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MBS Day Ahead: Bonds Hoping For More Political Drama

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Last week was characterized by one big day of volume and volatility surrounding the apparently scandalous and sensational political headlines. By now, you've either come across the news in question (regarding Trump, Comey, Flynn, Chaffetz, etc.) or are determined enough to avoid coming across political news that I won't ruin your streak of good luck. Besides, the only important development for our purposes is the market reaction, the potential for additional market movement, and the consideration of risks to that movement. In last week's case, the main thrust of movement accompanied the day where the scandalous/sensational news peaked (Wednesday). We might have seen more of a reaction on Tuesday, but the news broke just after domestic markets closed. As we discussed last week, markets...(read more)

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Lender Expansion; FHA, VA; Households Moving Toward Buying

Posted To: Pipeline Press

I recently heard a CEO say, “I am fine competing on product, price, and service. But we shouldn’t have to compete on subjective interpretations of rules, regulations, and compliance issues.” While residential lenders wait for another “instructive” public enforcement action (plenty of them are negotiated privately with no fanfare), you can always see past publicized actions here or for something meatier and useful here are the CFPB's Supervisory Highlights . (For example, pages 5, 6, & 7 address underwriting borrowers on assets & down payment size and not income under the ATR rules.) FHA & VA Trends and Program Changes From Around the Industry Some originators will say that the FHA program is the "new" subprime channel - certainly the program appeals...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Higher, Volatility Looms

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates continued higher for the 2nd straight day after hitting the lowest levels in more than 7 months earlier this week. Wednesday's big move lower was a direct result of political headlines relating to potential wrongdoing in communications between Trump and former FBI Director Comey concerning the FBI's investigation into former National Security Advisor Flynn's communication with Russia. Specifically, financial markets perked up when a story broke suggesting that the House Oversight Committee could easily demand these records. The most widely-discussed implication (assuming wrongdoing were to be confirmed) was potential impeachment. Several lawmakers went so far as to make promises to that effect via twitter and other media. What does all this have to do with mortgage rates? Rates...(read more)

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Wells and Freddie Team Up; Bank and CU News; What is Chase doing?

Posted To: Pipeline Press

For me this week included time in Salt Lake City, Columbus, Milwaukee, San Francisco, and Raleigh. (The mood is good as individuals continue to share best practices in an effort to lend to consumers in a compliant and cost-effective way – and that isn’t easy.) In some parts of the nation all cash buyers rule, whereas in others finding enough of a down payment can be a hurdle. San Francisco has committed to build teacher housing build teacher housing after a press release said that an SF teacher making $65k is unable to afford shelter. M&A, Credit Union, and Bank News Here's something that a non-depository lender can't do. Chase is offering 100,000 credit card reward points for new mortgage customers . And customers under age 35 made up 36% of Chase's mortgage originations in...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: Levels to Watch; Hoping For Calm

Posted To: MBS Commentary

If bonds hadn't undergone their highest volume move of the year on Wednesday and Thursday, we would have expected this week to be relatively dead in terms of market movement potential. There was nothing interesting on the event calendar, save for a few mid-tier economic reports. There were no Treasury auctions, no expected fiscal developments, not even any interesting overseas events. In short, this week was supposed to be a snoozer. As we're now well aware, it's been anything but. Yesterday's relative ground-holding (10yr yields generally held on to the strong gains seen on Wednesday) does two things . First, it suggests that the rally wasn't some uncalculated knee-jerk. Days like yesterday tend to suggest more sideways movement on days like today. But because sideways...(read more)

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Watt Says GSE Reform Differs from Housing Finance Reform

Posted To: MND NewsWire

The status of the GSE's (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), as well as the topic of housing finance reform continue to be "hot," according to Melvin L. Watt, Director of the GSE's conservator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Watt spoke to the North Carolina Bankers Association at their annual convention in his home state. Watt elaborated on some of the points he made about these topics when he testified before the Senate Banking Committee earlier this month, drawing a distinction between decisions FHFA have made and continued to make and those that are the responsibility of Congress. Watt said he generally considers the former to be "GSE reforms" while viewing the latter as "housing finance reform." Watt reminded his audience that when he had last spoken to them right after taking his...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Bonds Holding Week's Big Gains For Now

Posted To: MBS Commentary

It could have been a lot worse! That's a great theme for today's bond market action. Yesterday was the kind of rally where traders buy bonds first and ask questions later. Those questions are typically asked in the form of bond selling on the subsequent day (today). As such, we were well within our rights to expect a pullback today, and we barely got one! 10yr yields managed to end the day only half a bp higher at 2.228. That's impressive given that the stock market was able to retrace quite a bit more of its move from yesterday and that there were several unfriendly headlines throughout the day. On the other hand , 10yr yields managed to move up to 2.228 after being as low as 2.18 overnight, but I'd argue that the 2.18% had more to do with overseas markets taking their turn...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Rise Gently From 7-Month Lows

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Financial markets are still reeling from political headlines that first began circulating on Tuesday afternoon. While stock markets made a reasonable attempt to retrace yesterday's big move lower, bond markets weren't as interested. Fortunately, that means mortgage rates moved modestly higher , leaving them fairly close to yesterday's 7-month lows. On Tuesday morning, well-priced lenders were quoting conventional 30yr fixed rates of 4.0-4.125% on top tier scenarios. Over the past 2 days, the same scenarios were in the 3.875-4.0% range. An eighth of a percentage point is a big move for mortgage rates--especially in 2017 when the range hasn't been very much wider than a quarter point. It's the sort of improvement that provides strong incentive for risk-averse borrowers to lock . Then there's...(read more)

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Refis Actually Did More Damage During The Housing Crisis -UI

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Conventional wisdom, the lending version, holds that refinance loans are inherently less risky than purchase loans, but a recent analysis from the Urban Institute (UI) refutes this contention. In fact, Linda Goodman, Co-director of UI's Housing Finance Policy Center says rampant refinancing probably played a major role in the housing crisis. Goodman, writing in UI's Urban Wire blog says despite ample evidence that it was risky products rather than lending to riskier borrowers that majorly contributed to the crisis, many continue to blame government policies toward homeownership. However, at the height of the boom it was refinanced loans that were more likely to default. This was largely due to people treating their homes as ATMs through cash out refinances. Eighty-four percent of refinances...(read more)

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