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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Mortgage News Daily

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Sales of existing homes fell again in January, the second consecutive month-over-month decline. Sales of pre-owned single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and cooperative apartments were down 3.2 percent compared to December, and the seasonally adjusted annual sales in December, already estimated at a 3.6 percent decline, were revised down even further. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) said existing homes sold during the month at a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.38 million, representing a year-over-year decline of 4.8 percent. It was the slowest sales pace since last September and the largest annual loss since a 5.5 percent decline in August 2014. December sales were revised down from 5.570 million to 5.56 million. The months sales results were broad-based. All four U.S. regions...(read more)

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2/21/2018 10:16:11 AM

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Today's key events arrive in the afternoon in the form of a 5yr Treasury auction at 1pm and the release of the FOMC Minutes at 2pm. Not to be confused with the Fed Policy Announcement, the Minutes simply provide a more detailed account of the meeting 3 weeks prior that culminated in the most recent policy announcement (in this case, Jan 31st). Because that was a meeting with no rate hike, these meeting minutes are seen as a prime opportunity to foreshadow a hike in the March meeting. Even though the Fed Funds Rate doesn't move in lock-step with longer-term yields, it's important to know that the entirety of the yield curve moves up in anticipation of an eventual peak in the Fed Funds rate. As can be seen in today's chart, sometimes 2yr and 10yr yields follow the rise in Fed...(read more)

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2/21/2018 8:39:34 AM

Posted To: Pipeline Press

Why couldn’t the sesame seed leave the gambling casino? Because he was on a roll. In an admittedly weak segue, rolls are made in kitchens, and LOs may want to pass this link along to their Realtor clients: here are the top trends this year in kitchens. top trends this year in kitchens . Some of them are pretty interesting. Also of interest is the National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB), an association that represents the interests of individual mortgage loan originators and small to mid-size mortgage businesses, seeking to ban trigger leads . News From the GSEs, Lenders Reacting to Freddie and Fannie Changes Of great interest yesterday for lenders was news that the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal challenging the profits the government receives from housing giants Fannie...(read more)

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2/21/2018 8:12:47 AM

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Mortgage application volumes suffered their worst losses of 2018 last week. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said both purchase mortgages and applications for refinancing were down significantly during the week ended February 16 compared to the prior week. MBA's Market Composite Index, a measure of application volume, was fell by 6.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week ended February 9. It was the largest one-week decline since mid-September. The unadjusted composite was 3 percent lower. The Refinance Index lost 7 percent from a week earlier and the share of applications for refinancing declined to 44.4 percent, more than 2 percentage points below the prior week and the smallest portion since last July. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index fared only slightly better...(read more)

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2/21/2018 7:24:51 AM

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Today was a total dud in terms of volume and volatility. That's not all that uncommon on the Tuesday following a 3-day weekend, especially if there are no major events or headlines. Overnight bond market movement was dictated by an ongoing trend set into motion late last Friday when bonds found the limit of their near-term bullish potential. In other words, bonds rallied rather nicely into the late morning hours as short-sellers covered those short positions. From that point on, volumes decreased and there wasn't enough organic buying demand to maintain the relatively lower yields. European bond markets led another move toward higher yields when they opened at 2:30am ET, but those proved to be the highest yields of the session. EU and US bonds rallied fairly steadily until the 9:30AM...(read more)

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2/20/2018 5:10:35 PM

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates moved back up today after ending last week on a positive note. Improvements in rates have been uncommon so far in 2018. In fact, we haven't seen more than 2 consecutive days without a move higher. In that sense, today keeps the prevailing trend intact. If there's a saving grace, it's that rates didn't quite rise back above last week's highs. If there's a downside (whatever the opposite of a "saving grace" might be...), it's that rates remain in line with the highest levels in more than 4 years. While we COULD see some relief at some point, there's no telling if that would be a legitimate attempt at a ceiling or merely be a temporary correction before another move higher. Either way, betting on the emergence of a ceiling (via floating one's loan as opposed to locking) hasn't been...(read more)

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2/20/2018 3:54:00 PM

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Last Friday's Day Ahead was all about positions. Read it HERE , if you haven't done so or need a refresher. It advocated caution with respect to floating or otherwise being optimistic based on early gains because those early gains were likely a product of short-covering. Rampant short-covering is only a concern when short positions are uncommonly abundant. In turn, that sort of abundance is uncommon. It relies on a sea-change in some critical component of the market such as Fed policy, labor markets, fiscal policy, or inflation . That's where things might get frustrating this year--because how much have any of those factors really changed? Let's break them down: 1. Fed policy. No major change. We expected a more aggressive Fed hike path in late 2017 and nothing in early 2018...(read more)

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2/20/2018 8:57:13 AM

Posted To: Pipeline Press

Welcome to Day 1 of the longest period in the United States without a federal holiday: President's Day to Memorial Day. Some will think, “That’s a drag,” while others will think, “That’s more days to fund loans!” Speaking of fundings, the precise HMDA information for 2017 won’t be out until September. But if you want a solid estimates for single family originations in 2017, Marina Walsh, VP of Industry Analysis with the MBA, points out tha its website is a good place for information on units and dollar volume, and thoughts about 2018. Legal and Political Updates There have been developments in repurchase/make-whole litigation. Although the number of repurchase suits appears to have been slowing down, James Brody, Chair of the Mortgage Banking Group...(read more)

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2/20/2018 8:12:48 AM

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Tiny pockets of gains have come and gone in the vast sea of red that's dominated 2018 so far. Each pocket has attempted to lure optimists into a "bull trap." In other words, originators want to be bullish on rates, so they're more likely to take the best available opportunities to get bullish--especially if no such opportunities have presented themselves recently. Unfortunately, we're in a pervasive uptrend in rates, and what look like tiny pockets of opportunity have actually been periodic consolidations that help the selling-spree catch its breath before rates continue higher. Is it the same story with the past 2 days of stability? In all likelihood. Granted, the bear case for bonds is i ncreasingly being priced-in , discussed, and understood among traders, but in this...(read more)

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2/16/2018 3:14:17 PM

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Financial markets in the US will be closed for President's Day on Monday. Thus, mortgage lenders will not be open, nor will they be accepting locks. Given that mortgage rates took the road less traveled in 2018 and actually moved lower, it's worth having a chat with your mortgage professional if you have a loan in process. Of course, many of you may not be reading this until after the lock window has passed for today, so let's take a look at next week's risks and opportunities . The biggest risk is the same one that's been with us all year. Simply put, rates have been trending higher in a steady but highly convicted fashion, quickly adding a half a percentage point or more to the average 30yr fixed rate quote. As we've been saying all year, it doesn't make sense to bet against that trend until...(read more)

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2/16/2018 2:49:00 PM

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Some people are never happy . For most of the ten years following the start of the Great Recession the experts have focused (can we say harped?) on the theme of a slow recovery. Now, after a couple of upticks in the inflation rate, Fannie Mae has headlined its February Economic Developments release "Strong Economic Activity Triggers Overheating Concerns." The company's Economic and Strategic Research Team say economic activity gathered momentum over the last few months and "markets are beginning to appreciate the broader implications of the stronger growth. That realization, along with a change in the direction of monetary policy has introduced some volatility into the economic equation. There were finally some signs that wages were increasing which pushed inflation measures such as 10-year...(read more)

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2/16/2018 11:36:33 AM

Posted To: MBS Commentary

While they're extremely important to institutional investors and analysts, the role of trading positions in the bond market is one of the most easily overlooked factors in rate movement over shorter time horizons. "Positions" is just a fancy way to refer to how many dollars are betting for or against bonds. This is particularly relevant at the moment because the only traders doing much betting in favor of Treasuries are those that are using Treasuries to hedge positions elsewhere in the market. We can glean this from the CFTC's weekly position report, which breaks Treasury positions into commercial and non-commercial categories. In other words, non-commercial positions tell us the most about how speculators are betting on Treasuries. To say that they're short would be...(read more)

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2/16/2018 9:16:14 AM

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Residential construction got off to a strong start in January, with sizable increases in both permits and housing starts and only a slight downturn in completions. The gains follow a particularly disappointing performance in construction starts in December. Statistics were spotty on a regional basis, and especially weak in the Midwest. The Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development said residential construction permits were at an annual rate of 1,396,000 units, a 7.4 percent increase over both December and January 2017. The annual rate clock in both earlier periods was 1,300,000. The December number was a slight revision from the 1,302,000 originally reported. Permitting exceeded even the highest forecasts. Analysts estimates reported by Econoday ranged from 1,260,000...(read more)

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2/16/2018 8:59:26 AM

Posted To: Pipeline Press

Mortgage rates are greatly influenced by supply and demand. And if both the U.S. government and individuals need to borrow money, the government usually wins. Total U.S. household debt hit an all-time high of $13.15 trillion at the end of 2017 . That’s up $193 billion from the previous quarter. Mortgage debt is at $8.88 trillion, up $139 billion. The Fed Funds futures are now predicting an 83% chance of a hike at the March meeting. By the end of 2018 the odds are good we’ll have seen 3 hikes this year taking overnight Fed Funds rate to 2.0% - 2.25%. And if the slope of the yield curve remains constant, we can expect the 10-year note to yield in the mid-high 3% area, and IF mortgages tag along, 30-year rates will be in the low 5% area. Ready for all that? Taxes, The Budget, and the...(read more)

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2/16/2018 8:11:31 AM

Posted To: MBS Commentary

At face value, today was great! Bonds overlooked all of the morning's economic data (no surprise) and made modest gains that were subsequently held throughout the session. There was very little volatility. The ground-holding came despite gains in stocks. And multiple lenders repriced positively. Indeed, all of the above is "good!" The issue is that all of that ground-holding occurred in the thick of yesterday afternoon's range and yesterday afternoon was the worst afternoon for bond market in more than 4 years! Even more disconcerting is the fact that yields ran into resistance today at a floor around 2.88% which was an important ceiling over the past two weeks. It was only meaningfully broken yesterday, so to return to the scene of that crime and use 2.88% as a floor is not...(read more)

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2/15/2018 3:14:17 PM
 
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