Mortgage News

Keep current with what's happening in the mortgage market place.  Below are links to news articles that pertain to the mortgage industry.

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Posted To: MBS Commentary

Bonds began the day in modestly stronger territory. While they spend a small amount of the day trading a small distance away from those opening levels, that time and distance was never big enough to cause any concern. In short, the "consolidation" we'd hoped to confirm by seeing 10yr yields remain under 2.92% this week has officially been confirmed. If you'd prefer to approach this from a purely empirical standpoint where we forget that the Fed is a big deal next week and that traders aren't all robots, we could simply say that a slightly stronger Retail Sales report was offset by weaker performance in stocks to leave bonds to trade in line with opening levels by the end of the day. Whichever reality you choose to live in, the fact remains that next week has a fairly big...(read more)

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12/14/2018 4:44:08 PM

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates didn't move much today, and that's arguably a good thing. When the week began, we discussed the need for rates to cool-off after last week's rapid drop. Doing so would improve our chances of seeing recently lower rates stick around for more than a fleeting moment. Now here we are on Friday with the average lender not too far from last Friday's 3-month lows. Each passing day this week saw underlying market activity die down as investors circled the metaphorical wagons ahead of next week's big Fed announcement. Much of the recent improvement in rates has come courtesy of the market's read on the Fed. They're expected to be more "dovish" (i.e. more friendly in terms of monetary policy and rate hikes, ostensibly in response a growing case for economic deceleration). While various...(read more)

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12/14/2018 4:25:00 PM

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Consistency can be boring, but in crazy times it can also be reassuring, even comforting. While they differ on the specifics, economists, at least those in the housing industry, seem to be coming together with much the same outlook and many of the same caveats for the next year or so. Fannie Mae's Economic and Strategic Research (ESR) team is among those who see economic growth slowing i n a more-or-less natural way , and housing's current woes settling into stability. Unless.... ESR's December Economic Developments forecasts the economy will finish the fourth quarter with 2.6 percent annualized growth, down from 3.5 percent in Q3. Over the entirety of 2018, growth will have been at a 3.1% rate, the fastest of the current expansion, slowing to 2.3 percent next year as the boost from federal...(read more)

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12/14/2018 10:04:00 AM

Posted To: MBS Commentary

If you've truly come to an appreciation of the gravity of bonds' big picture headwinds over the past 2 years, then the past 5 weeks may feel like a stroke of luck so good that it has to change any day now. More than a few bond analysts were worried about a bigger, sharper bounce when yields first began to rise from longer-term lows on Monday morning, but the sell-off has been very gentle. Without a sharper correction that takes us higher up in the recent range, the fear is hard to quell. Are we living on borrowed time? Have we been allowed into this exclusive club by accident? Are we having some sort of reasonably good dream, destined to wake up at any moment? I could go on and on (and have!) about why 10yr yields in the 2.8-2.9% range make a fair amount of sense right now, but that...(read more)

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12/14/2018 8:24:31 AM

Posted To: Pipeline Press

Lots of folks in the mortgage biz like statistics and odds. They may not remember them, but they like them. (As Marcus L. writes, “People still play the lottery even though most of us can't get the USB in the first time correctly and those odds are 50/50.”) Plenty of home loans are impacted by student debt. For every 100 students who enroll full-time in college or university, 42 percent will graduate within four years and 18 percent more will graduate within six. This means that 40% of college students get all the benefits of student debt without obtaining a degree. And put another way, of those 60 students of every hundred who graduate, 42 will leave with student loans and five will default on those loans by the age of 33 . For the 40 who don’t graduate, 10 will default on...(read more)

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12/14/2018 8:02:23 AM

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Whether or not next week's Fed announcement proves to bring a winter storm for bond markets remains to be seen. That said, if anything is going to do the trick, that's the best chance we have. Between now and then, bonds aren't quite sure what to do with themselves, as evidenced by their relative absence of movement today. It wasn't as if bonds simply ended unchanged after being much higher and lower on the day. There just wasn't much movement in either direction. The only temporary exception was seen in the morning hours before the domestic open in response to the European Central Bank's announcement and subsequent Mario Draghi press conference. As soon as European markets closed for the day, bond yields quickly returned to pre-ECB levels and drifted sideways into the...(read more)

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12/13/2018 6:12:37 PM

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates fell moderately today, helping them move part of the way back down toward their lowest levels in more than 3 months (seen back on Friday). The average lender continues quoting rates that are roughly 3/8ths of a percentage point lower than the highs from early November. Last Friday's low rates marked the culmination of the strongest winning streak for rates of 2018. We've been in a bit of a holding pattern since then, with next week's scheduled announcement from the Federal Reserve likely serving as the motivation for the next (and probably last) big wave of momentum for the year. "Big wave" is more of a relative term, perhaps. It may only end up being "big" relative to the current, fairly flat week leading up to it. Loan Originator Perspective Bonds continued hovering in recent...(read more)

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12/13/2018 1:59:00 PM

Posted To: MND NewsWire

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) added a little more evidence to the pile indicating a rather rapid slow-down in the housing market. MBA's Builder Application Survey (BAS) data for November shows mortgage applications for newly constructed home purchases falling by 14 percent compared to October. The MBA data is not adjusted to account for seasonal variations, and while sales nearly always decline this time of year, applications were also down 11 percent compared to November 2017. Based on the survey data and assumptions about market coverage and other factors, MBA estimates new home sales were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 627,000 units in November. This is down 6.8 percent from the October estimate of 673,000 units. On an unadjusted basis the estimate is for 45,000...(read more)

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12/13/2018 8:58:35 AM

Posted To: MBS Commentary

The first 3 days of this week have offered a clear correction/consolidation to the strong rally of the previous month. This had as much to do with timing and technicals as anything else. In other words, the rally brought yields so much lower, so quickly (relative to other attempts to rally in 2018) that it would have been a surprise to see it continue, especially in the week leading up to an important FOMC Announcement. In fact, much of that rally is predicated on the FOMC Announcement happening in a certain way next week. Given the recent Fed speeches, markets expect more dovishness next Wednesday. The drop in yields equates to the "pricing-in" of the dovishness. Reasonably strong jobs data last Friday (weaker NFP, but strong unemployment and wages) caused investors to question the...(read more)

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12/13/2018 8:26:42 AM

Posted To: Pipeline Press

“Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?” It turns out that, in terms of grabbing their pieces of ground, first-time home buyers were more active in the first three quarters of 2018 than at any time since 2005, per Genworth Mortgage Insurance . Lenders wish they would be as active: Mortgage lenders are facing an even less profitable environment as purchase and refi biz fell for the ninth straight quarter. Fannie Mae's Q4 2018 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey found that the outlook for profit among lenders in the fourth quarter reached an all-time survey low across all loan types: GSE-eligible, non-GSE-eligible, and government. "Competition from other lenders" was cited by survey participants as the top reason for...(read more)

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12/13/2018 8:23:04 AM

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Today's trading session was far less eventful than anything else seen in the past few weeks, both in terms of movement and volume. Although Treasury yields were higher, most of the increase came in the overnight session, and additional volatility was minimal throughout the day. By the time we get to MBS (as opposed to Treasuries), things were even more calm . Fannie 4.0 coupons were almost perfectly unchanged compared to 10yr Treasuries which lost more than a quarter of a point in price. At least some of the pressure may have been due to the fact that it's a 3/10/30yr auction week with today being 10's. It's not uncommon for bonds to lose a bit of ground heading into auctions Today was no exception with most of the losses coming BEFORE the somewhat weak 10yr auction. The morning's...(read more)

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12/12/2018 6:02:43 PM

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates rose more noticeably today as a part of a 3 day bounce after hitting the lowest levels in roughly 3 months at the end of last week. Whereas yesterday's increases weren't really worth mentioning, today's hurt--depending on the scenario. In general, this bounce was to-be-expected. Granted, we can't ever know exactly how big such bounces will be or how long they'll last, but when rates improve for as many days in a row as they recently had, a bounce is increasingly inevitable. So how bad is this one? Not too bad so far. I'm not thrilled about the "3 days" part, but really it's only been today that counts (the other two days were effectively flat). As such, tomorrow and Friday become a bit more important by way of assessing any momentum ahead of next week's Fed Announcement (which...(read more)

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12/12/2018 5:24:00 PM

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Lenders continue to be pessimistic about their profit outlook as 2018 draws to an end. Fannie Mae said its fourth quarter 2018 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey found the profit outlook reported by respondents at an all-time survey low. This was true whether they were talking about purchase or refinance mortgages or about GSE-eligible, non-GSE-eligible, or government loans. It was the ninth consecutive quarter that lender outlook has declined. Smaller slices of a shrinking pie sums up the reasons given by lenders for their lowering outlook, especially for refinancing. When asked whether refinancing demand had increased over the past three months for any loan type, or if they expected it would over the next three months, positive answers did not break 5 percent. Responses to the same questions...(read more)

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12/12/2018 10:21:23 AM

Posted To: MBS Commentary

As we begin the third day of moderate weakness in bond markets, it's safe to say that we're looking at the correction and/or consolidation that we expected to see as of the end of last week. Bonds wouldn't have needed any other reason apart from the preceding rally to bounce. But as that process unfolds, it's been complicated by other competing stimuli. These include but are not limited to Brexit-related drama, trade war news, the stock lever (stock prices and bond yields moving together), the Treasury auction cycle, and year-end trading position housekeeping. Depending on when you look, you might see one of these factors having more of an influence than another. For example, yesterday saw US bonds take more guidance from Europe while today has seen more of a stock lever effect...(read more)

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12/12/2018 9:16:39 AM

Posted To: Pipeline Press

Who among us has pushed for abolishing the mortgage-interest deduction, supported getting rid of government subsidies for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, putting Fannie and Freddie into receivership, and supported ending the sweep of F&F’s profits into the Federal Government? The answer is Dr. Mark Calabria, currently working for Mike Pence, and if confirmed by the Senate, he’ll replace Mel Watt as the Director of the FHFA , overseer of Freddie and Fannie. As mentioned yesterday in this commentary, there are plenty of ways the government can reduce its footprint in home lending: lowering LTVs, raising gfees, cutting back on non-owner or high-balance lending, adjusting the QM patch for DU & LP approval, and so on. Confirmation will take months, but given this personnel change...(read more)

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12/12/2018 8:09:05 AM
 
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