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 Global Uncertainty Means For The Housing Market

By Mark Fleming on January 10, 2020

Global events and uncertainty, such as the conflict between the U.S. and Iran, clearly impacts geopolitical relations, but also impacts the U.S. economy, and more specifically, the U.S. housing market. How? Against a backdrop of uncertainty, investors worldwide look for a safe place to put their money. U.S. bonds, backed by the full faith and...

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Federal Reserve Affordability

What Will Drive House-Buying Power In 2020?

By Mark Fleming on December 20, 2019

Affordability improved in October as 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 relative to one year ago. The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell by 1.1 percentage points and household income increased 2.6 percent compared with October...

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability

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