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 Lower Mortgage Rates Helped Reduce Defect Risk For The First Time In Eight Months

By Mark Fleming on May 31, 2019

The frequency of defects, fraudulence and misrepresentation in the information submitted in mortgage loan applications declined 4.2 percent compared to last month. Notably, this marks the first month-over-month decline since July 2018, thanks to lower mortgage rates. Decreasing mortgage rates contributed to an increase in inventory, reducing...

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Topics: Fraud, Loan Application Defect Index

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

What Drives Increases In Income-Related Loan Application Defects?

By Mark Fleming on March 29, 2019

Throughout much of 2018, home prices were high, demand was rising and bidding wars were the new normal. As a result of the competitive market, buyers were under more pressure to seek qualification for larger loans. Fraud can come in many forms, but income falsification remains one of the most likely misrepresentations. By December 2018,...

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Topics: Fraud, Loan Application Defect Index

Will Loan Application Defect Risk Stabilize In 2019?

By Mark Fleming on January 30, 2019

In December 2018, the Loan Application Defect Index for purchase transactions continued its string of month-over-month increases, rising for the fourth month in a row. Despite the upswing, the Defect Index for purchase transactions still remains 1.1 percent below its level in December 2017. The Defect Index for refinance transactions also...

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Topics: Fraud, Loan Application Defect Index

Defect Risk Jumps Nationally, Partially Influenced By Rising Defect Risk In California Wildfire Areas

By Mark Fleming on December 26, 2018

In November, the Loan Application Defect Index for purchase transactions continued its string of month-over-month increases, rising for the third month in a row. Yet, year over year, the Defect Index for purchase transactions remains 7.7 percent below its level in November 2017. The Defect Index for refinance transactions also increased 2.8...

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Topics: Fraud, Loan Application Defect Index

Defect Risk Declines Nationally, But Future Increases Possible For Regions Impacted By Natural Disasters

By Mark Fleming on December 3, 2018

For the second month in a row, the Loan Application Defect Index for purchase transactions increased in October compared with the previous month. Year over year, the Defect Index for purchase transactions decreased 8.9 percent compared with October 2017. The Defect Index for refinance transactions increased 1.4 percent compared with the...

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Topics: Fraud, Loan Application Defect Index

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