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.

Where Lower-Income Renters Can Pursue The Dream Of Homeownership

By Odeta Kushi on December 12, 2019

In 2019, the growth in consumer house-buying power outpaced house price appreciation for the median renter trying to buy the median priced home. But, there are many renters with household incomes below the median income in their cities. We can measure affordability for all renter households based on their household income and the share of homes...

Read More

Topics: Housing Affordability Homeownership First-Time Home Buyer Outlook Report

What Cities Are The Most Affordability Friendly For First-Time Home Buyers?

By Odeta Kushi on December 10, 2019

Housing affordability, or the lack thereof, continued to generate discussion and headlines in 2019. That’s unlikely to change in 2020, as strong demand, driven by low mortgage rates and wage growth, collides with limited housing supply. However, it’s easy to overlook that nearly two-thirds of Americans already own homes so, generally speaking,...

Read More

Topics: Housing Affordability Homeownership First-Time Home Buyer Outlook Report

Has Defect Risk For Purchase Transactions Reached A Turning Point?

By Mark Fleming on November 27, 2019

Based on our analysis, if mortgage rates continue to fall, the pressure on fraud risk may weaken. This has played out throughout most of 2019, as the 30-year, fixed mortgage rate has been falling since December 2018, and overall fraud risk alongside it. Fraud risk began declining in March 2019 and reached a historical low in October. The Loan...

Read More

Topics: Fraud Loan Application Defect Index

Has Rising House-Buying Power Accelerated House Price Appreciation?

By Mark Fleming on November 26, 2019

Two of the three key drivers of the Real House Price Index (RHPI), household income and mortgage rates, modestly swung in favor of increased affordability in September, yet affordability declined month over month. The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell by 0.01 percentage points and household income increased 0.03 percent compared with August...

Read More

Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability

What Do The Top 10 Cities For Entry-Level New Home Construction Have In Common?

By Odeta Kushi on November 22, 2019

The dominant theme in the housing market nationally in 2019 has been the ongoing challenge of a dearth of housing supply amid rising demand. A natural solution to the challenge is to build more homes. Yet, nationally, supply headwinds still make it hard for builders to ramp up new construction, especially at the entry-level, where first-time...

Read More

Topics: Millennials First-Time Homebuyer Wage Growth

What Do Rising Rates And Tenure Length Mean For Housing Market Potential In 2020?

By Mark Fleming on November 20, 2019

In October 2019, the housing market exceeded its potential, as actual existing-home sales exceeded market potential by 4.6 percent, or an estimated 239,000 seasonally adjusted annualized sales. Housing market potential decreased relative to last month, but increased 0.6 percent compared with October of last year.

Read More

Topics: Interest Rates Potential Home Sales tenure