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.

How Can Housing Affordability Improve During Periods Of Economic Decline When House Prices Rise

By Mark Fleming on September 28, 2020

Affordability improved in July 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, outpacing the rise in nominal house price appreciation. The average 30-year, fixed mortgage rate fell by 0.75 percentage points and household income increased 5.5...

Read More

Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability

How Rising House Prices Could Impact Down Payment Size

By Odeta Kushi on September 17, 2020

After hitting a low point in the spring, the housing market has rebounded strongly during the pandemic. Historically low mortgage rates have fueled demand and increased home buyers’ purchasing power amid an ongoing housing supply shortage. The widening imbalance between housing supply and demand has pushed house prices higher. Some now fear...

Read More

Topics: Affordability Homeownership

Where Housing Affordability Is Declining The Most

By Mark Fleming on August 24, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on global and domestic economies, yet housing has thus far managed an impressive V-shaped recovery. Housing’s strong rebound has been driven by several factors that existed before the coronavirus outbreak but have continued or even gained strength amid the pandemic. Mortgage rates are even lower...

Read More

Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability

What The Historic Mortgage Rate Drop Means For Affordability

By Mark Fleming on July 27, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on global and domestic economies, housing has thus far proven resilient, managing a V-shaped recovery from the low point reached in April. The strong rebound is largely a result of two dynamics that existed before the pandemic and have continued or even gained strength in the last few months.

Read More

Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability

Will Low Mortgage Rates Prevent Decline In Affordability This Summer?

By Mark Fleming on June 30, 2020

The economic fallout and impacts to the housing market from the pandemic appeared to peak in April. The number of existing-home sales fell 18 percent relative to March, housing starts fell 26 percent, and the supply of homes available for sale approached record lows. While historically low mortgage rates made it more affordable for those with...

Read More

Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability

Why Housing Overvaluation Is Not As Prevalent As Many Believe

By Mark Fleming on May 22, 2020

In March, data began to reveal the depth of the impact from the pandemic on the housing market. The number of existing-home sales fell 8.5 percent relative to February, and the number of new listings continued to dwindle. While historically low mortgage rates make it more affordable for those with stable incomes to buy a home, tightening credit...

Read More

Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability