RSS From Economist Mark Flemming

  • How 2019 Became the Year of Declining Fraud Risk September 26, 2019
    Declining for the fifth consecutive month, the Loan Application Defect Index for purchase transactions continued its downward trend, falling 3.8 percent in August compared with July. The Defect Index for refinance transactions also fell, declining 4.3 percent compared with the previous month. The overall Defect Index, which includes both purchase and refinance transactions, fell 3.9 […]
    Mark Fleming
  • Interview on Nightly Business Report: Discussing Surge in Potential Housing Supply September 24, 2019
    First American Deputy Chief Economist Odeta Kushi was interviewed on Nightly Business Report last week and discussed the dramatic jump in housing starts to a 12-year high, signaling the potential for some housing supply relief in the near future.
  • How Did Affordability Change During the Spring Home-Buying Season? September 23, 2019
    School bells ringing don’t just mark the beginning of a new school year, but for those in housing, they also signal the end of the typical home-buying season, which begins in March. As the school year begins, the housing market is finishing the spring home-buying season with strong marks for affordability. Indeed, two of the […]
    Mark Fleming
  • How Can Existing-Home Sales Exceed Market Potential? September 18, 2019
    The housing market exceeded its potential in August 2019, as actual existing-home sales were 0.8 percent above the market’s potential. Housing market potential increased relative to last month, but declined 1.9 percent compared with August of last year. While down compared with a year ago, existing-home sales have slightly outperformed market potential since February 2019, […]
    Mark Fleming
  • What is the Neutral Rate of Interest and How Does it Influence the Federal Reserve? September 17, 2019
    Many people understand the “natural rate of unemployment,” and if you don’t, you can probably guess what it is – the rate of unemployment when the labor market reaches equilibrium. What many people don’t know is that a similar concept exists in monetary policy.
    Mark Fleming
  • Does Education Really Lead to Greater Earning Power? September 13, 2019
    Whether it’s parents shuttling their children off to elementary school or students starting their final year of college, back-to-school season is here. We generally spend a minimum of 12 years as a student, more if you pursue a college degree. Along the way, we’re told that education is critical to your ability to earn a […]
    Odeta Kushi
  • Interview on FOXBusiness: Discussing the outlook for the U.S. economy, Federal Reserve policy and the state of the job market September 6, 2019
    First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming was interviewed on FOXBusiness earlier this week and discussed the U.S. economy, Federal Reserve policy and the state of the job market.
  • Where Do Renters Have an Edge in the Pursuit of Homeownership? September 5, 2019
    Traditional measures of affordability can be misleading to potential first-time home buyers because they compare overall median household income with the income required to purchase a median-priced home. However, median household income includes existing homeowner households, which have significantly higher median income than renter households, so it skews affordability measures.
    Odeta Kushi
  • Interviews on CNBC and Nightly Business Report: Discussing the Refinance Boom and Tailwinds Boosting the Housing Market September 3, 2019
    First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming was interviewed on CNBC and Deputy Chief Economist Odeta Kushi was interviewed on Nightly Business Report last week, where they discussed the refinance boom driven by low mortgage rates and the tailwinds boosting the housing market.
  • What Does the Refinance Boom Mean for Fraud Risk? August 29, 2019
    The Loan Application Defect Index for purchase transactions continued its downward trend, declining 3.6 percent in July compared with June, the fourth consecutive month defect risk in purchase transactions has fallen. The Defect Index for refinance transactions also fell 4.2 percent compared with the previous month. The overall Defect Index, which includes both purchase and […]
    Mark Fleming