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.

Why Affordability Improved Amid Soaring House Prices

By Mark Fleming on March 31, 2021

Soaring nominal house prices dominate recent headlines and for good reason. It is true that nominal house prices are the highest they have ever been, over 22 percent higher than the housing boom peak in 2006, according to the First American Data & Analytics House Price Index. The acceleration in the pace of annual house price growth began in...

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability

House Prices Are Hot, But Is Housing Overvalued?

By Mark Fleming on February 23, 2021

Punxsutawney Phil may have signaled six more weeks of winter, but in housing, it looks like spring (home buying) has already arrived. Typically, the housing market winds down a bit in the winter, but America’s housing market is booming, even in the colder months. The First American Data & Analytics nominal house price index indicates unadjusted...

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability

Why The Housing Market Can Thrive If A New Rising-Rate Era Begins

By Mark Fleming on January 26, 2021

Even though nominal house prices continued to surge, affordability improved in November 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. Real house prices declined by 6.2 percent relative to one year ago, thanks to the benefit of increased...

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability

Will The Super-Sellers' Market Continue To Impact Affordability In 2021?

By Mark Fleming on December 28, 2020

The housing market prior to the pandemic could have been characterized as a sellers’ market, with a shortage of supply relative to demand. With the current supply of homes for sale even tighter relative to demand, it can only be characterized as a super-sellers’ market today. The pandemic has intensified a sense of home as refuge and falling...

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability

Why The Big Short In Housing Supply Will Remain In 2021

By Mark Fleming on December 3, 2020

As the housing market has recovered from the initial impacts of the pandemic, nominal house price appreciation has soared, but affordability actually improved until recently due to the house-buying power benefit from historically low mortgage rates. However, for the second month in a row, the Real House Price Index (RHPI) increased, indicating...

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability

The Five Cities Where Affordability Declined The Most

By Mark Fleming on November 23, 2020

Affordability declined month over month in September for the second month in a row, even 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. The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell by 0.05 percentage points and household income increased 0.2 percent...

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability