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 Did Affordability Improve For The First Time Since 2016?

By Mark Fleming on May 28, 2019

What began as a modest shift toward a buyers’ market in six cities last month has expanded into a national shift in affordability. The shift is a departure from the long-term trend in the Real House Price Index (RHPI), which had been steadily increasing throughout the rising mortgage rate environment that began in 2017 and continued until late...

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Topics: Real House Price Index

Six Cities Leading Shift Toward A Buyers' Market

By Mark Fleming on April 29, 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 elements of the Real House Price Index (RHPI). While household income rose steadily in 2018, rising mortgage rates offset any affordability benefit for...

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability Insider

How Will Low Mortgage Rates Impact Housing Affordability This Spring?

By Odeta Kushi on April 17, 2019

Last year, the over-arching trend in the housing market was the impact of rising rates on affordability. Mortgage rates had been increasing since 2017 and that trend continued in 2018, especially in the second half of the year. Rates were rising largely due to a strengthening economy – the Fed raises rates in a strong economy to encourage...

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Federal Reserve

Three Reasons Home Buyers Have More Power This Spring

By Mark Fleming on March 25, 2019

While 2018 was largely characterized by declining affordability, ending the year with a five percent yearly decline in house-buying power, this trend reversed sharply in early 2019. Moderating home prices, in conjunction with gains in household income and declining mortgage rates, boosted affordability for potential home buyers.

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Topics: Interest Rates Real House Price Index Affordability Insider

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