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6/2/2020 Mortgage Rates Up or Down, Depending on Lender

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates were mixed today with some lenders improving and others moving higher. This isn't so much a factor of anything that happened today as much as it is about what lenders did yesterday. Specifically, the bond market (which underlies rate movement) was stronger in the afternoon. This meant that mortgage lenders could adjust yesterday's mortgage rates slightly lower. Some of them did. Some of them didn't. Simply put, lenders who kept rates unchanged yesterday afternoon were able to offer slightly lower rates today. Lenders who dropped rates yesterday were forced to increase slightly. In the bigger picture, we're not talking about substantial movement. The average homeowner (or prospective homeowner) will be seeing rates that are effectively at all-time lows , albeit with closing costs...(read more)

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6/2/2020 Mortgage Rates Up or Down, Depending on Lender

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates were mixed today with some lenders improving and others moving higher. This isn't so much a factor of anything that happened today as much as it is about what lenders did yesterday. Specifically, the bond market (which underlies rate movement) was stronger in the afternoon. This meant that mortgage lenders could adjust yesterday's mortgage rates slightly lower. Some of them did. Some of them didn't. Simply put, lenders who kept rates unchanged yesterday afternoon were able to offer slightly lower rates today. Lenders who dropped rates yesterday were forced to increase slightly. In the bigger picture, we're not talking about substantial movement. The average homeowner (or prospective homeowner) will be seeing rates that are effectively at all-time lows , albeit with closing costs...(read more)

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6/2/2020 MBS RECAP: Here's The Only Reason Mortgage Rates Have Moved Lower Recently

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Here's The Only Reason Mortgage Rates Have Moved Lower Recently "Because they were so much higher than they should have been in March and April..." Seriously, that's the reason mortgage rates have been able to move lower even as Treasury yields and MBS prices suggest moderately higher rates. We discuss this in greater detail in the video and in the Day Ahead. Econ Data / Events 11:30-11:50 AM (ET) - Fed 30yr UMBS Buying Market Movement Recap 08:20 AM Treasuries were stronger in Asia but yields moved higher during European hours. Equities markets at home and abroad generally followed the same pattern (i.e. prices were lower in Asia and higher in Europe). MBS are starting the day an eighth of a point weaker. 12:38 PM For the 2nd day in a row, the close of European markets is...(read more)

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6/2/2020 CoreLogic Expects 2021 to see First Home Price Decline in 9 Years

Posted To: MND NewsWire

CoreLogic's report on April home prices, the first for that month, says that despite fears that home prices would "bottom out like they did in the Great Recession," they continued to accelerate reaching their highest annual growth since August 2018. The U.S. CoreLogic HPI was up 5.4 percent compared to April 2019, with gains in all states and rose 1.4 percent compared to the previous month. Purchase activity, particularly among millennials, bounced back in April as the economy began to open back up. Gains were also driven by low inventory of homes especially at the entry level. Those plummeted by 25 percent on average nationally. However, the company cautions that the economic effects of the recession will continue to make themselves known over the next 12 to 18 months - and it expects that...(read more)

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6/2/2020 MBS Day Ahead: MBS Have Followed Treasuries, But Rates Haven't Followed MBS

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Today is the lightest of the week in terms of scheduled market movers on the econ calendar (there really aren't any to speak of unless you count the New York ISM data and we barely do). In addition, bonds are fairly flat in the bigger picture. Point being: we're waiting on inspiration , and we're not even sure where it will come from. The best guess on the inspiration front is that next Wednesday's Fed announcement will bring some more meaningful trading both before and after, but it's more than a week away. In the meantime, we can watch the same ranges we've been watching. 10yr yields remain squarely range-bound after breaking below the uptrend that had been intact for more than a month. As I said yesterday, we should view that breakout as a vote to remain in the range...(read more)

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6/2/2020 LO Jobs; CRM, Broker, eClosing Products; Events; Servicing Tactics Continue to Impact Market

Posted To: Pipeline Press

Curfews and civil unrest have replaced COVID in the news. Meanwhile, investors are watching record low debt issuance yields from companies like Amazon and Costco (1.50-1.62 percent 10-year notes, lowering their cost of capital dramatically). Low rates for a mortgage these days are certainly more common than finding a jumbo investor offering a 20 percent down product. And those rates could be with us for a long time, impacting LO business and servicing values. Many believe that the Federal Reserve will basically repeat its “postcrisis playbook” from ten years ago and leave the overnight Fed Funds rate near zero for several years. A spike in inflation has not been an issue for decades. (In fact, consumer price increases have been very steady .) What may not be steady is individual...(read more)

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6/2/2020 April Construction Spending Still Besting 2019 Numbers

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Overall spending on construction fell in April, down 2.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.346 trillion from 1.387 trillion. This still left the rate 3.0 percent higher than it was in April 2019. On a non-adjusted basis, spending was $110.492 billion compared to $107.758 billion in March and 106,786 the previous April. Thus far in 2020, spending has totaled $412.465 billion, a 7.1 percent increase from the year-to-date (YTD) spending in 2019. Privately funded construction was at an annual rate of $1.004 trillion, down 3.0 percent from the $1.036 trillion rate in March, but still up 3.8 percent from the expenditures a year earlier. On an unadjusted basis spending was a tad higher than in March, $83.865 billion compared to $83.654 billion, At $318.110 billion, however, spending...(read more)

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6/1/2020 Mortgage Rates Start Higher But Finish Lower

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates pulled off a repeat performance of last Friday's intraday drama. The average lender began the day in higher territory as bond markets were weaker in the morning. Bonds recovered nicely and mortgage lenders were more than willing to adjust rate sheets accordingly. After being in slightly weaker shape compared to Friday's latest levels, the average lender was noticeably better than Friday by the end of the day. What does "noticeably better" look like in objective terms? Depending on your existing rate and scenario, it might not look like much. The industry is pecking away at an all-time low rate range. Progress at these levels will continue to come in bits and pieces. Most prospective borrowers would see this change in the form of lower upfront costs to the tune of 0.1-0.2% of...(read more)

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6/1/2020 MBS RECAP: Timing of Today's Volatility Could Create Some Opportunity

Posted To: MBS Commentary

There's no way to predict the future for rates and markets, but there are occasionally tactical opportunities. Today's version involves lenders being forced to price rate sheets when MBS had just swung down to the lowest levels of the day. Prices have since bounced. If they were to hold here, lenders have 2 choices: offer improved pricing this afternoon or tomorrow morning. Econ Data / Events 11:30-11:50 AM (ET) - Fed 30yr UMBS Buying ISM Manufacturing: 43.1 vs 43.6 f'cast, 41.5 prev Market Movement Recap 10:06 AM: Flat at roughly unchanged levels out of the gate, then MBS tanked (moderately) and Treasuries tanked modestly. A portion of that weakness has been recovered in MBS, but Treasuries remain near higher yields. 12:31 PM: Treasuries jumping in with some gains of their own now at the end...(read more)

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6/1/2020 Builder Incentives Kept April Home Sales Strong

Posted To: MND NewsWire

As was reported last week, new home sales in April were much, much better than expected. There may or may not be a cause and effect going on here, but two recent posts in the National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB's) Eye on Housing blog indicate that builders are at least trying to preserve some market momentum. While builder confidence cratered in April and housing starts declined, Rose Quint reports that there is anecdotal evidence that builders were lowering the prices of newly constructed homes in April and that more than half report making sales accommodations in May. The latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) survey shows that about 22 percent of builders cut home prices in April 2020 in order to bolster sales and/or limit cancellations. Regionally, builders in the South...(read more)

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6/1/2020 UI Takes a Deep Dive Into May's Mortgage Market

Posted To: MND NewsWire

The Urban Institute (UI) releases a regular report, Housing Finance at a Glance , a "chartbook" loaded with charts and commentary on mortgage activity . Much of the May chartbook's material, is retrospective, reaching back as far as Q4 2019 where there is a time lag in data collection. Much of it, residential construction data, home price indices, negative equity reports, etc., has been covered by MND from original sources, but we have cherry-picked a few items that may have otherwise escaped your and our notice. The total value of the housing market, as outlined in the Federal Reserve's Flow of Fund Report has gradually increased since 2012, driven primarily by growing home equity. The Q4 2019 numbers show that while total home equity was steady this during that quarter at $19.7 trillion,...(read more)

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6/1/2020 Processor, LO Jobs; Referral, Accounting Products; Webinars and Training

Posted To: Pipeline Press

I was speaking to a successful long-time real estate agent this weekend who is as busy as she’s ever been. Couples are weary of working from home in a one-bedroom apartment. In talking about families leaving the city, she observed, “No family wants to push an elevator button to go home.” Redfin is in the news, not only talking about bidding wars , but also how its mortgage company has moved into Arizona, Delaware, and New Hampshire (state MBA organizations should hit it up for membership!) and certainly butting up against Zillow’s Mortgage Lenders of America . Chatter in the airwaves suggest that May was a) another month for the record books for fundings for many lenders, and b) with the volatility of March a few months in the rearview mirror, lenders are adding to their...(read more)

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6/1/2020 MBS Week Ahead: Can Bonds Confirm The Breakout?

Posted To: MBS Commentary

A resilient performance at the end of last week means that bonds have easily staked a claim to a sideways range that's been intact for more than 2 months now. We had been following a slightly negative trend in Treasuries (seen in the yellow lines below), but even that trend was completely contained by the prevailing sideways range. As of Friday, 10yr yields were making a case to part ways with the negative trend by ending the day below the yellow line for the first time since the trend began in mid April. The bottom portion of the chart has a slow stochastic oscillator--a technical overlay that helps track momentum. As far as stochastics are concerned, negative momentum topped out and reversed course last week, but there's a catch. There are two catches actually. First off, stochastics...(read more)

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5/29/2020 Mortgage Rates Stage Nice Comeback, But Uncertainty Remains

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates staged a nice little comeback today, moving back toward the all-time lows seen late last week. Mortgage rates are determined primarily by the bond market, and the bond market benefited from strong demand at the end of the month. Higher demand means higher prices, and higher bond prices equate to lower rates. There has been some concern that the overall bond market (which includes mortgage-specific bonds as well as benchmarks like US Treasuries) was gradually moving toward higher rates in the past few weeks. As of today, however, 10yr Treasury yields (the most quintessential benchmark for longer-term interest rate momentum) improved for a third straight day. This went a long way toward arguing against the recent, gentle uptrend in rates but fell short of suggesting a big drop...(read more)

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5/29/2020 Portfolio Monitoring, Non-QM, Corresp., Broker Products; Customer Satisfaction Survey

Posted To: Pipeline Press

Here’s something you can do for your friends, relatives, and borrowers, especially older ones: Remind them that the current batch of coronavirus relief payments are coming as VISA debit cards . Texas’ Larry C. reminded me that we’ve all unexpectedly received cards in the mail that we didn’t order and cut them up before throwing them in the garbage. Don’t do it this time! 2020 has been quite the year for unexpected things. In March, as huge fundings hit the secondary markets, REITs withdrew, and the Fed stepped in as a big buyer. But too big. Things balanced out, but when the CARES Act hit with its forbearance plan for anyone with government-backed mortgage, it “broadened the denominator” and thrust making the advances onto the servicer. That created...(read more)

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5/29/2020 MBS Day Ahead: Bonds Look to Challenge Trend With Powell on Deck

Posted To: MBS Commentary

The next Fed announcement is 1.5 weeks away and so it's time to start ramping up expectations for the details of the Fed's official QE announcement. But wait... Aren't they buying a ton of bonds already? Indeed, the Fed continues purchasing both MBS and Treasuries in relatively significant quantities every day, but they do so under "emergency measures." Markets expect the Fed to make it official in this upcoming meeting. Why is that? The Fed is committed to transparency. For anyone who tuned in very much to the pre-Bernanke Fed communications, this is a bonafide fact . They're also committed to ensuring smooth market functioning as the economy battles back from coronavirus impacts. Under the current emergency policy, markets are left to guess how and when the daily...(read more)

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5/29/2020 MBS Day Ahead: Bonds Look to Challenge Trend With Powell on Deck

Posted To: MBS Commentary

The next Fed announcement is 1.5 weeks away and so it's time to start ramping up expectations for the details of the Fed's official QE announcement. But wait... Aren't they buying a ton of bonds already? Indeed, the Fed continues purchasing both MBS and Treasuries in relatively significant quantities every day, but they do so under "emergency measures." Markets expect the Fed to make it official in this upcoming meeting. Why is that? The Fed is committed to transparency. For anyone who tuned in very much to the pre-Bernanke Fed communications, this is a bonafide fact . They're also committed to ensuring smooth market functioning as the economy battles back from coronavirus impacts. Under the current emergency policy, markets are left to guess how and when the daily...(read more)

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5/29/2020 April's Forbearance Requests Slow to a Relative Trickle

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Black Knight says its research is showing that the numbers of new forbearance plans for homeowners financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic have slowed to a trickle compared to the tidal wave in early April. Only 7,000 new plans were put in place during the week ended May 26 compared to a 325,000-net increase in the first week of May and 1.4 million in the first week of April. The most recent increase brings the total forbearance plans to 4.76 million or 9.0 percent of all active mortgages. These loans represent more than $1 trillion in unpaid principal balances. The largest number of loans in forbearance plans, 1.99 million, are those serviced for the GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Another 1.535 million are serviced for Ginnie Mae (loans backed by FHA, the VA, and USDA) and 1.233 million...(read more)

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5/28/2020 Mortgage Rates Have Already Risen From All-Time Lows (But Only Slightly)

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

It's Thursday, and thus time once again for Freddie Mac's weekly mortgage rate survey. This is the longest-running and most widely-cited snapshot of mortgage rates in the US, but it frequently results in misinformation for mortgage shoppers . The survey does an accurate job of capturing the rates available early in any given week, but it doesn't take the entire week into consideration. As such, actual rates can be very different by the time the survey is published (and news organizations are citing it as a breaking story). This is most noticeable when rates make huge moves late in any given week or simply when rates are near all-time lows . In the current case, the average lender was at all-time lows late last week when Freddie's survey wasn't accepting any responses. It's no surprise to see...(read more)

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5/28/2020 Pending Sales Rout May Signal a Bounce for Housing - Realtors

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Pending home sales cratered again in April, marking two straight months of declines that exceeded 20 percent. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) said its Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) fell 21.8 percent to 69.0. The decline in March was 20.8 percent. The Index is down by 33.8 percent year-over-year. This is the largest decline in pending home sales number since NAR began tracking the transactions in January 2001. Every major region experienced a drop in both month-over-month and year-over-year pending home sales transactions. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said he expects that April will be the lowest point for pending sales and subsequently May will mark the bottom for closed sales of existing homes. The April results were even worse than analysts had expected. Those polled...(read more)

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