RSS From Economist Mark Flemming

  • Interviews on CNBC and Bloomberg TV: Discussing the Impact of Historically Low Rates and the Outlook for the Housing Market and the Economy August 23, 2019
    First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming was interviewed on CNBC and Deputy Chief Economist Odeta Kushi on Bloomberg TV earlier this week and discussed the impact of historically low rates on the housing market, and what the Fed minutes indicate about the direction of rate policy and the economy.
  • What Does Increasing Tenure Length Mean for the Housing Market? August 20, 2019
    The housing market essentially reached its potential in July 2019, as actual existing-home sales were 0.05 percent above the market’s potential. Existing-home sales in 2019 are running at a pace similar to 2015, even though rates have fallen and household income has increased this year. Housing market potential benefitted from a 10.6 percent year-over-year increase […]
    Mark Fleming
  • Dispelling the Myth of the 20 Percent Down Payment August 6, 2019
    Since hitting a low point of 63 percent in 2016, the homeownership rate has rebounded, largely driven by millennial households purchasing their first homes. Many surveys, like one by Bank of the West, indicate that millennials are no different from previous generations – they view homeownership as a main tenet of the American Dream.
    Odeta Kushi
  • Why Florida Cities Suddenly Lead the Charge in Declining Fraud Risk July 31, 2019
    This month, the Loan Application Defect Index for purchase transactions continued its downward trend, declining 7.8 percent in June compared with the month before, the third consecutive month defect risk in purchase transactions has fallen. The Defect Index for refinance transactions also fell 6.5 percent compared with the previous month. The overall Defect Index, which […]
    Mark Fleming
  • Why Consumer House-Buying Power May Reach a Record in 2019 July 29, 2019
    Later this week, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will convene and likely announce a rate cut, according to experts. The first Fed rate cut since December 2008 will trigger industry and media speculation about mortgage rates declining further. While changes to the federal funds rate don't directly influence mortgage rates, a rate cut will […]
    Mark Fleming
  • Why Lower Mortgage Rates Have Not Closed the Housing Market Performance Gap July 19, 2019
    The housing market underperformed its potential in June 2019, as actual existing-home sales were 1.5 percent below the market’s potential. The market potential for existing-home sales increased 1.1 percent compared with May, according to our Potential Home Sales model.
    Mark Fleming
  • What is Preventing the Homeownership Rate From Reaching its Potential? July 18, 2019
    Ten years after the Great Recession, homeownership remains one of the main tenets of the American Dream. Amid the recovery from the housing crisis, the homeownership rate hit a generational low of 63 percent in 2016, but it has been steadily rising since. What’s behind the steady rise since the 2016 low point? The explanation […]
    Mark Fleming
  • Interview on Nightly Business Report: Discussing record-setting economic expansion and the health of the housing market July 9, 2019
    First American Deputy Chief Economist Odeta Kushi was interviewed on Nightly Business Report last week and discussed the record-setting economic expansion and the health of the housing market in 2019.
  • How Has the Housing Market Changed Since the End of the Great Recession? July 3, 2019
    June marked the 10-year anniversary of the end of the Great Recession. Amid Independence Day celebrations, assessing how the American dream of homeownership has fared since the recession can provide helpful context for the health of today’s housing market. We have assembled a set of housing metrics and compared their values today with what those […]
    Odeta Kushi
  • What’s Behind the Two-Month Decline in Fraud Risk? June 28, 2019
    Last month, we predicted that if mortgage rates continued to fall, it may help ease the pressure on fraud risk. Indeed, the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell to its lowest level since January 2018, and fraud risk has fallen alongside it. The Loan Application Defect Index for purchase transactions declined 6.3 percent in May compared with […]
    Mark Fleming