Economist Commentaries Archive

Always Important, Real Estate’s Influence Grows

The real estate industry has a significant role in the U.S. economy. Historically, real estate and related industries accounted for roughly 18% of GDP. While the economy slumped following the decline of the housing market, record low mortgage rates...

When the Sting of FHA’s Fees Becomes a Bite

The FHA has more than doubled its mortgage insurance premiums since 2010 and most recently eliminated the phase out of mortgage insurance on certain products. As a result, the private mortgage insurance industry has been able to recover and...

REALTORS® Confidence in Current Conditions versus Future Outlook

The market assessment of current conditions and expectations for the future have been falling from the summer of last year.  Generally, the two metrics move roughly together, albeit with the outlook views usually getting a tad higher mark. The...

Rent Trends

Rents continue to rise but may no longer be accelerating.  As measured by the Consumer Price Index component on the renters’ rent, the annual growth rate appears to have stabilized at near 3 percent after rapidly rising from 2010....

Lenders Reserved on Some QM Lending

The qualified mortgage (QM) rule was implemented in January of 2014. It is the first of two rules that came from the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that will impact the housing market. This law is...