Mark Fleming

Mark Fleming

Dr. Mark Fleming serves as the chief economist for First American Financial Corporation, a leading provider of title insurance, settlement services and risk solutions for real estate transactions that traces its heritage back to 1889. In his role, he leads an economics team responsible for analysis, commentary and forecasting trends in the real estate and mortgage markets.

Fleming is frequently quoted by national news outlets and industry trade publications such as The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times and he is a regular guest on high-profile broadcast news channels, including CBS, CNBC, Fox Business News and NPR.

ARTICLES

  • What would happen to mortgage lending if interest rates doubled?

    It happened once before in the 80s, remember?
    [Op-ed] At its most extreme point in 1980, mortgage rates experienced a 50% year-over-year increase. What would happen to home sales if the same, albeit unlikely, scenario were to occur again? First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming answers that question for our readers.
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  • 2 reasons the housing market is underacheiving

    Thoughts ahead of Thursday's NAR numbers
    This graduation season, many an overachiever is excitedly entering the labor market with big expectations. First a job, then a rental household, most likely with a friend or two, and eventually, a homeowner? So,will the housing market also an overachiever this spring? It's not likely.
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  • Is risk retention the least intrusive regulation?

    Thoughts on Barney Frank's latest speech
    The private sector should be free to innovate and the public sector should set rules that prevent the negative externalities with minimum impedance of the private sector. In my opinion, don’t fix what (the market) didn’t break.
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  • Remind me again what the "R" in "RMBS" stands for

    Maybe it should be "rental"
    The homeownership rate has fallen recently and all the panelists agreed that it seemed unlikely to return to its prior peak any time soon. The only question is: over time will the "R" in RMBS stand for Rental instead of Residential?
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  • Non-prime in a QM world?

    The mortgage market is still going
    Where could the private market go next? How about sub, excuse me, non-prime loans. Remember that the QM regulation sets no requirements for credit scores or LTVs. A non-prime borrower with a low credit score and a small down payment seeking a fixed-rate 30-year loan could very well fit within the QM guidelines.
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  • Regulating irrational expectations

    No regulation could have prevented blind trust in rising home prices
    Today at ABS East, the mortgage investor conference I am attending in Miami, the topic du jour is regulation. The opening panel discussed the regulatory environment and whether it is helping or hindering the asset-backed securities market. This conversation has made me ask the fundamental question—why do we regulate in the first place?
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  • Making mortgage lemons

    Tighter underwriting doesn't make up for strong oversight...it just limits the market
    Requiring very high credit scores may reduce the risk of default, but it doesn’t prevent us from making a mortgage lemon and only serves to dramatically reduce the pool of eligible borrowers, writes Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.
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