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MBS RECAP: Stronger Selling and Lighter Volume Raise Doubts

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Everything seemed so simple last Friday when bonds were surging past technical barriers in strong volume--ostensibly ringing the dinner bell for more bond buying. The fact that everything seemed so simple was also the biggest risk. Perhaps it was "too simple." Perhaps the technical conclusions were too obvious. The weakness so far this week shows us why. The weakness was easier to brush off as a modest consolidation of last week's strength yesterday. At that time, none of the losses were so severe as to suggest we question the reversal leading back from the high yields seen in early October. If that didn't change today, it became a much closer call. 10yr yields rose more than 4bps and Fannie 3.5 MBS fell a quarter of a point . The selling transpired with precious little justification...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Rise Only Modestly Despite Market Weakness

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates moved modestly higher today despite bigger movement in underlying bond markets. In part, this is a byproduct of the way rates behaved at the end of last week, when lenders didn't adjust rates lower as quickly as bond market strength would have suggested. In short, rates are playing it closer to the vest while the bonds that underlie and inform rate movement have been a bit more volatile. Bonds and rates frequently react to economic reports and other news that speaks to the health of the economy or the rate-setting policies of the Federal Reserve. Although we did have a key report on new home construction and several speakers from the Fed today, rates were preoccupied with less overt motivations. One example would be bond traders who decided to sell bonds today simply because...(read more)

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Housing Starts Still Under The Weather; Single-Family Permits on The Mend

Posted To: MND NewsWire

The U.S. Census Bureau is mum on causation, but results from the southern region would indicate that the August and September hurricanes probably drove declines in both housing permits (except those for single-family residences) and housing starts in September. Both were down by over 4 percent compared to their August numbers, although housing starts had previously been very weak . Housing completions did rise. The Bureau, in conjunction with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, reports that housing permits nationwide were issued at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,215,000, down 4.5 percent from the August estimate of 1,272,000 units. The August number is a revision from the original estimate of 1,300,000. The September results and the August revision dropped the rate of permitting...(read more)

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Hurricanes Impact on Housing Could Last

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Fannie Mae has lowered its third quarter projections for GDP growth by 0.2 percent to an annualized 2.4 percent based on its assessment of the overall impacts of the recent hurricanes. The company's Economic and Strategic Research (ESR) Group says the storms appeared to have slowed consumer spending growth and dragged modestly on consumer and business confidence. They also disrupted home sales, a sector already suffering from tight inventory. The overall economic impacts of the storms are expected to be short-lived so the fourth quarter estimates have been revised up slightly to reflect a rebound in activity and the start of rebuilding efforts. Their GDP growth forecast for all of 2017 remains at 2.2 percent. The ESR is not quite as optimistic about next year. They expect a boost from hurricane...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: Time For That Mid-October Craziness in Bonds

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Ah mid-October... All too often in the 2009-2014 time frame, we'd seen abrupt reversals of trends at this time of month. We haven't really been on the lookout for that old behavior because 2014 seemed to mark a shift in that trend. 2014 itself was easily attributed to the massive sell-off in Chinese stocks. 2015 was mysteriously sideways. And 2016 was understandably sideways ahead of the election. Even in 2017's version of October so far, we haven't seen nearly the same amount of back-and-forth seen in the 2009-2014 time frame, but as of this morning we are arguably seeing the same pattern begin to play out as bonds are abruptly weaker just days after confirming a positive shift. Analysts scrambled to explain the move overnight and there's really no cohesive conclusion....(read more)

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Mortgage Applications Regain Footing

Posted To: MND NewsWire

The volume of mortgage applications increased last week for the first time since early September. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said its Market Composite Index, a measure of that volume, rose 3.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis during the week ended October 13. It did decline 7 percent on an unadjusted basis from the week ended October 6, a week was shortened by the Columbus Day holiday. The week's results included an adjustment to account for that event. The increase in the Composite Index was the result of gains in both refinance and purchase mortgage applications. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index was up 4 percent compared to the previous week although the unadjusted version fell 6 percent. The Purchase Index was 9 percent higher than during the same week in 2016. Refinancing...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Bonds Scramble Back to Unchanged, Leaving Outlook Cloudy

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Treasuries and MBS have spent the past 2 days trading well inside the range set by last Friday's volatility (big rally following CPI data). Unfortunately, the central tendency during those 2 days has been toward moderately weaker levels. This casts some doubt on what looked like a clear signal on Friday, but it's too soon to rule out additional gains based on today's trading. After all, bonds did manage to make it back to unchanged in many cases. Fannie 3.5 MBS were perfectly unchanged and 10yr yields ended the day just barely into positive territory. Things looked more bleak around 9am this morning when bonds had taken a noticeable turn toward weaker levels. There were no clear fundamental justifications for the movement at the time (import price data was 20 minutes before the...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Rise a Bit More From Recent Lows

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates were at their best levels in roughly a month last Friday afternoon. Since then, they've risen modestly on each of the past two business days. As has been the case for quite some time, day-to-day movement continues to be very tame. The actual interest rates at the top of loan quotes rarely change from one day to the next. Instead, fine-tuning adjustments to the overall cost of financing come courtesy of slightly higher upfront costs--at least in today's case. In other words, if you were being quoted 3.875% yesterday on a 30yr loan yesterday, chances are you'd be seeing the same rate today, but with upfront costs just a bit higher (or a lender credit that's just a bit lower, depending on the scenario). In the bigger picture, rates are attempting to push lower after rising fairly...(read more)

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Builders' Confidence Returns as Hurricane Worries Wane

Posted To: MND NewsWire

After reacting strongly to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma with a four-point drop in September, the Housing Market Index (HMI) regained its footing in October. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) says the HMI, which measures its new home builder member's attitudes toward the new home market gained four points this month, reaching 68, its highest reading since May. Analysts had expected the index, which NAHB cosponsors with Wells Fargo, to remain unchanged from September at 64. "This month's report shows that home builders are rebounding from the initial shock of the hurricanes," said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald. "However, builders need to be mindful of long-term repercussions from the storms, such as intensified material price increases and labor shortages." Derived from a monthly...(read more)

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