RSS From Economist Mark Flemming

  • 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
  • Will Housing Market Potential in 2020 Exceed 2019? December 18, 2019
    In November 2019, the housing market outperformed its potential, as actual existing-home sales exceeded market potential by 2.8 percent, or an estimated 146,340 seasonally adjusted annualized sales. Housing market potential increased 1.4 percent relative to last month and 3.9 percent compared with November of last year, an increase of 196,480 potential existing-home sales.
    Mark Fleming
  • Where Lower-Income Renters Can Pursue the Dream of Homeownership December 12, 2019
    In 2019, the growth in consumer house-buying power outpaced house price appreciation for the median renter trying to buy the median priced home. But, there are many renters with household incomes below the median income in their cities. We can measure affordability for all renter households based on their household income and the share of […]
    Odeta Kushi
  • What Cities Are the Most Affordability Friendly for First-Time Home Buyers? December 10, 2019
    Housing affordability, or the lack thereof, continued to generate discussion and headlines in 2019. That’s unlikely to change in 2020, as strong demand, driven by low mortgage rates and wage growth, collides with limited housing supply. However, it’s easy to overlook that nearly two-thirds of Americans already own homes so, generally speaking, they can already […]
    Odeta Kushi
  • Has Defect Risk for Purchase Transactions Reached a Turning Point? November 27, 2019
    Based on our analysis, if mortgage rates continue to fall, the pressure on fraud risk may weaken. This has played out throughout most of 2019, as the 30-year, fixed mortgage rate has been falling since December 2018, and overall fraud risk alongside it. Fraud risk began declining in March 2019 and reached a historical low […]
    Mark Fleming
  • Has Rising House-Buying Power Accelerated House Price Appreciation? November 26, 2019
    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 in September, yet affordability declined month over month. The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell by 0.01 percentage points and household income increased 0.03 percent compared with August 2019. When household income […]
    Mark Fleming
  • What Do the Top 10 Cities for Entry-Level New Home Construction Have in Common? November 22, 2019
    The dominant theme in the housing market nationally in 2019 has been the ongoing challenge of a dearth of housing supply amid rising demand. A natural solution to the challenge is to build more homes. Yet, nationally, supply headwinds still make it hard for builders to ramp up new construction, especially at the entry-level, where […]
    Odeta Kushi