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.

Why Did Housing Market Potential Improve In April?

By Mark Fleming on May 20, 2019

The housing market continued to underperform its potential in April 2019, but the performance gap shrank compared with March. Actual existing-home sales remain 1.3 percent below the market’s potential, but the performance gap narrowed from 2.0 percent last month, according to our Potential Home Sales model. That means the housing market has the...

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Topics: Interest Rates, Federal Reserve, homeownership, Potential Home Sales

How Have The 2017 Tax Law Changes Impacted Real Estate Prices?

By Odeta Kushi on May 13, 2019

Enacted in 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reduced tax breaks for homeowners. At the time, many in the real estate industry expected the changes to negatively impact the housing market, particularly in high-priced neighborhoods. The industry concern primarily focused on two specific changes included in the bill: the mortgage interest deduction...

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Topics: Affordability, Taxes, homeownership

Why Everything You Know About First-Time Home Buyer Affordability Is Wrong

By FirstAm Editor on May 8, 2019

We’ve published the findings from a new study that provides an in-depth look at the trends shaping affordability, specifically for first-time home buyers, titled “Why Everything You Know About First-Time Home Buyer Affordability is Wrong.” The study, developed by First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming and Deputy Chief Economist Odeta...

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Topics: Affordability, First-Time Home Buyer Outlook Report

The Two Competing Forces Impacting Fraud Risk

By Mark Fleming on April 30, 2019

Loan application defect risk for purchase transactions continued its upward trend in March, increasing 1.0 percent month-over-month, according to the Loan Application Defect Index. Defect risk for purchase transactions has risen for seven consecutive months, however, the pace of growth slowed to its lowest point over that time span. Overall,...

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Topics: Fraud, Loan Application Defect Index

Six Cities Leading Shift Toward A Buyers' Market

By Mark Fleming on April 29, 2019

Throughout 2018, consistent growth among three driving forces – mortgage rates, household income and unadjusted house prices – defined the housing market. These three factors are also the core elements of the Real House Price Index (RHPI). While household income rose steadily in 2018, rising mortgage rates offset any affordability benefit for...

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Topics: Interest Rates, Real House Price Index, Affordability, Insider

Two Trends Boost Home-Buyer Demand As Spring Home-Buying Season Begins

By Mark Fleming on April 18, 2019

While the housing market continued to underperform its potential in March 2019, the green shoots of spring home buying have emerged. Actual existing-home sales are 2.3 percent below the market’s potential, narrowing the gap from last month, according to our Potential Home Sales model. That means the housing market has the potential to support...

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Topics: Interest Rates, Federal Reserve, homeownership, Potential Home Sales

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