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.

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

Where Is The Housing Market Cooling The Most?

By Mark Fleming on January 28, 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 metrics that comprise the Real House Price Index (RHPI). November 2018 was no exception, as household income, mortgage rates, and the unadjusted house...

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

How Does A Strong Economy Slow The Housing Market?

By Mark Fleming on December 21, 2018

For the second consecutive month, all three key drivers of the Real House Price Index (RHPI), household income, mortgage rates, and the unadjusted house price index, increased compared with a year ago. The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage and the unadjusted house price index increased by 0.9 percentage points and 7.3 percent respectively. Even...

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

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

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

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

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