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 the Mortgage Rate Spread Narrow or Not? That is the Question

By Odeta Kushi on September 12, 2023
In August, the 30-year, fixed mortgage rate hit the highest level since the early 2000s. Higher mortgage rates have a dual impact on the housing market – reducing affordability for potential buyers and strengthening the rate lock-in effect for sellers. The outlook for the U.S. housing market is therefore heavily dependent on the path of mortgage ... Read More›

Housing Interest Rates

Are we Flirting with a Double-Dip Housing Recession?

By Odeta Kushi on August 2, 2023
What defines a housing recession? While some rules of thumb exist, there has never been general agreement on a definition. If you look at today’s housing market, existing-home sales have struggled to gain any momentum during what is usually the housing market’s busiest season. New home sales, on the other hand, have exceeded all expectations. So, ... Read More›


Mind the Gap Between Mortgage Rates and the 10-Year Treasury Yield

By Odeta Kushi on May 24, 2023
The popular 30-year, fixed mortgage rate is loosely benchmarked to the 10-year Treasury bond. Since the end of the Great Recession, the 30-year, fixed mortgage rate has on average remained 1.7 percentage points (170 basis points) higher than the 10-year Treasury bond yield. Yet, this spread is not always consistent. It usually widens during ... Read More›

Housing Interest Rates

Why Free-and-Clear Homeowners Hold the Key to Unlocking More Housing Supply

By Odeta Kushi on February 17, 2023
As mortgage rates rose rapidly last year, the golden handcuffs of low mortgage rates, otherwise known as the rate lock-in effect, was frequently cited as a primary culprit for the ongoing housing supply shortage. And, rightfully so, as according to third-quarter 2022 Federal Housing Finance Agency data, 84 percent of all outstanding mortgages have ... Read More›

Housing supply

What to Expect from the 2023 Housing Market

By Odeta Kushi on January 10, 2023
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the housing market has experienced a series of highs and lows. The housing market was already strong prior to 2020, but the pandemic redefined the role of a home, creating a surge in demand which, coupled with record-low mortgage rates and limited housing supply, powered the housing market to multiple records ... Read More›

Interest Rates Affordability

Why Educated Millennials Still Hold the Key to Future Homeownership Demand

By Odeta Kushi on October 10, 2022
The fall usually marks the beginning of the school year, seasonally cooler weather and a seasonally cooler housing market. But, this year, the housing market’s typical autumn slowdown is more pronounced as rapidly rising interest rates discourage buyers and sellers from entering the market. The housing market is not immune to business cycles, and ... Read More›

Millennials Education Homeownership