Economist Commentaries Archive

Riots and Revolutions

REALTORS® build communities and hence are naturally one of the strongest protectors of communities and property rights. With this in mind, it was very disconcerting to see—even for a few days—hooligans smashing properties and controlling the streets of London...

What are Mortgage Purchase Applications?

Today’s news on mortgage purchase applications was disappointing as it fell 8 percent from the prior week.  This data is collected by the Mortgage Bankers Association from its members.  Because it is collected on a weekly basis, it is...

Housing Affordability

Housing affordability will be at its highest in a generation this year. The affordability index is comprised of median home prices, median family income, and the prevailing mortgage rate. An index of 100 implies that a median income family...

QRM Means Higher Rates During Market Volatility

A few weeks ago I wrote a piece on the mortgage rates that non-qualified residential mortgages would carry if the QRM rule is not changed.  In that article, I mentioned the enhanced volatility that non-QRM loans would face during...

Low Down Payment Mortgage Risk?

One of the benefits of living in the Washington D.C. area is the free national museums. There is no such thing as a free lunch, so aside from charitable gifts, the nation’s taxpayers are footing the bill. A taxpayer...