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.

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

What Will Drive House-Buying Power In 2020?

By Mark Fleming on December 20, 2019

Affordability improved in October as 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 relative to one year ago. The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell by 1.1 percentage points and household income increased 2.6 percent compared with October...

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability

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...

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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,...

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

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...

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability