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Mortgage News Daily

MBS RECAP: Another Chance to Not Get Your Hopes Up

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Tiny pockets of gains have come and gone in the vast sea of red that's dominated 2018 so far. Each pocket has attempted to lure optimists into a "bull trap." In other words, originators want to be bullish on rates, so they're more likely to take the best available opportunities to get bullish--especially if no such opportunities have presented themselves recently. Unfortunately, we're in a pervasive uptrend in rates, and what look like tiny pockets of opportunity have actually been periodic consolidations that help the selling-spree catch its breath before rates continue higher. Is it the same story with the past 2 days of stability? In all likelihood. Granted, the bear case for bonds is i ncreasingly being priced-in , discussed, and understood among traders, but in this...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Catch a Break Before Long Weekend

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Financial markets in the US will be closed for President's Day on Monday. Thus, mortgage lenders will not be open, nor will they be accepting locks. Given that mortgage rates took the road less traveled in 2018 and actually moved lower, it's worth having a chat with your mortgage professional if you have a loan in process. Of course, many of you may not be reading this until after the lock window has passed for today, so let's take a look at next week's risks and opportunities . The biggest risk is the same one that's been with us all year. Simply put, rates have been trending higher in a steady but highly convicted fashion, quickly adding a half a percentage point or more to the average 30yr fixed rate quote. As we've been saying all year, it doesn't make sense to bet against that trend until...(read more)

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Fannie Mae: So Now Things are Moving Too Fast?

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Some people are never happy . For most of the ten years following the start of the Great Recession the experts have focused (can we say harped?) on the theme of a slow recovery. Now, after a couple of upticks in the inflation rate, Fannie Mae has headlined its February Economic Developments release "Strong Economic Activity Triggers Overheating Concerns." The company's Economic and Strategic Research Team say economic activity gathered momentum over the last few months and "markets are beginning to appreciate the broader implications of the stronger growth. That realization, along with a change in the direction of monetary policy has introduced some volatility into the economic equation. There were finally some signs that wages were increasing which pushed inflation measures such as 10-year...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: In a Position to Improve?

Posted To: MBS Commentary

While they're extremely important to institutional investors and analysts, the role of trading positions in the bond market is one of the most easily overlooked factors in rate movement over shorter time horizons. "Positions" is just a fancy way to refer to how many dollars are betting for or against bonds. This is particularly relevant at the moment because the only traders doing much betting in favor of Treasuries are those that are using Treasuries to hedge positions elsewhere in the market. We can glean this from the CFTC's weekly position report, which breaks Treasury positions into commercial and non-commercial categories. In other words, non-commercial positions tell us the most about how speculators are betting on Treasuries. To say that they're short would be...(read more)

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A Happy New Year for Construction Stats

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Residential construction got off to a strong start in January, with sizable increases in both permits and housing starts and only a slight downturn in completions. The gains follow a particularly disappointing performance in construction starts in December. Statistics were spotty on a regional basis, and especially weak in the Midwest. The Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development said residential construction permits were at an annual rate of 1,396,000 units, a 7.4 percent increase over both December and January 2017. The annual rate clock in both earlier periods was 1,300,000. The December number was a slight revision from the 1,302,000 originally reported. Permitting exceeded even the highest forecasts. Analysts estimates reported by Econoday ranged from 1,260,000...(read more)

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Subservicing Product; Tax Changes' Impact on Business

Posted To: Pipeline Press

Mortgage rates are greatly influenced by supply and demand. And if both the U.S. government and individuals need to borrow money, the government usually wins. Total U.S. household debt hit an all-time high of $13.15 trillion at the end of 2017 . That’s up $193 billion from the previous quarter. Mortgage debt is at $8.88 trillion, up $139 billion. The Fed Funds futures are now predicting an 83% chance of a hike at the March meeting. By the end of 2018 the odds are good we’ll have seen 3 hikes this year taking overnight Fed Funds rate to 2.0% - 2.25%. And if the slope of the yield curve remains constant, we can expect the 10-year note to yield in the mid-high 3% area, and IF mortgages tag along, 30-year rates will be in the low 5% area. Ready for all that? Taxes, The Budget, and the...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Deceptively Bad Day For Bonds

Posted To: MBS Commentary

At face value, today was great! Bonds overlooked all of the morning's economic data (no surprise) and made modest gains that were subsequently held throughout the session. There was very little volatility. The ground-holding came despite gains in stocks. And multiple lenders repriced positively. Indeed, all of the above is "good!" The issue is that all of that ground-holding occurred in the thick of yesterday afternoon's range and yesterday afternoon was the worst afternoon for bond market in more than 4 years! Even more disconcerting is the fact that yields ran into resistance today at a floor around 2.88% which was an important ceiling over the past two weeks. It was only meaningfully broken yesterday, so to return to the scene of that crime and use 2.88% as a floor is not...(read more)

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Rates Hold Steady Despite Stock Gains

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates were roughly unchanged today. Some lenders even offered improved rates in the afternoon as underlying bond markets managed to hold modest gains. All this despite another winning day for stocks (5th in a row now). Much has been made of the interaction between stocks and bonds since last week's stock market flash crash. Unfortunately many of the correlations mentioned in the news are fairly black and white. For instance, many people believe that stock prices and bond yields move higher together because a growing economy not only implies stronger stock performance, but it can also support higher rates. In practice, however, this correlation is hit and miss . It seemed to be hitting in the wake of last week's crash and then again yesterday afternoon. Then today, bond markets (which...(read more)

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Fannie/Freddie Need Your Money Again, But Not Like They Used To

Posted To: MND NewsWire

While the prospect of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac needing taxpayer money conjures up images of a failing mortgage market requiring a government bailout, that's very far from the case this time around. In fact, taxpayers continue to come out way ahead with respect to the GSEs' conservatorship agreement, even after the draws that will be needed to cover 4th quarter losses. At issue are one-time write-downs arising from accounting changes in response to the new tax bill. After this, it should be business as usual (a business that has been returning a significant amount of money to US taxpayers). Both Freddie Mae and Fannie Mae posted strong full-year incomes for 2017 despite that both also suffered fourth quarter losses courtesy of the new tax law. Fannie's comprehensive income was $2.5 billion...(read more)

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