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 Rent-Burdened Households Declined The Most

By Odeta Kushi on March 11, 2020

Beginning in 2011 and continuing through 2018, the share of rent-burdened households declined nationally – a trend reversal from the decade between 2000 and 2010. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, rent-burdened households spend over 30 percent of their income on rent. However, as the old adage goes, it’s all about...

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Topics: Affordability Renter Affordability

Why The Share Of Rent-Burdened Households Has Declined In The Post-Recession Era

By Odeta Kushi on March 2, 2020

After nearly 20 years of rising rents, renter affordability, or the lack thereof, is a hot topic in housing. The long-running increase in rents has fueled a rise in the share of rent-burdened households, defined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as households that spend over 30 percent of their income on rent.

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Topics: Affordability Renter Affordability

Where Wages Grow, Affordability Follows

By Mark Fleming on February 24, 2020

As 2019 came to a close, potential home buyers received a year-end gift as affordability improved relative to one year ago. Two of the three key drivers of the Real House Price Index (RHPI), household income and mortgage rates, swung in favor of increased affordability in December.

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability

The Five Cities Where Affordability Improved The Most

By Mark Fleming on January 27, 2020

Once again, home buyers benefitted from a year-over-year affordability boost as two of the three key drivers of the Real House Price Index (RHPI), household income and mortgage rates, swung in favor of increased affordability in November. Compared with November 2018, the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell by 1.2 percentage points and household...

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability

What Global Uncertainty Means For The Housing Market

By Mark Fleming on January 10, 2020

Global events and uncertainty, such as the conflict between the U.S. and Iran, clearly impacts geopolitical relations, but also impacts the U.S. economy, and more specifically, the U.S. housing market. How? Against a backdrop of uncertainty, investors worldwide look for a safe place to put their money. U.S. bonds, backed by the full faith and...

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Federal Reserve Affordability

Interviews On CNBC And Yahoo! Finance: 2020 Housing Outlook – Why Persistently Low Mortgage Rates May Help And Hurt Home Buyers

By FirstAm Editor on December 23, 2019

First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming was interviewed on CNBC and Yahoo! Finance last week, discussing the 2020 outlook for the housing market and how persistently low mortgage rates may both help and hurt home buyers in the year ahead.

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Topics: Housing In The News Interest Rates Affordability