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.

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

The Dynamic Forces That Re-Shaped Housing Affordability In 2019

By Mark Fleming on October 28, 2019

Understanding the dynamics that influence consumer house-buying power, how much home one can buy based on changes in income and interest rates, provides a helpful perspective on the housing market. When incomes rise, consumer house-buying power increases. When mortgage rates or nominal house prices rise, consumer house-buying power declines....

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability

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

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

How Has The Housing Market Changed Since The End Of The Great Recession?

By Odeta Kushi on July 3, 2019

June marked the 10-year anniversary of the end of the Great Recession. Amid Independence Day celebrations, assessing how the American dream of homeownership has fared since the recession can provide helpful context for the health of today’s housing market. We have assembled a set of housing metrics and compared their values today with what...

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Topics: Homeownership Progress Index Real House Price Index Affordability Homeownership

The Five Cities Where Affordability Improved The Most And Why

By Mark Fleming on June 24, 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 April. The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell by 0.33 percentage points and household income increased 2.7 percent compared to April 2018. When household income rises, consumer house-buying power...

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability