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.

Renters May Find Deals on Luxury Apartments in 2023

By Xander Snyder on December 8, 2022
During the pandemic, household formation soared and people sought more ideal remote working environments, which drove demand for housing, both owned and rented. In the apartment rental market, vacancy rates for all types of apartments declined in the second half of 2020 and through most of 2021, reflecting heightened demand. Read More›

Commercial Real Estate Renter Affordability

Fewer Affordable Options for Potential First-Time Home Buyers as Mortgage Rates Rise

By Ksenia Potapov on October 5, 2022
As mortgage rates have steadily risen, affordability has decreased significantly for home buyers across income levels. However, affordability for the potential first-time home buyer – those currently renting – has faced the most pressure. Nationally, affordability for potential first-time home buyers declined 19 percentage points in June 2022 ... Read More›

Homeownership First-Time Home Buyer Outlook Report Renter Affordability

Where Potential First-Time Home Buyers Can Find Relief from the Affordability Shock

By Ksenia Potapov on August 10, 2022
Following two years of red-hot activity accelerated by pandemic-era dynamics, the housing market is cooling as demand falls in response to a significant decline in affordability. Double-digit house-price appreciation chipped away at affordability as the pandemic-driven supply and demand imbalance fueled competition for a limited inventory of homes ... Read More›

Homeownership First-Time Home Buyer Outlook Report Renter Affordability

It Doesn’t Take Much House Price Appreciation to Make Owning a Better Choice than Renting

By Ksenia Potapov on April 15, 2022
In August 2021, our analysis found that owning a home was cheaper than renting in all 50 of the top U.S. markets, largely due to the ownership benefit of house price appreciation. Given house price appreciation nationally was historically strong in 2021, it’s unsurprising that owning a home made more financial sense than renting last year. Looking ... Read More›

First-Time Homebuyer Homeownership Renter Affordability

How the Ability to Work Remotely is Changing Housing Affordability for First-Time Home Buyers

By Ksenia Potapov on March 2, 2022
Affordability in the U.S. fell in 2021 on a year-over-year basis, as house-buying power was unable to keep up with red-hot nominal house price growth. The decline in affordability was broad based as affordability fell in most major markets across the U.S., yet some markets remain more affordable than others for potential first-time home buyers. ... Read More›

Homeownership First-Time Home Buyer Outlook Report Renter Affordability

Where Do First-Time Home Buyers Have the Best Opportunity to Buy a Home in 2022?

By Ksenia Potapov on January 12, 2022
Unlike the two-thirds of Americans who already own a home, potential first-time home buyers did not benefit from the surging levels of home equity driven by rapid house price appreciation. Just as in 2020, low mortgage rates increased house-buying power and simultaneously boosted demand amid record low levels of homes for sale, further ... Read More›

Homeownership First-Time Home Buyer Outlook Report Renter Affordability

Why Owning a Home was Cheaper than Renting in All 50 Top U.S. Markets

By Odeta Kushi on August 16, 2021
When potential first-time home buyers consider making the transition to homeownership, they ask themselves whether it makes more financial sense to keep renting, or to buy. The pandemic has undoubtedly impacted that calculation. Annual house price appreciation skyrocketed during the pandemic, reaching an average of 17.5 percent annual growth in ... Read More›

Affordability Homeownership Renter Affordability

Top Five Cities for Lower-Income Renters to Pursue the Dream of Homeownership

By Odeta Kushi on April 14, 2021
In the fourth quarter of 2020, the median renter experienced a 10 percent boost to their house-buying power relative to one year ago, but the share of homes they could afford to buy declined by 4 percentage points due to rising house prices, according to the First-Time Home Buyer Outlook Report. However, while we recently examined affordability ... Read More›

Homeownership First-Time Home Buyer Outlook Report Renter Affordability