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 Odeta Kushi

Will Record Equity Levels Prevent A Foreclosure Tsunami?

By Odeta Kushi on December 23, 2020

In spite of the record-setting spike in unemployment at the outset of the pandemic, foreclosure activity in 2020 has plunged to an all-time low. The fiscal stimulus and foreclosure moratorium clearly made a difference, helping thousands of homeowners keep their homes. At the peak in early June, 8.6 percent of all mortgage loans were in...

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Topics: Homeownership

Why The Student Loan Debt Burden Is Overstated

By Odeta Kushi on November 19, 2020

Student loans are often cited as an insurmountable barrier to homeownership for young home buyers. It is true that student loan debt levels are higher today than a generation ago, but is it preventing potential home buyers from saving for a down payment? The recently released 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances data highlights some important...

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Topics: Millennials Education Homeownership

Homeownership Remains Strongly Linked To Wealth-Building

By Odeta Kushi on November 5, 2020

Economists study homeownership and policymakers often emphasize it because homeownership is an effective way to build wealth, especially for low-income households. In fact, quantifying the wealth-building power of homeownership shows that home is not only where your heart is, but also where your wealth is.

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Topics: Housing Homeownership

Myth Or Reality? The Pandemic-Driven Acceleration To The Suburbs

By Odeta Kushi on October 15, 2020

Several reports indicate that the pandemic has triggered a mass flight from urban centers to the suburbs. It’s true that a move to the suburbs usually offers more space for telework and stay-at-home activities. But, as millennials have been aging into the key lifestyle decisions associated with a greater likelihood of purchasing a home...

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Topics: Housing Homeownership

How Rising House Prices Could Impact Down Payment Size

By Odeta Kushi on September 17, 2020

After hitting a low point in the spring, the housing market has rebounded strongly during the pandemic. Historically low mortgage rates have fueled demand and increased home buyers’ purchasing power amid an ongoing housing supply shortage. The widening imbalance between housing supply and demand has pushed house prices higher. Some now fear...

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Topics: Affordability Homeownership

The Silver Lining For Cities With The Most Homeowner Distress

By Odeta Kushi on September 3, 2020

Based on our analysis last month, a wave of foreclosures similar to levels seen during the Great Recession is unlikely to occur despite the continuing economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Homeowners are in a much better position to weather this crisis, in part because household equity is near a three-decade high, negating one of...

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Topics: Affordable housing Homeownership