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  • MBS RECAP: Bonds Gain Despite Data Surprise and Stock Rally Fri, 13 Jul 2018 20:23:26 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    Before any discussion about market movement in July, we have to set the stage with some disclaimer about "slow summertime trading." That was the subject of this morning's commentary ( read it here , if you like). With that out of the way, we're equipped to pay the appropriate amount of attention to today's seemingly interesting events. First up, we had a reasonably strong move in European bonds overnight help set a mildly positive tone for the start of domestic trading. The biggest volume spike of the early morning came at 8:30am in response to the Import Price data, which came in much lower than expected. Bond yields/prices, themselves, only moved a bit, however--a fact that likely reflects the nearness of yields to the lower end of their prevailing range. The other notable...(read more)

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  • Lowest Rates Since May, But There's a Catch Fri, 13 Jul 2018 18:55:00 GMT

    Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

    Mortgage rates fell by an observable amount today-- one of the few times they've done so in recent weeks. Technically, today's average lender is offering the best we've seen since May 31st. That sounds pretty great, right?! Unfortunately, there's a fairly big catch. While today's rates are indeed the best in a month and a half, the range during that time has been so excruciatingly narrow that most prospective mortgage borrowers will find the distinction fairly meaningless. In almost all cases, the actual NOTE rate at the top of your loan quote will be the same as it has been for weeks. The only change in lenders' rate sheets is in the upfront cost associated with that rate. In other words, if you'd seen a quote of 4.75% with 0 points yesterday, today's quote would be more like 4.75% with a...(read more)

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  • MBS Day Ahead: Get Used to Coconuts, Probably Fri, 13 Jul 2018 14:20:28 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    I know I made a Looney Tunes reference last week, but another one is in order. For those that aren't familiar, Yosemite Sam is stranded on a desert island and sits down to a smorgasbord of coconuts, prepared in various ways: "tossed coconut salad, fresh coconut milk, New England boiled coconut," he says, feigning excitement just before breaking down and proclaiming "oooh I hate coconuts!!!!" Yosemite Sam's coconut menu plan is akin to trying to find a way to make something new and interesting out of summertime bond market movement. The fact is that at some point in June or July, almost every year, bonds end up either pausing or reversing, and volumes generally begin declining in July, finally bottoming out in September, almost like clockwork. In the chart above,...(read more)

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  • Construction, Warehouse Products; Free LO Comp Webinar; Shifting UW Criteria Fri, 13 Jul 2018 12:58:39 GMT

    Posted To: Pipeline Press

    Events and Training Don't miss out on the Lenders One 2018 Summer Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, August 5-8, at The Grand America. In an age of disruption, it's never been more important to learn from peers and industry leaders. Keynote speakers Alison Levine and David Robertson will share ways to get ahead in a tough market, and attendees will be able to select from 16 curated education sessions led by industry experts. Topics include: improving margins, generating business through MarTech, rethinking your compliance strategy and five Secondary Market panels. Touted as the most valuable part of conference, Lenders One has expanded networking opportunities for members to connect with peers and explore best practices. Reserve your spot by this Friday, July 13, or contact Lauren Ketchum...(read more)

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  • Mortgage Rates Still Can't Find Inspiration Thu, 12 Jul 2018 21:18:00 GMT

    Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

    Mortgage rates stood a very decent chance to experience the highest volatility of the week today thanks to the most important economic data of the week being released this morning. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is the most widely-followed inflation metric in the U.S. and inflation is a big deal for the bonds that underlie rates (including mortgages). On numerous occasions over the past 2 years, we've witnessed clear connections between variations in CPI data and subsequent volatility in rates. But not today... The biggest issue today was that CPI ended up being pretty boring. In other words, the actual numbers were very close to the forecast. Bonds (and thus, interest rates) didn't have much of a reaction. Even then, we may well wonder how big of a reaction we would have seen if the data was...(read more)

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  • MBS RECAP: Bonds Hold Steady Despite Big Ticket Events Thu, 12 Jul 2018 20:59:33 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    Welcome to summertime in the bond market, where each day is narrower than the last! The same can be said for the past 2 weeks and the past several months, for that matter. By a wide margin, the 3-day trading range surrounding the apex of the Italian political drama easily contains every minute of trading since then. To put that in perspective, that 3-day range was 2.78-3.01% in 10yr yields. Today's range was 2.84-2.87%. The only interesting thing that can be said for bonds during that time is that they've generally moved lower in yield and generally been willing to remain near those lows. Today didn't do anything to change the summertime tone. We even had the week's most anticipated economic data (at least for the bond market) in the form of CPI. Unfortunately for those hoping...(read more)

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  • Inflation Data Shows Deceleration in Housing Costs Thu, 12 Jul 2018 19:06:16 GMT

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    While the Labor Department's Employment Situation Report for June showed wages plodding along at a 2.7 percent annual increase, unchanged from May, it is still being outstripped by rising costs, especially for housing. Today's Consumer Price Index (CPI) report shows consumer costs overall were up 2.9 percent with the shelter portion rising 3.4 percent over the last 12 months. Shelter is one of the categories in the CPI's "market basket," the goods and services that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) considers necessary for day-to-day living. The CPI does not include housing units which it views as capital or investment rather than consumption items. Shelter is viewed as a "service" provided by that investment and is thus a consumption item. The cost of shelter is broken down into two components...(read more)

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  • New Home Sales Need More Trees and Contractors Thu, 12 Jul 2018 18:57:35 GMT

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) is projecting a decline in new home sales for June, putting them significantly behind those in June 2017. MBA's Builder Applications Survey (BAS) shows mortgage applications for the purchase of newly constructed homes were down 12 percent from May and 8.8 percent year-over-year. The survey's results are not adjusted to reflect seasonal patterns. "Applications for new home purchases fell in June, both compared to last year at this time and relative to May, which fits the seasonal pattern. So far this year, new home applications are up 2.5 percent relative to the first 6 months of 2017. Our sense is that builders remain constrained by the tight job market for construction labor and rising input costs, particularly lumber costs ," said Mike Fratantoni, MBA...(read more)

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  • Full Radio Interview With Fed Chair Powell Thu, 12 Jul 2018 18:43:00 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    In a fairly rare turn of events, Fed Chair Powell gave a rather lengthy radio interview with Marketplace's Kai Ryssdal. Here's a rather lengthy transcript. Note: This is far from "required reading" given that there's been essentially no market reaction, but it is nonetheless useful insight for those who like to dissect every communication from the Fed Chair (not a bad habit for anyone who cares about big picture market themes. Dissecting all of Bernanke's communications helped us get ahead of what was happening during the taper tantrum, for instance). Here's the interview: Kai Ryssdal : So this is a weird way to start this interview. But the thing is that Fed chairmen don't do a whole lot of interviews. And this is, I think your first broadcast interview, right...(read more)

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  • MBS Day Ahead: Stocks and Bonds Telling Different Stories Thu, 12 Jul 2018 13:51:14 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    This morning's key data release is already out and it's already proven to be a dud (MBS Live members can read the update HERE ). So we'll head to higher altitude to check in with bigger picture trends to see what might be on markets' minds. The stock vs bond relationship has been interesting lately--more interesting than it had been a few months ago when bonds were much more willing to react to Italian drama (thus making for sporadic correlations). Now it's summertime! That means, all things being equal, that bond traders are more willing than normal to look elsewhere for cues. And one of the biggest 'elsewheres' is the stock market. With that in mind, we can see ample correlation between the two in the top section of the following chart. In the lower section, we...(read more)

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  • UW and API products; FHA/VA/Ginnie Updates; DACA Policy Thu, 12 Jul 2018 12:51:41 GMT

    Posted To: Pipeline Press

    Chris Whalen notes, “The failure of Bear Stearns & Co a decade ago illustrates the key lesson of financial markets, namely that non-banks are dependent upon 1) banks and 2) clients for liquidity. And no amount of capital will save a non-bank that has a deficit in terms of confidence. In times of market stress, credibility and character are far more important than capital.” On the flip side, Angelo Mozilo famously observed that a liquidity crisis will take a company down faster than anything. Any questions? IndyMac’s Mike Perry had a statement on his blog yesterday titled, “ Not Too Big To Fail: Mike Perry talks about IndyMac Bank and the financial crisis ten years on .” FHA/VA/Ginnie News First off, anyone hoping for a mortgage insurance premium cut this year...(read more)

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  • MBS RECAP: Volatile Day, But Inside The Same Old Range Wed, 11 Jul 2018 21:59:50 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    Today was the most active trading day of the week--something that looked destined to be the case considering markets began gyrating right at the start of the Asian session. The initial volatility came in response to the announcement of another $200 bln in US Tariffs on Chinese goods. Logically, stocks lost ground and bonds rallied. After hitting the apex of that move before Europe even got out of bed, stocks and rates began inching higher as if to say "we've done this dance before and we're not going to freak out as much this time." That sentiment was rewarded by stronger data on wholesale inflation (PPI at 8:30am). Bonds weakened a bit more and stocks continued to rally. The next key consideration for bonds was the 1pm 10yr Treasury auction, which went well, but only after...(read more)

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  • Mortgage Rates Calm Ahead of Key Data Wed, 11 Jul 2018 20:54:00 GMT

    Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

    Mortgage rates played the same role they've been playing for weeks by holding fairly steady today. At the average lender, if you're looking for an average loan and you have above average qualifications, you'll have seen the same interest rate at the top of any loan quote since late June. Adjustments have only come in the form of the upfront costs associated with any given "note rate." The markets that underlie rate movement experienced some volatility today as a new round of tariffs was announced yesterday evening. "More tariffs," in general, are bad for stocks and good for rates because they create economic uncertainty and/or fear of economic weakness. A weaker economy does less to promote stock price growth and more to cause demand for safe haven investments like bonds (higher demand for...(read more)

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  • Black Knight: Tappable Equity Skyrockets, But HELOC Loans Decline Wed, 11 Jul 2018 15:05:12 GMT

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    This month's Mortgage Monitor Report from Black Knight, Inc. is again about equity, but this time with a twist regarding the way homeowners are treating it. The company says that the tappable equity held by homeowners increased by $820 billion dollars over the 12 months that ended in March, $380 billion in the first quarter of 2018 alone. Those numbers equate to 16.5 percent growth year-over-year, and 7 percent for the quarter. Equity growth is generally highest in the first and second quarters of the year, but the first quarter growth this year was up 30 percent from the same quarter in 2017. It was the highest single-quarter increase recorded by Black Knight since it began keeping records in 2005. Tappable equity is the share of equity that a homeowner can borrow before reaching a maximum...(read more)

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  • MBS Day Ahead: New Tariff Announcement Keeps Bonds In Recent Range Wed, 11 Jul 2018 13:50:52 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    The first two days of the week were largely spent lamenting the slow and inconsequential nature of summertime trading in the bonds market. At least that's how I spent them. Superstitious market watchers would quickly point out that such lamentations invite unexpected volatility. While I wouldn't go so far as to use either of those words ("unexpected" or "volatility"), there is definitely more going on today compared to the past 2 days. Looking at the candlestick chart on MBS Live (or anywhere else, for that matter) it would be easy to get the wrong idea about the increased activity. Today's candle looks quite a bit tamer than the previous 2 days. That visual suggestion belies reality though. Volumes as of 9:30am are already right in line with Monday's at...(read more)

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