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  • MBS RECAP: Bonds Battle Back After Fed Foregoes Surprises Wed, 26 Jul 2017 22:44:01 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    Today's focus was understandably on the Fed Announcement, and indeed, most of the movement followed it. But interestingly enough, the biggest volume spikes occurred at other times, and that helps explain the day's paradoxical movement. So what's the paradox? Quite simply, it made very little sense to see as much of a rally as we saw based on the content of the Fed Announcement. Why? Because the announcement was utterly inoffensive. If you'd commissioned a thousand market participants and Fed followers to draft a consensus estimate for the Fed, it would have looked exactly like today's actual announcement. In short, there was nothing even remotely resembling a surprise. Where'd the rally come from then? Bear with me here. The rally came from yesterday's sell-off....(read more)

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  • Mortgage Rates Steady to Slightly Lower After Fed Wed, 26 Jul 2017 21:06:00 GMT

    Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

    Mortgage rates were steady to slightly lower today, despite fairly substantial movement in underlying bond markets. Bond prices ultimately do more to inform mortgage rates than anything else. Prices moved higher today by an amount that would typically result in effective rates falling 0.03-0.05% depending on the lender. But as it stands, the average lender is only 0.01% lower than yesterday's latest offerings. Given recent volatility, it's not outside the realm of possibility that lenders are simply waiting to make sure the gains are still around tomorrow before they adjust rate sheets more aggressively. This would fit with recent patterns of lender rate sheet movement lagging bond market movement. As for today's market motivation, the lion's share of the movement happened after the Fed Announcement...(read more)

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  • Differences Between Current and Previous FOMC Statements Wed, 26 Jul 2017 18:02:00 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    (Additions underlined, deletions struck through) Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in May June indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising moderately so far this year. Job gains have moderated but have been solid, on average, since the beginning of the year, and the unemployment rate has declined. Household spending has picked up in recent months, and business fixed investment has have continued to expand. On a 12-month basis, overall inflation has declined recently and, like and the measure excluding food and energy prices, is prices have declined and are running somewhat below 2 percent. Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations...(read more)

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  • New Homes Sales Fall Short of Expectations Wed, 26 Jul 2017 14:09:00 GMT

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    New home sales pulled out a slight month-over-month gain in June only because estimates of sales in May were revised down. The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development said today that sales of newly constructed homes were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 610,000 units. This was an increase of 0.8 percent from the revised rate of 605,000 units in May, sales that were originally estimated at 610,000. The June rate is 9.1 percent ahead of the 559,000-unit pace in June 2016. Analysts had projected the June sales number over a wide range, from 590,000 to 630,000 units. The consensus of those polled by Econoday was 611,000. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis there were 55,000 homes sold during the month, compared to 57,000 in May and 50,000 a year earlier. The...(read more)

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  • MBS Day Ahead: Why Today Could Matter: A Lesson From an Old Fed Announcement Wed, 26 Jul 2017 13:43:00 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    Remember 2015? The Fed spent the whole year talking about hiking rates for the first after spending years at 0% and ultimately didn't get around to it until December. But perhaps the most interesting phrase in any of the year's Fed announcements was seen in the October Announcement. It was as follows: "In determining whether it will be appropriate to raise the target range at its next meeting," This was the first time the Fed had "called its shot" since 1999, and it threw bond markets for a loop. Granted, things are a bit different this time around. Recent Fed speeches have done more to hearken the balance sheet reduction plan as opposed to rate hikes. In fact, they've all but guaranteed that we'll only see 1 more hike in 2017, at the most (but reserve the...(read more)

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  • Lender M&A, Bank Mortgage News; FHA and Cybersecurity Wed, 26 Jul 2017 13:17:39 GMT

    Posted To: Pipeline Press

    We’re in the midst of state fair season, and with it all the wonderful organic health food. Have you tried deep fried butter? Have a hankering for fried beer? Always wanted to try Wisconsin’s “Fat Elvis on a Stick” or the king of fish: walleye? Here's a list of amusing state fair offerings. Bank News and M&A The new Comptroller of the Currency said the OCC has the authority to grant national bank charters for non-deposit taking fintech companies for special purpose charters . He said the OCC has not yet received any fintech applications, but would do so if such companies were interested in the charter. Varo Money will become the second fintech (after SoFi) to try and become a bank, as it seeks a charter from the OCC. JPMorgan has partnered with PayPal to allow Chase...(read more)

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  • Refi Applications Strengthened on Last Week's Lower Rates Wed, 26 Jul 2017 12:31:13 GMT

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    A decline in purchase mortgage applications cancelled out most of a moderate increase in refinancing during the week ended July 21. Nonetheless, the Mortgage Bankers Association said its Market Composite Index eked out a slight gain. The Index was up 0.4 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis and 1.0 percent unadjusted. The Refinance Index rose for the second straight week, increasing by 3.0 percent compared to the week ended July 14. The refinance share of the business was 46.0, up from 44.7 percent the prior week. The Purchase Index declined by 2.0 percent on both a seasonally adjusted and an unadjusted basis. The unadjusted Purchase Index was 8.0 percent higher than the same week in 2016. Refi Index vs 30yr Fixed Purchase Index vs 30yr Fixed Both the FHA and the VA share of applications...(read more)

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  • MBS RECAP: For Bonds, Worst Day Since Late June ECB Scare Tue, 25 Jul 2017 20:24:15 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    Bonds sold off aggressively today, for a combination of reasons that are tremendously unsatisfying in a traditional market-watching sense. For example, it would be nice if we could point to something tidy and logical like all-time high stock prices, or the stronger Consumer Confidence data, but at the very best, these were merely supporting actors in a subtler, more complex drama. Actually, it's only complex inasmuch as it's not the first thing most market-watchers think of when they see moves this big. It's actually fairly simple as long as you can accept that something so simple could actually cause so much movement. Long story short: a small imbalance of positivity had built up over the past 2 weeks. It wasn't too troubling in and of itself, and it could have turned into...(read more)

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  • Mortgage Rates Spike, Erasing Last Week's Gains Tue, 25 Jul 2017 19:18:00 GMT

    Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

    Mortgage rates moved abruptly higher today, erasing the improvement seen last week. An entire week's worth of movement may or may not be worth stressing out about depending on your perspective. On one hand, we're only talking about a change of roughly 0.06% in terms of the "effective rate" on the average 30yr fixed loan. That'll cost you about $7/month on a $200k loan. On the other hand, last week was the best in more than 2 months. While erasing those gains might not be dramatic in terms of outright financial impact, it could signal a shift in the overall trend. There are 2 trends to consider at the moment. The first only stretches back to early July, and that's the one that's clearly under attack. The other trend is one of general improvement since March 2017, and we'd need to see several...(read more)

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  • Unsealed Court Docs Paint Fannie/Freddie as Congressional Cash Cow Tue, 25 Jul 2017 18:08:58 GMT

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    Unless one follows the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac conservatorship drama on a regular basis, it is easy to get lost in the legal weeds. MND has dipped in and out periodically, and it is time for another update. To briefly reprise. When the two government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) were placed in government conservatorship in 2008 each were given access to multi-billion-dollar lines of credit from the U.S. Treasury. Under the terms of their Senior Preferred Stock Agreement (SPSA), Treasury would be given dollar-for-dollar shares of preferred stock and would receive a fixed quarterly dividend. Fast forward to 2012. During their four years in conservatorship the GSEs had drawn billions of dollars from the Treasury, (to date Fannie Mae has drawn $116.1 billion and Freddie Mac $71.3 billion) but had...(read more)

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  • 6th Straight Record High For Home Prices -Case-Shiller Tue, 25 Jul 2017 14:42:48 GMT

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index hit another new record in May, the sixth consecutive month it did so while the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported another increase in its annual Housing Price Index (HPI) Case-Shiller's National index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, rose 5.6 percent on an annual basis, the same increase it posted in April. The index is now at 190.61, besting last month's record high of 180.50. On a month over month basis, the index gained 1.0 percent on a non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) basis (it rose 0.9 percent in April) and was 0.2 percent higher on an adjusted (SA) basis. The 10-City Composite Index had an annual increase of 4.9 percent compared to 5.0 percent a month earlier. On a month-over-month basis it rose 0.7 percent before...(read more)

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  • Credit Underwriting Changes; Exec Comments on Margins and Volume; Ally's Offer Tue, 25 Jul 2017 13:33:07 GMT

    Posted To: Pipeline Press

    Lenders cutting margins in a diminishing mortgage marketplace. You bet. Does one lender want 100% market share? Perhaps. Here’s the latest example: Ally Home announced their Price Match Guarantee to give consumers peace of mind that they’re getting the best rate possible (see here for full release). "...If a consumer finds a better price at another lender, all they have to do is let their Ally Home loan advisor know..." What about the cost to produce a loan? For more information on the interaction between margins & volumes, see the "Capital markets" section below. Changes in credit underwriting and guidelines If you have bad credit, will a lender give you a home loan? Sure, someone, somewhere. What are Realtors telling their clients ? Mortgage lenders check your credit score...(read more)

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  • MBS Day Ahead: Recent Rally Under Threat Ahead of Fed Tue, 25 Jul 2017 13:21:19 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    After enjoying a nice rally since July 10th, bond markets are taking the 2 days leading up to tomorrow's Fed announcement to book some profits and get back to neutral territory. Unfortunately, getting back to neutral means "selling bonds" if the prevailing trend had been positive. As discussed in this primer on MBS Live , there are long and short positions. Long positions mean "buying" in the hope that bond prices will rise and yields will fall. A short position means selling in the hope that yields will rise. Both long and short positions signify "open interest." In other words, both positions count as " bets " that are open until they're closed. If you are long Treasuries and rates are moving higher , your position is costing you more and more...(read more)

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  • MBS RECAP: Slowest Day of The Year for Bonds Mon, 24 Jul 2017 21:18:08 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    How's that for an exciting headline? At least it's an " extreme ," technically--just not the sort of extreme that would pique our interest (but still better than the extremes that would peak our interest rates)! Seriously though, trading volumes were easily the lowest since the December 2016 holiday season. Talk turned to political headline risk with Kushner testifying in a closed Senate session today and Manafort/Trump Jr. set for more closed-door questioning in the coming days. The fading of the last-2016 "Trump trade" has been one of the supportive themes helping bond markets push back toward lower rates. To whatever extent this week's political headlines cast more doubt on the administration's efficacy (or conversely, if they put those fears to rest)...(read more)

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  • Rates Begin Week Unchanged at July's Lows Mon, 24 Jul 2017 20:23:00 GMT

    Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

    Mortgage rates held steady today, which leaves them in line with the lowest levels in July. In underlying bond markets (bond movement directly impacts lenders' rate offerings), it was an exceptionally quiet day--especially for mortgage-related bonds. Activity should increase somewhat as the week progresses. That's a typical pattern for most weeks--all other things being equal (Mondays and Fridays tend to be slower)--but we'll also get events that tend to draw out more participation among traders. The most obvious calendar item is the Fed Announcement on Wednesday. Keep in mind, there are two different varieties of Fed Announcements. Of the 8 announcements each year, 4 of them are accompanied by a press conference with the Fed Chair, as well as economic projections. Whether by design or otherwise...(read more)

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