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Mortgage News Daily


Mortgage News Daily

Posted To: MBS Commentary

As recently as January 10th, Jerome Powell unequivocally stated that the Fed's balance sheet wind-down was on auto pilot. In other words, they weren't going to be jumping back into buying bonds with balance sheet reinvestments any time soon. Now in the wake of the January 30th Fed statement, rehashing the balance sheet plan is all the rage. Today's line-up of speakers put an exclamation point on the topic with most of them clearly communicating a near-term end to the balance sheet run-off. In other words, there's a 2019 scenario (and a likely one, to hear them say it) where the Fed could begin buying bonds again. Keep in mind this isn't bond-buying in the QE sense. The Fed wouldn't be printing money or adding to its balance sheet. Rather, we're just talking about...(read more)

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2/22/2019 6:23:46 PM

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates are most directly affected by the day to day movement in the bond market. It's interesting to consider that bonds improved quite a bit today, even though mortgage rates were only modestly higher. In fact, some lenders continued showing rates that were roughly similar to yesterday's. What gives?! Part of the problem is that yesterday saw bond markets fall (which implies higher rates) throughout the day, but not enough for many lenders to go to the trouble of changing their rate sheet offerings. As such, they were left to raise rates this morning, assuming the bond market stayed at yesterday afternoon's levels. But because bonds improved today, lenders didn't have to catch their rate sheets up to yesterday's bond market weakness. In the afternoon, we saw a sort of mirror image...(read more)

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2/22/2019 5:12:00 PM

Posted To: MBS Commentary

If you're not familiar with these terms, you'll need the following definitions for today's commentary: hawkish/dovish . The Fed is a key ingredient in the market movement outlook going forward. This isn't to say that they will decide which way the market is going to move in the long run (that's the job of economic data, trade war developments, etc), but they can certainly play a role in determining how quickly markets get wherever they're going, and whether or not we see volatility in the process. With that in mind, the Fed appears to be in a state of transition with respect to its message. Investors (read: the stock market) criticized them for being "too cold" in December ( here's our coverage ). Then in January, the Fed was arguably "too hot"...(read more)

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2/22/2019 8:56:22 AM

Posted To: Pipeline Press

In the good news category, we can all knock “lumber prices” off the list as a hindrance to builders. Prices are down 25% in the last year. Is it “easier” to be a builder, or home buyer data source, than a lender? Zillow has found that being a mortgage lender isn’t a cakewalk in recent months and has replaced CEO Spencer Rascoff (a co-founder who served as CEO for nearly a decade and oversaw the transition for Zillow as the home buying platform moved into mortgage lending and buying and selling homes) with co-founder Rich Barton. In other senior management changes, congrats to Steve Smith, Stearns Lending’s new president . Lender P roducts and Services For banks and credit unions looking for wholesale relationships, Gershman Mortgage offers a Non-Delegated...(read more)

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2/22/2019 7:53:39 AM

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Fannie Mae is predicting a notable slowdown in the growth of the U.S. economy in the first quarter of 2019. They have downgraded their earlier forecast by 0.1 percent to an annualized rate of 1.7 percent, compared to 2.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018. For the full year they are looking for growth of 2.2 percent, down from what is expected to be a final rate of 3.1 percent last year. The first quarter forecast from the company's economists reflects expectations that consumer spending has slowed as their confidence in future economic conditions has deteriorated. The economists do think that most of the impact of the partial government shutdown will dissipate by the end of the quarter and the government debt ceiling will be raised in a way that doesn't unduly undermine investor, business...(read more)

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2/22/2019 7:20:51 AM

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Although today brought the week's most anticipated line-up of economic data as well as overnight headlines on US/China trade agreements, the biggest market mover was yesterday's Fed Minutes. At the time, I expressed confusion as to why financial markets weren't doing more to react to the Fed's most surprising update where it basically said January was a market-friendly month for Fed policy in order to address backlash over an unfriendly December. This is a gross oversimplification of a fairly tactfully worded confession, but it was a confession nonetheless. Don't get me wrong. There were plenty of other reasons for the Fed to be more market-friendly in January, but the fact remains that they took a moment to acknowledge the market's concern and to say they felt they'd...(read more)

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2/21/2019 3:48:28 PM

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates may be close to their lowest levels in more than a year, but they were slightly higher versus yesterday. Yesterday's rates were close enough to 1-year lows that no one would take exception with the claim. That said, rates on January 31st were slightly lower for most lenders. Why all the fuss? No fuss , per se. It's just that many mainstream news outlets are running stories today about the "lowest rates in more than a year" due to Freddie Mac's weekly mortgage rates survey. Indeed, if we're just comparing the Monday/Tuesday 30yr fixed rate averages (which is essentially what Freddie's survey does), this week definitely qualifies as having the lowest rates in a year. As is always the case with delayed data, by the time you read about it, the story has often changed. None of the...(read more)

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2/21/2019 3:03:00 PM

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Existing home sales fell again in January although the decline was a minor one compared to the 6.4 percent drop in December. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) said sales of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops ticked down 1.2 percent from December's annual rate of 4.99 million to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.94 million. That number, the lowest since November 2015, put sales behind those a year earlier (5.40 million) by 8.5 percent. Single-family home sales declined from 4.45 million in December to 4.37 million, putting them 8.4 percent lower on a year-over-year basis. Existing condominiums and co-ops sold at an annual rate of 570,000 units in January, up 3.6 percent from last month and down 9.5 percent from a year ago. Analysts, pointing to lower mortgage...(read more)

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2/21/2019 10:29:47 AM

Posted To: MND NewsWire

A 16-basis point drop to 5.01 percent in the average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages was given only partial credit for a sizable uptick in the refinancing share of originations in January. Ellie Mae's Origination Insight Report for the month shows the refinancing share of originations jumped to 35 percent from 29 percent in December. The share of FHA loans that were for refinancing rose 3 percentage points to 21 percent and Conventional refinances rose from 31 percent to 35 percent. "The increase in refinances in January is likely due to seasonality with lower purchase volume tied to the holiday season as well a modest drop in rates from November and December," said Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae. "We anticipate that as we move into the traditionally busier spring months...(read more)

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2/21/2019 9:05:09 AM

Posted To: Pipeline Press

“Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” A clever quote about differences which reminded me that there are differences between the national debt and the budget deficit. Beginning in 2022, U.S. annual budget deficits are on track to top $1 trillion, but some economists say that isn’t really a problem as long as the economic growth rate exceeds the rate the US pays on debt, the debt can be managed. Rates may help. SF Federal Reserve President Mary Daly says there is a possibility that no interest-rate rises will be imposed in 2019, as long as the economy progresses as expected, and Fed chairman Jerome Powell has said that "the case for raising rates has weakened somewhat." Lender Products and Services Looking for ways to grow your business? Freddie Mac is collaborating...(read more)

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2/21/2019 7:58:19 AM


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