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MBS RECAP: Was the Eclipse a Market Mover?

Posted To: MBS Commentary

It's a good thing financial media outlets aren't too shy about covering topics outside the financial sphere because without the eclipse, there would have been nothing to talk about today. Volume and volatility dropped off a cliff, abruptly. In fact, the difference in tone was big enough that I wouldn't mind chalking up some of the ABSENCE of trading as a symptom of the eclipse. In other words, it wasn't necessarily a market mover as much as a market inhibitor. All that having been said, it would be hard to sort out just how much of the market's quietude was attributable to eclipse as opposed to the simple nature of the Summertime trading environment. Mondays tend to struggle for relevance in August regardless of astronomical events. If the eclipse possibly didn't matter...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Steady at 2017 Lows

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates held steady to start the new week. This keeps them in line with the best levels since November 2016. There were no interesting developments in financial markets or in terms of economic data today. Most news coverage was focused on the solar eclipse. It's a good thing the eclipse happened, because it's not entirely clear what financial media outlets could have possibly discussed otherwise. But again, with rates at the lowest levels of the year, "boring" and "sideways" are only terms that inconvenience someone trying to write about market movements whereas they're a relative boon to consumers who are buying a new home or refinancing an existing mortgage. 3.875% remains the most prevalently-quoted conventional 30yr fixed rate for top tier scenarios, although quite a few lenders...(read more)

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Residential Investment Weighed Down Q2 GDP

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Real residential investment subtracted from GDP in the second quarter of the year to the greatest extent since the third quarter of 2010. Fannie Mae's August Economic Developments notes a 6.8 percent annualized decline, but the company's economists expect that sector's contribution to rebound in the third quarter. Residential investment was only part of the GDP story with the first half of the year now complete. Fannie Mae had forecast growth of 2.1 percent on an annualized basis in its previous forecast, but midyear saw growth of only 1.9 percent. There should be a slight improvement in the second half of the year, the economists but are holding to their earlier whole year forecast of 2.0 percent. Risks to their forecast are called roughly balanced. On the upside, consumer spending may not...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: Nothing to do With The Eclipse

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Welcome! Here is a safe haven from all of the eclipse talk. It won't be mentioned at all in this article. Never mind that it's in the title and the first 3 sentences, because we're about to move on. Bond markets begin another "summertime" week where "summertime" refers not only to atmospheric seasonality but also to changes in market environment. We've talked about this ad nauseum recently--largely because it's summer and the seasonality is one of the more interesting features of bond trading at the moment. And yes, that's like saying that the most interesting thing about a sloth is how slow it moves. If you're interested in getting caught up on some of this "summertime" stuff, Friday's Day Ahead went into greater detail. Thursday's...(read more)

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Freddie, Fannie, and Lender Shifts in Appraisal and Inspection Policies

Posted To: Pipeline Press

What does $980k buy in the SF suburb of Vallejo, CA? A property designed by Julia Morgan (think Hearst Castle) with floating stairways, over-sized eves, massive beams, decks, and the use of exquisite wood wainscoting. The photos are sure impressive . Freddie and Fannie News, Lender Changes For wholesale and non-delegated clients, Parkside Lending, LLC , a national wholesale and correspondent lender, is pleased to announce that it has adopted the new Fannie Mae DU enhancement that will allow Property Inspection Waivers (PIW) for purchase transactions . DU will compare the address for the subject property to the property address found in Collateral Underwriter (CU). When a match is found, DU will then use the information to determine if the loan is eligible for a PIW. Effective with loan casefiles...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Bonds Manage to Close 'Unchanged' Despite Some Volatility

Posted To: MBS Commentary

In the Day Ahead, we discussed bond traders' probable goals regarding keeping things as calm as possible. This depended on unexpected headlines and movements in external markets. Either of those were capable of throwing curveballs , and both threw a few today! Out of the gate, bonds were flat, but once equities trading picked up, Treasuries improved in line with a morning stock sell-off. At the time, it looked like stocks were set for a death-spiral well-into the lowest levels in more than a month. While most averages were indeed lower on the day, the losses were moderate. In fact, stocks were briefly positive due to mid-day Trump-related drama. This installment featured Bannon's departure from the White House team. I don't have any political views on this development, but markets...(read more)

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More 2017 Lows for Rates; More Trump Drama

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates moved lower again. Drama surrounding the Trump administration was also present. But this time around, the political theater wasn't responsible for the move lower in rates. In fact, it resulted in multiple lenders adjusting rate sheets higher in the middle of the day. Fortunately, rates fell enough in the morning that the net result was still positive. The average lender is at new lows for 2017 (lowest since just after the November 2016 election, in fact). 3.875% is now the most prevalently-quoted conventional 30yr fixed rate for top tier scenarios, although quite a few lenders remain at 4.00%. Next week brings the normally-hotly-anticipated Jackson Hole symposium, but with monetary policy for both the Fed and the European Central Bank essentially an open book of late, market...(read more)

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Freddie Mac to Automate Appraisals for Some Purchase Mortgages

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Freddie Mac announced today that, going forward, not every application for a purchase mortgage will necessarily trigger an appraisal . A new automated alternative to traditional appraisals, which the company introduced for refinances in June, will soon be available for purchase mortgages. It may save borrowers in some instances as much as $500, and reduce their wait to close a loan by seven to ten days. Freddie Mac's automated collateral evaluation (ACE) uses a proprietary model to assesses the need for an appraisal by using data from multiple listing services, public records, and information on historical home values to determine collateral risks. Lenders must submit loan data through Freddie Mac's Loan Product Advisor to determine if a property is eligible for ACE. ACE will be available for...(read more)

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Freddie Mac Puts Price on All-Cash Transactions

Posted To: MND NewsWire

As investors flooded into the housing market after it collapses, they brought cash with them. At one point, 35 percent of home sale transactions were closed without a mortgage, i.e. were all-cash sales. Home prices are up, the bargains are gone, but cash sales remain significantly elevated compared to historic levels. In the August edition of Freddie Mac's Outlook , the company's economists reference recent data from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) indicating that 18 percent of homes sold in June were all-cash transactions. Historically, about 10 percent of home sales are for cash. The economists say that most people do not like to invest a lot of cash into real estate because it is illiquid and has high transaction costs . However, given the current low inventories, the housing...(read more)

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