Home Sales tenure