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.

Six Cities Leading Shift Toward A Buyers' Market

By Mark Fleming on April 29, 2019

Throughout 2018, consistent growth among three driving forces – mortgage rates, household income and unadjusted house prices – defined the housing market. These three factors are also the core elements of the Real House Price Index (RHPI). While household income rose steadily in 2018, rising mortgage rates offset any affordability benefit for...

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Topics: Interest Rates, Real House Price Index, Affordability, Insider

Three Reasons Home Buyers Have More Power This Spring

By Mark Fleming on March 25, 2019

While 2018 was largely characterized by declining affordability, ending the year with a five percent yearly decline in house-buying power, this trend reversed sharply in early 2019. Moderating home prices, in conjunction with gains in household income and declining mortgage rates, boosted affordability for potential home buyers.

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Topics: Interest Rates, Real House Price Index, Affordability, Insider

Why The Stage Is Set For A Stronger Spring Home-Buying Season

By Mark Fleming on March 21, 2019

In February 2019, the housing market continued to underperform its potential, but showed signs of promise leading into the spring home-buying season. Actual existing-home sales are 2.5 percent below the market’s potential, according to our Potential Home Sales model. That means the market has the potential to support 127,000 more home sales at...

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Topics: Interest Rates, Federal Reserve, Insider, homeownership, Potential Home Sales

What Will It Take To Reduce The Housing Supply Deficit?

By Mark Fleming on March 6, 2019

Last week, the Census Bureau released its Residential Construction report for December. Housing completions decreased 8.4 percent compared with last December and continued to fall short of the number of new housing units necessary to keep pace with household formation. Housing starts also decreased 10.9 percent in December compared with a year...

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Topics: Housing, Insider, housing starts, homeownership

What Triggered The Biggest Increase In House-Buying Power In Five Years?

By Mark Fleming on February 25, 2019

Housing affordability is a function of three economic drivers: nominal house prices, household income and mortgage rates. When incomes rise, consumer house-buying power increases. Declining mortgage rates or declining nominal house prices also increase consumer house-buying power. Our Real House Price Index (RHPI) uses consumer house-buying...

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Topics: Interest Rates, Real House Price Index, Affordability, Insider

Six More Months Of Housing Winter Or Early Spring Home-Buying Season?

By Mark Fleming on February 20, 2019

In the first month of the new year, the housing market continued to underperform its potential, but gave us signs of promise for the future. Actual existing-home sales are 5.3 percent below the market’s potential, according to our Potential Home Sales model. That means the market has the potential to support 293,000 more home sales than the...

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Topics: Interest Rates, Federal Reserve, Insider, homeownership, Potential Home Sales

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