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 Did Affordability Change During The Spring Home-Buying Season?

By Mark Fleming on September 23, 2019

School bells ringing don’t just mark the beginning of a new school year, but for those in housing, they also signal the end of the typical home-buying season, which begins in March. As the school year begins, the housing market is finishing the spring home-buying season with strong marks for affordability. Indeed, two of the three key drivers...

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability

Where Do Renters Have An Edge In The Pursuit Of Homeownership?

By Odeta Kushi on September 5, 2019

Traditional measures of affordability can be misleading to potential first-time home buyers because they compare overall median household income with the income required to purchase a median-priced home. However, median household income includes existing homeowner households, which have significantly higher median income than renter households,...

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

Interviews On CNBC And Nightly Business Report: Discussing The Refinance Boom And Tailwinds Boosting The Housing Market

By FirstAm Editor on September 3, 2019

First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming was interviewed on CNBC and Deputy Chief Economist Odeta Kushi was interviewed on Nightly Business Report last week, where they discussed the refinance boom driven by low mortgage rates and the tailwinds boosting the housing market.

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Topics: Housing In The News Interest Rates Federal Reserve Affordability

How Can Affordability Improve When House Prices Are Rising?

By Mark Fleming on August 27, 2019

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 June. The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell by 0.8 percentage points and household income increased 2.4 percent compared with June 2018. When household income rises, consumer house-buying power...

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability

Interviews On CNBC And Bloomberg TV: Discussing The Impact Of Historically Low Rates And The Outlook For The Housing Market And The Economy

By FirstAm Editor on August 23, 2019

First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming was interviewed on CNBC and Deputy Chief Economist Odeta Kushi on Bloomberg TV earlier this week and discussed the impact of historically low rates on the housing market, and what the Fed minutes indicate about the direction of rate policy and the economy.

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Topics: Housing In The News Interest Rates Federal Reserve Affordability

Dispelling The Myth Of The 20 Percent Down Payment

By Odeta Kushi on August 6, 2019

Since hitting a low point of 63 percent in 2016, the homeownership rate has rebounded, largely driven by millennial households purchasing their first homes. Many surveys, like one by Bank of the West, indicate that millennials are no different from previous generations – they view homeownership as a main tenet of the American Dream.

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Topics: Millennials Affordability Homeownership