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  • MBS RECAP: New Fed Vice Chair Helps Rates and Stocks Sat, 17 Nov 2018 00:24:23 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    We haven't heard much out of new Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida since he accepted the position, but what we heard today was good. Well, at least the bond market reaction was good. His comments ended up setting the tone for the day. So what did he say? Nothing too complicated... Whereas Fed Pres Bostic was talking about a "neutral rate" of 2.5-3.5 yesterday, Clarida said we're close to a neutral range NOW. That certainly seemed to be the biggest deal among his comments, but it was perhaps just as significant that he noted evidence of global economic slowing. Stocks and bonds both rallied from there on out. The fact that the shorter end of the yield curve led the charge was especially telling (that's where we'd expect to see a bond market rally driven by shifts in Fed...(read more)

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  • Mortgage Rates Lowest in a Month Fri, 16 Nov 2018 23:19:00 GMT

    Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

    Mortgage rates hit their lowest levels of THE month yesterday, and the lowest levels in A month today. It's a bit of a technicality, really. As of yesterday, there were a few days in mid-to-late October that saw lower rates. Today's drop means we'd need to go back to early October to see anything lower. What's the significance of being at the lowest levels in a month? None, really. It's just really fun to be able to say such things in an environment where such things haven't been easily said for quite some time! Perhaps more relevant and more tangible is the fact that we can say rates are nearly an eighth of a percentage point lower on the week, and that's a decent move regardless of the environment. Next week brings the Thanksgiving holiday, which tends to make mortgage lenders set rates more...(read more)

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  • New Home Sales, Prices Faded in October Fri, 16 Nov 2018 17:16:49 GMT

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) notes that applications for the purchase of new homes declined by 2.1 percent in October compared to the same month in 2017. Those applications were also 11 percent lower than in September. The information, taken from responses to MBA's Builder Application Survey, does not include any adjustment for seasonal patterns. Based on the survey results and other assumptions including about market coverage, MBA estimates that new single-family home sales were at a seasonally adjusted rate of 673,000 in October, an increase of 4.7 percent from the September sales rate of 643,000 units. On an unadjusted basis, the MBA projects 53,000 new home sales occurred during the month, up by 6 percent from 50,000 sales in September. Conventional loan applications accounted...(read more)

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  • Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund Outperforms for Fourth Year in a Row Fri, 16 Nov 2018 15:22:01 GMT

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) said on Thursday that its Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMI Fund) exceeded its congressionally mandated minimum reserves in FY2018 for the fourth year in a row. In its 2018 Annual Report to Congress the agency said its Capital Reserve Ratio was 2.76 percent at the end of the year, an 0.58 percentage point increase from FY2017. The Economic Net Worth of the fund was $34.8 billion an increase of more than $8 billion from the previous year. The figure is comprised of Total Capital Resources of $49.24 billion and a negative Cash Flow NPV of -$14.38 billion. FHA is required to maintain reserves to cover estimated losses plus a capital cushion of 2.0 percent of all Insurance-in-Force (IFF). This 'Capital Ratio' is calculated by dividing the Fund's Economic...(read more)

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  • MBS Day Ahead: Bonds Already Commuting for Thanksgiving? Fri, 16 Nov 2018 14:24:15 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    Because November 1st was a Thursday, we'll be treated to the earliest possible iteration of Thanksgiving. It's next week, by the way! Why are we talking about such things with respect to financial markets? Simply put, the winter holidays definitely have an impact. The catch is that the these impacts vary, and their timing is uncertain with respect to Thanksgiving (as opposed to late December, when it's always going to be the last 2 weeks of the month followed by the first week of January. What sort of patterns do we see shaping up? Oftentimes, it's simply a consolidation. In other words, yields/prices are in the process of making higher lows and lower highs. Sometimes there's a breakout well before the end of the year, but there are rarely breakouts in late November. The...(read more)

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  • Profitability and Commission Products; HELOCs, Servicing, Digital...Geocoding Bid Tapes! Fri, 16 Nov 2018 13:59:19 GMT

    Posted To: Pipeline Press

    Why is the housing market sluggish despite a solid U.S. economy, solid demographics, and pent-up demand? Those don’t matter if prices are out of reach relative to incomes , and housing appreciation has outpaced income growth for a long time. And lending standards have remained more rigorous than they were during the last housing boom, so it has been harder for people to stretch to buy a home. (Veteran lenders will tell you, however, that not everyone deserves to own a home .) The inability of people to buy homes they can’t really afford is great news in terms of avoiding another crisis or even a bubble, but not so great for the near-term outlook for housing. Lender Services and Products Is your correspondent lending business prepared to grow in 2019? To find out, check out this...(read more)

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  • MBS RECAP: Bonds Pulled 2 Ways by Stocks and Global Gloominess Thu, 15 Nov 2018 23:00:33 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    Remember the middle of 2016 when rates managed to make it all the way back in line with all-time lows despite having almost no justification in terms of economic data and policy outlooks? Those low rates were mostly about Brexit . Something about Brexit is utterly captivating for global financial markets. When it first happened, there was a bit of an anticlimactic response, largely due to the time window involved in working out the nuts and bolts. Now more than 2 years later, we're getting into the more serious phases of the process. Markets aren't nearly as rattled as they were in 2016, but shifts in potential Brexit outcomes have nonetheless been relevant market movers this week. In general, they made a case for bond market gains (i.e. lower rates) this morning, and never really reversed...(read more)

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  • Fannie Mae Offering Relief Programs in Wildfire Areas Thu, 15 Nov 2018 22:27:10 GMT

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    Fannie Mae has expanded the menu of post-disaster services it is offering to its borrowers. The new services are in addition to the up to 12 months of forbearance, waived fees, and temporary foreclosure moratorium that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (the GSEs) traditionally offer in the wake of hurricanes, wildfires, and other disasters. A press release from Fannie Mae, probably prompted by the unprecedented destruction and loss of life from wildfires in both the northern and southern parts of California, announces personalized case management services through its Disaster Response Network. The program will provide personalized support "to address safety and basic needs, property repairs, employment, and financial recovery-all of which affect a borrower's ability to meet their mortgage obligations...(read more)

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  • Lowest Mortgage Rates This Month! Thu, 15 Nov 2018 22:11:00 GMT

    Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

    Mortgage rates hit their lowest levels of the month today! Sure, that's only 10 business days for the mortgage world, but we'll take every little victory we can get these days. Why is that? Because "these days" have been pretty rough. Exactly one week ago, rates were at their highest levels in nearly 8 years. The assertion about today's rates runs counter to quite a few news stories. Major media outlets are reporting rates as being 'unchanged' this week. That wasn't necessarily incorrect until today. In those cases, reporters are relying on Freddie Mac's weekly survey data. The survey only collects responses from Monday through Wednesday and the results tend to over-represent Monday and Tuesday's rates on any given week. Long story short, as of yesterday, it would have been fair to say rates...(read more)

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  • Buyers Not Holding Their Breath for Short Term Market Relief Thu, 15 Nov 2018 17:10:35 GMT

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    It ain't going to get any easier... The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) tells us these cheery words encapsulate the attitude of respondents to its survey regarding home purchasing. The company's Housing Trends Report for the third quarter of the year found that seven out of 10 of prospective homeowners think that shopping for a house is either going to get harder or stay about the same. The report focuses on the 13 percent of survey respondents defined as prospective homebuyers, that is persons planning on purchasing within the next year. This percentage was 24 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017 and has declined steadily since. Among Millennials surveyed, 19 percent had short term purchase plans as did 13 percent of Gen Xers. Only 7 percent of Baby Boomers and 3 percent of seniors...(read more)

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  • MBS Day Ahead: Brexit Strikes Back Thu, 15 Nov 2018 14:30:36 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    Ah Brexit... You thought you'd heard the last of it back in 2016? No such luck. Actually, it is a bit lucky to be hearing about it, at least as far as domestic rates are concerned. Both in 2016 and in the past week, Brexit-related developments helped rates move lower. The current iteration of Brexit drama is not anywhere near that of 2016 and neither is the market reaction. That said, there certainly has been a market reaction. Yesterday afternoon, that reaction was noticeable, but barely. The overnight session brought an even bigger move in British currency (Pounds Sterling), and a more direct response in US bond markets. Much like bonds' relationship with stocks, it will take quite a bit of drama in Sterling to motivate additional gains (at least if we're talking about gains that...(read more)

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  • Accounting, Subservicing, Warehouse Products; Freddie and Fannie Changes Roll On Thu, 15 Nov 2018 14:01:36 GMT

    Posted To: Pipeline Press

    With only week until Thanksgiving there’s a lot going on – every one of these stats impacts lenders. CoreLogic tells us that there are 48,390 homes at risk from the current California wildfires. Believe in climate change or not, or in science or not, one study shows 386,000 homes are said to be at risk in the coming decades due to rising sea levels and coastal flooding. And according to the RV Industry Association, there are now a million Americans living in RVs full time . (Try counting them in the census, figuring out where they vote, where/if they pay taxes, or if 500 KOA Kampgrounds are enough.) Lender Products and Services As of October 2018, 100 mortgage lenders have signed with Loan Vision to utilize its financial management and accounting solution. Martin Kerr, President...(read more)

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  • MBS RECAP: More Stock Losses Bring More Bond Bounces Wed, 14 Nov 2018 21:58:10 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    The narrative has grown (remained?) the same for bonds lately. If stocks are losing ground, then it's time to rally . If stocks are stabilizing or recovering, it's time to sell . Today was more of the same in that regard. For the first few hours of the day, yields moved gradually higher despite the inability of core inflation to even meet forecast levels (in its defense, it was really really close!). But when stocks began losing ground in a fairly convincing way, bonds began to improve. Stock losses were compounded by headlines surrounding the Brexit process, where there was apparently some drama today regarding Theresa May's cabinet and its ability to agree on the current draft proposal. After a few conflicting reports, it finally came out that there was sufficient agreement. British...(read more)

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  • Afternoon Mortgage Rate Improvements For Most Lenders Wed, 14 Nov 2018 21:18:00 GMT

    Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

    Mortgage rates began the day in roughly unchanged territory. Some lenders were microscopically stronger or weaker compared to yesterday, but not enough to impact the average mortgage borrower. For the first few hours of the day, it looked as if rates would stay unchanged or possibly move slightly higher. That all changed when stocks began losing ground. It's always worth remembering (and this will be especially true when the next time it's proven) that there's no magic rule that says stock prices and interest rates must move in the same direction. It is true that there are frequent examples of such correlation, but there are plenty of other examples where the correlation complete breaks down. All that to say that stock losses helped rates today, but will not always necessarily help rates in...(read more)

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  • Millennials Could be Foregoing Equity Wealth Wed, 14 Nov 2018 14:39:09 GMT

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    While reams of research have been done on why members of the Millennial generation are less likely to own a home compared to their baby boomer and Gen X elders at the same age, the Urban Institute (UI) notes that knowing the reasons doesn't necessarily shed much light on the potential long-term implications of this behavior. Delaying homeownership , according to UI analysts Jung Hyun Choi and Laurie Goodman, may reduce the wealth the generations' members will acquire over their lifetime. Goodman and Choi used a dataset called the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) which has tracked individuals since 1968 to identify individuals who reached age 60 between 2003 and 2015 and gather information on their histories, including the age at which they bought their first homes. Half of the older adults...(read more)

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