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 Is Real House Price Appreciation Accelerating?

By Mark Fleming on November 26, 2018

In September, all three of the key drivers of the Real House Price Index (RHPI),  household income, mortgage rates, and an unadjusted house price index, increased compared with a year ago. When household income rises, consumer house-buying power increases. When mortgage rates and house prices increase, consumer house-buying power decreases. The...

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

How Wage Growth Reduced The Sting Of Rising Rates On Affordability

By Mark Fleming on October 29, 2018

Understanding the dynamics that influence consumer house-buying power, how much home one can buy based on changes in income and interest rates, provides 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. Our...

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

Why ARMs Today Are Different

By Odeta Kushi on October 10, 2018

Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), a symbol of the housing market crash, are making a comeback, but their resurgence is not an indicator of a potential negative turn in the housing market. An ARM is a mortgage that typically has a 30-year repayment term, but the interest rate is fixed for the first few years of the loan. Once the fixed period...

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

How Will Rising Mortgage Rates Impact Housing Affordability In 2019?

By Mark Fleming on September 24, 2018

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting is just around the corner and a rate hike is almost certain, according to experts, which will trigger conversations about rising mortgage rates across the housing industry. While changes to the federal funds rate won’t necessarily spur further increases in mortgage rates, mortgage rates are...

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

Does Rising Housing Inventory Signal The Beginning Of A Buyer’s Market?

By Mark Fleming on September 17, 2018

Last month, we noted in our latest Real House Price Index (RHPI) report that house price appreciation may be slowing. According to our RHPI, 21 cities experienced a monthly decline in their real, consumer house-buying power-adjusted price level. One reason for the price appreciation slowdown is that 21 of the 50 largest cities in the U.S....

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

Has House Price Appreciation Reached A Tipping Point?

By Mark Fleming on August 27, 2018

House price appreciation remains on a tear, as unadjusted home prices nationwide increased by 7.3 percent compared with a year ago and are now 1.3 percent above the housing boom peak in 2006, according to DataTree by First American. The U.S. economy continues to perform well, as the current economic expansion reaches record levels, prompting...

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Topics: Real House Price Index, Affordability, Insider

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