Mark Fleming Fleming: “Finding ways to increase the productivity of construction workers is critically important to alleviating the labor-shortage challenge and the gap between household formation and homebuilding.”

SANTA ANA, CA—Despite the encouraging number of residential-construction jobs being added to the US market in December 2017, productivity needs to increase in order to meet inventory demand for housing, First American Financial Corp.’s chief economist Mark Fleming says. The firm reports that housing jobs increased by 8,200 to a level of 780,000 in December, a 1.1% increase over November and a 3.6% increase over a year ago.

Nevertheless, housing inventory is still well below demand. “As 2018 begins, one of the most important concerns for the housing market is the availability of inventory for sale,” said Fleming in a prepared statement. He noted in the firm’s estimation of potential home sales in December that homeownership demand will remain strong in 2018, particularly as more Millennials make the lifestyle decisions that drive the desire to be a homeowner, such as getting married and having children; yet, existing homeowners, the largest source of supply for the housing market, are increasingly unwilling to sell. “Whether unable to find something affordable to buy because of the shortage of inventory, or rising mortgage rates means that even borrowing the same amount of money costs more each month, the incentive to move for existing homeowners is declining.”

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


© 2023 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.

Carrie Rossenfeld

Carrie Rossenfeld is a reporter for the San Diego and Orange County markets on and a contributor to Real Estate Forum. She was a trade-magazine and newsletter editor in New York City before moving to Southern California to become a freelance writer and editor for magazines, books and websites. Rossenfeld has written extensively on topics including commercial real estate, running a medical practice, intellectual-property licensing and giftware. She has edited books about profiting from real estate and has ghostwritten a book about starting a home-based business.

More from this author



Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join now!

  • Free unlimited access to's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.