RSS From Economist Mark Flemming

  • Why Housing Market Potential May Build on Momentum from Historic 2020 January 22, 2021
    In the final month of 2020, the market potential for existing-home sales reached its highest point since 2007, rising to a 6.18 million seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of sales. While the winter months are traditionally real estate’s slow season, the housing market had one more surprise for us in 2020 as our measure of […]
    Mark Fleming
  • REconomy Podcast: What a Changing Labor Market Means for Housing January 13, 2021
    In this episode of the REconomy podcast from First American, Chief Economist Mark Fleming and Deputy Chief Economist Odeta Kushi discuss how long-term shifts in the U.S. labor market have been accelerated by the pandemic, and what that may mean for housing in the months and years ahead.
  • Will the Super-Sellers' Market Continue to Impact Affordability in 2021? December 28, 2020
    The housing market prior to the pandemic could have been characterized as a sellers’ market, with a shortage of supply relative to demand. With the current supply of homes for sale even tighter relative to demand, it can only be characterized as a super-sellers’ market today. The pandemic has intensified a sense of home as […]
    Mark Fleming
  • Will Record Equity Levels Prevent a Foreclosure Tsunami? December 23, 2020
    In spite of the record-setting spike in unemployment at the outset of the pandemic, foreclosure activity in 2020 has plunged to an all-time low. The fiscal stimulus and foreclosure moratorium clearly made a difference, helping thousands of homeowners keep their homes. At the peak in early June, 8.6 percent of all mortgage loans were in […]
    Odeta Kushi
  • What Will Drive Housing Market Potential in 2021? December 21, 2020
    The housing market continues to impress, even as it enters the colder months, which is traditionally real estate’s slow season. After falling to a near-decade low in May due to pandemic-driven pressures, existing-home sales hit a 14-year high in October. In November, our measure of the market potential for existing-home sales increased 10 percent, compared […]
    Mark Fleming
  • REconomy Podcast: 2021 Housing Market Outlook December 10, 2020
    In this episode of the REconomy podcast from First American, Chief Economist Mark Fleming and Deputy Chief Economist Odeta Kushi explain what has fueled the impressive housing market rebound from the pandemic-driven slowdown in the spring and why the housing market remains on solid footing heading into 2021.
  • Why the Big Short in Housing Supply Will Remain in 2021 December 3, 2020
    As the housing market has recovered from the initial impacts of the pandemic, nominal house price appreciation has soared, but affordability actually improved until recently due to the house-buying power benefit from historically low mortgage rates. However, for the second month in a row, the Real House Price Index (RHPI) increased, indicating declining affordability. The […]
    Mark Fleming
  • The Five Cities Where Affordability Declined the Most November 23, 2020
    Affordability declined month over month in September for the second month in a row, even 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. The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell by 0.05 percentage points and household income increased 0.2 percent […]
    Mark Fleming
  • Why the Student Loan Debt Burden is Overstated November 19, 2020
    Student loans are often cited as an insurmountable barrier to homeownership for young home buyers. It is true that student loan debt levels are higher today than a generation ago, but is it preventing potential home buyers from saving for a down payment? The recently released 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances data highlights some important […]
    Odeta Kushi
  • What Does the Housing Market’s Historic Pandemic Rebound Mean for 2021? November 18, 2020
    The housing market’s historic rebound since bottoming in the spring has been nothing short of amazing. After falling to a near-decade low in May, existing-home sales hit a 14-year high in September. In October, our measure of market potential for existing-home sales increased 9.0 percent compared with one year ago to a 5.98 million seasonally […]
    Mark Fleming