RSS From Economist Mark Flemming

  • Housing Market Potential Reaches Its Highest Level in Nearly Two Years February 20, 2020
    The housing market started the year off strong, with the market potential for existing-home sales reaching its highest level since January 2018, according to our Potential Home Sales Model. Housing market potential increased 1.4 percent in January 2020 relative to the previous month, and grew 4.7 percent year over year, an increase of 240,050 potential […]
    Mark Fleming
  • What Will Drive Further Fintech Innovation in Real Estate in 2020? February 7, 2020
    The 2019 housing market turned out to be surprisingly strong, driven by a variety of favorable dynamics. Millennial-driven, first-time home buyer demand continued to rise, the economy reached its longest expansion in U.S. history in the third quarter of 2019, and rising wages pushed household incomes higher. Mortgage rates, which began their descent in December […]
    Mark Fleming
  • Why Today’s Housing Market May Be a Recession Buster February 4, 2020
    In the third quarter of 2019, the United States reached its longest economic expansion in history, which caused some people to wonder whether we were overdue for a correction. Additionally, global uncertainty resulted in a flight to safety of U.S. Treasury bonds, prompting the dreaded inversion of the yield curve. When that happened, we discussed […]
    Odeta Kushi
  • Why the Pace of Fraud Risk Decline Slowed in December January 30, 2020
    For the majority of 2019, overall fraud risk steadily declined, largely due to the rising volume of lower risk refinance transactions driven by low mortgage rates. After falling since March, overall defect risk stabilized in November, and then declined again in December. The overall Defect Index, which includes both purchase and refinance transactions, fell 1.5 […]
    Mark Fleming
  • The Five Cities Where Affordability Improved the Most January 27, 2020
    Once again, home buyers benefitted from a year-over-year affordability boost as 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 November. Compared with November 2018, the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell by 1.2 percentage points and household income increased 2.6 […]
    Mark Fleming
  • How Low Mortgage Rates Help and Hurt Housing Market Potential January 22, 2020
    The final month of 2019 saw actual existing-home sales exceed housing market potential by 1.2 percent, or an estimated 64,830 seasonally adjusted annualized sales. According to our Potential Home Sales Model, housing market potential increased 1.7 percent in December 2019 relative to the previous month, and grew 2.6 percent year over year, an increase of […]
    Mark Fleming
  • What Global Uncertainty Means for the Housing Market 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 […]
    Mark Fleming
  • Why Did Defect Risk for Purchase Transactions Rise for the First Time Since March? December 27, 2019
    As we predicted last month, the Loan Application Defect Index for purchase transactions reached a turning point in November. After falling since March, the Defect Index for purchase transactions increased 2.7 percent compared with October, while the Defect Index for refinance transactions fell by 1.6 percent, its eighth straight month of declining risk. The overall […]
    Mark Fleming
  • Interviews on CNBC and Yahoo! Finance: 2020 Housing Outlook – Why Persistently Low Mortgage Rates May Help and Hurt Home Buyers December 23, 2019
    First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming was interviewed on CNBC and Yahoo! Finance last week, discussing the 2020 outlook for the housing market and how persistently low mortgage rates may both help and hurt home buyers in the year ahead.
  • What Will Drive House-Buying Power in 2020? 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 2018. Rising […]
    Mark Fleming