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 Xander Snyder

Xander Snyder is the senior commercial real estate economist for First American Financial Corporation, the premier provider of title, settlement and risk solutions for real estate transactions and the leader in the digital transformation of its industry. In his role, he provides analysis, commentary and forecasts on commercial real estate trends. Snyder's research focuses on economic trends impacting commercial real estate, such as demographics, fundraising, investment, and commercial lending. He monitors, analyzes and reports on economic data and surveys related to commercial real estate, and develops models and forecasts to better understand the forces that influence commercial real estate markets. Before joining First American, Snyder developed data-driven models to guide real estate investment strategies, co-founded a proptech startup, and worked as a global risk analyst analyzing geopolitical risk around the world and consulting international companies on supply chain risk. Snyder graduated from Cornell University with a double degree in economics and classical music composition, earning the title of Summa Cum Laude. He is currently completing a master's degree in data science from UC Berkeley. Snyder, a native Angeleno, lives and works in Los Angeles.
Find me on:

Uncertain Economic Outlook Keeps Renters Where They Are, Pushing Cap Rates Up

By Xander Snyder on May 23, 2023
In times of economic uncertainty, people tend to stay put. After all, why take on new financial obligations, like an apartment lease, when the future is less certain? Today, though unemployment remains low, inflation remains high, and the recent slew of layoffs at tech companies has many worried about their own financial position. The recent, ... Read More›

Commercial Real Estate Potential Cap Rate Model Multifamily

CRE X-Factor: For Commercial Real Estate, Banks Aren’t the Only Lender in Town

By Xander Snyder on May 9, 2023
When most people think of a loan, they think of a bank. Banks take deposits from customers in return for interest payments or other services. The bank then invests those deposits in loans, such as commercial real estate (CRE) loans, and securities that pay a higher interest rate than the bank is paying on the deposits. However, a bank is not the ... Read More›

Commercial Real Estate CRE X-Factor

Where is the Risk Exposure to Commercial Real Estate?

By Xander Snyder on May 5, 2023
After the recent bank failures, a good deal of attention has been paid to commercial real estate (CRE) debt held by banks of different sizes. But banks aren’t the only CRE lenders. Insurance companies, mortgage REITs, and private debt funds that lend investors’ money also regularly make CRE loans. Taken together, banks of all sizes only account ... Read More›

Commercial Real Estate

Why it’s So Hard to Convert Offices into Housing

By Xander Snyder on April 13, 2023
At first glance, converting old office buildings into apartments seems like an obvious solution to two pressing real estate challenges. There’s a national housing shortage of several millions of housing units, and office space is substantially underutilized due to the adoption of remote work. Declining office use is a significant risk to office ... Read More›

Commercial Real Estate Office Multifamily

CRE X-Factor: Retail’s Tailwinds Turn to Headwinds

By Xander Snyder on April 10, 2023
Retail real estate remains a challenged asset class, although locations catering to experiential services so far appear to be more resilient than others. Even before the onset of the pandemic, the rise of eCommerce and the shift away from mall culture created an uncertain outlook for many types of retail locations. In this month’s X-Factor, let’s ... Read More›

Commercial Real Estate retail

What Does Consumer Spending Signal about the Health of Retail Real Estate?

By Xander Snyder on April 4, 2023
The performance of retail real estate is closely tied to consumer spending trends. Over the last year, consumers have benefitted from meaningful wage growth, but inflation has erased most of those gains. Similarly, despite nominal retail sales growing by approximately 5.4 percent in February, retail spending in real terms has fallen over the last ... Read More›

Commercial Real Estate retail

CRE X-Factor: Outlook for Industrial Real Estate Remains Positive, Despite Dip from Record-Setting 2021

By Xander Snyder on March 13, 2023
Industrial space remains in high demand across the country, despite announcements of tabled expansion plans from eCommerce companies and retail store closures. That strong demand has fueled record levels of construction that will ease price and rent growth to more moderate, single-digit rates as the new industrial supply comes to market. The ... Read More›

Commercial Real Estate industrial real estate

Supply Chain Lessons Shape Long-Term Industrial Real Estate Demand

By Xander Snyder on March 6, 2023
Demand to lease and own industrial space remains robust, despite a general cooling of commercial real estate (CRE) activity occurring across asset classes. Net absorption, a measure of leasing demand relative to available space, remained high in the fourth quarter of last year compared with historical levels, at 112 million square feet. Though ... Read More›

Commercial Real Estate industrial real estate