RSS From Economist Mark Flemming

  • Two Trends Boost Home-Buyer Demand As Spring Home-Buying Season Begins April 18, 2019
    While the housing market continued to underperform its potential in March 2019, the green shoots of spring home buying have emerged. Actual existing-home sales are 2.3 percent below the market’s potential, narrowing the gap from last month, according to our Potential Home Sales model. That means the housing market has the potential to support 121,000 […]
    Mark Fleming
  • How Will Low Mortgage Rates Impact Housing Affordability This Spring? 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 […]
    Odeta Kushi
  • Interview on Bloomberg: Discussing the Macro-Economic Trends Influencing the Housing Market April 11, 2019
    First American Deputy Chief Economist Odeta Kushi was interviewed on Bloomberg earlier this month, providing her thoughts on macro-economic trends influencing home buyers and the housing market, including the job market and wage growth.
  • Why the Yield Curve May Have Fooled Some Experts April 5, 2019
    April Fools’ may be over, but that hasn’t dampened recession fears from generating headlines. Broadly speaking, the U.S. economy is performing well. Wages are increasing and we’re near full employment. So, why are some experts raising recession concerns?
    Mark Fleming
  • What Drives Increases in Income-Related Loan Application Defects? March 29, 2019
    Throughout much of 2018, home prices were high, demand was rising and bidding wars were the new normal. As a result of the competitive market, buyers were under more pressure to seek qualification for larger loans. Fraud can come in many forms, but income falsification remains one of the most likely misrepresentations. By December 2018, […]
    Mark Fleming
  • Interview on CNBC: Discussing the Impact of Declining Mortgage Rates and Limited Supply on the Housing Market March 27, 2019
    First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming was interviewed on CNBC on Tuesday and discussed how the decline in mortgage rates over the last few months and continued tight housing supply are likely to impact the housing market.
  • Three Reasons Home Buyers Have More Power This Spring 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.
    Mark Fleming
  • Why The Stage Is Set For A Stronger Spring Home-Buying Season March 21, 2019
    In February 2019, the housing market continued to underperform its potential, but showed signs of promise leading into the spring home-buying season. Actual existing-home sales are 2.5 percent below the market’s potential, according to our Potential Home Sales model. That means the market has the potential to support 127,000 more home sales at a seasonally […]
    Mark Fleming
  • How Homebodies Hold Down Home Sales March 19, 2019
    First American’s most recent Potential Home Sales model for January 2019 found a 5.7 percent decline in the market potential for existing home sales, compared to the previous year. Increasing tenure length (the length of time a homeowner stays in their home before moving) was the most prominent factor leading to this decline.
    Odeta Kushi
  • What Will it Take to Reduce the Housing Supply Deficit? March 6, 2019
    Last week, the Census Bureau released its Residential Construction report for December. Housing completions decreased 8.4 percent compared with last December and continued to fall short of the number of new housing units necessary to keep pace with household formation. Housing starts also decreased 10.9 percent in December compared with a year ago, falling to […]
    Mark Fleming