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.

Will Low Mortgage Rates Prevent Decline In Affordability This Summer?

By Mark Fleming on June 30, 2020

The economic fallout and impacts to the housing market from the pandemic appeared to peak in April. The number of existing-home sales fell 18 percent relative to March, housing starts fell 26 percent, and the supply of homes available for sale approached record lows. While historically low mortgage rates made it more affordable for those with...

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability

Why Housing Overvaluation Is Not As Prevalent As Many Believe

By Mark Fleming on May 22, 2020

In March, data began to reveal the depth of the impact from the pandemic on the housing market. The number of existing-home sales fell 8.5 percent relative to February, and the number of new listings continued to dwindle. While historically low mortgage rates make it more affordable for those with stable incomes to buy a home, tightening credit...

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability

Has House Price Appreciation Reached A Tipping Point?

By Mark Fleming on April 27, 2020

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to affect the domestic and global economy, the housing market has shown that it is not immune to its impact. In March, the number of existing-home sales fell 8.5 percent relative to February, and the number of new listings continued to dwindle. While mortgage rates have fallen due to the current economic...

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability

Why The Housing Market May Weather Coronavirus Impact Better Than The Great Recession

By Mark Fleming on March 31, 2020

As we are all too aware, the coronavirus outbreak has taken hold of the domestic and global economy. The housing market is not immune to its impact but may be in a better position than many believe. Recent data shows that weekly unemployment claims soared to a record, which will, in turn, work to depress household incomes and consumer...

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability

Where Wages Grow, Affordability Follows

By Mark Fleming on February 24, 2020

As 2019 came to a close, potential home buyers received a year-end gift as affordability improved relative to one year ago. 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 December.

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability

The Five Cities Where Affordability Improved The Most

By Mark Fleming on January 27, 2020

Once again, home buyers benefitted from a year-over-year affordability boost as 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 November. Compared with November 2018, the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell by 1.2 percentage points and household...

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability