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MBS RECAP: Week Ends Roughly Where it Began, with Bonds Drifting

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 21:17:36 GMT

Posted To: MBS Commentary

For all the sturm and drang seen in the middle of the week, trading levels somehow managed to hit today's 3pm close almost perfectly in line with Monday morning's levels. As expected, Monday and Friday were relative non-events, given that neither contained any interesting data or events on the calendar. This week's drama was primarily reserved for Tuesday and Wednesday. The biggest event of the week for bonds was arguably the release of Yellen's prepared congressional testimony at 10am on Tuesday morning. Markets were looking for some read--ANY read--on the Fed's most timely thoughts on rate hikes. When the first few newswires specifically mentioned the need to hike sooner vs later, it was off to the races for bond yields. Wednesday saw the weakness continue. At issue were...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Slightly Lower to End Week

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 20:13:00 GMT

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates moved lower for a 2nd straight day. This helps undo virtually all of the damage done by the first 3 days of the week. In other words, today's rates are right in line with last Friday's after having been noticeably higher for the past 4 days. There were no significant economic reports or market-moving headlines today as markets were instead focused on limiting their exposure to volatility over the upcoming 3-day weekend. On that note, keep in mind that banks and most mortgage lenders will be closed on Monday for the Presidents Day holiday. 4.25% remains the most prevalent conventional 30yr fixed rate on top tier scenarios, although a handful of lenders moved back down to 4.125% yesterday and today. Borrowers being quoted the same "note rate" as yesterday are seeing today's improvement...(read more)

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GSE Profits Put Taxpayers More Than $78 bln Ahead

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 19:21:50 GMT

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs) each reported positive financial results for the fourth quarter of 2016. The two have posted nearly uninterrupted quarterly profits, (Freddie Mac had a net loss of $354 million in the first quarter of 2016) since 2012. Under the conservatorship agreement, net profits are "swept" to Treasury in the form of dividends. After the expected Q4 dividends, Treasury will have received $78.4 billion more than the GSEs borrowed. Fannie Mae reported annual net income of $12.3 billion and comprehensive income of $11.7 billion in 2016. In the fourth quarter income was $5.0 billion and comprehensive income was 4.9 billion. Income in the third quarter was$3.2 billion and for all of 2015 it was $10.6 billion Freddie Mac's full-year net income was $7.8 Billion and Comprehensive...(read more)

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Product, Appraisal News; Upcoming Events; FHA/NHF/Sapphire Drama; SoFi, Altisource, Blackstone

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 15:31:45 GMT

Posted To: Pipeline Press

In lender and regulator news, SoFi (Social Finance) is reportedly close to raising $500 million in fresh funds from an investor group led by Silver Lake & SoftBank. Bloomberg reported that during an earnings call this week Blackstone Mortgage Trust plans to expand construction loan business. With plenty of undeployed equity at Blackstone, CEO Steve Plavin observed that it is a challenging environment for banks to compete and there is still demand from developers, and that BXMT has a unique opportunity. Banks "are not really in it" and BXMT wants to fill void. He believes that higher rates can produce a "very attractive ROI." At the other end of the spectrum shares of PHH Corp fell as much as 20% yesterday . Apparently, investors are disappointed it did not announce a sale on the investor...(read more)

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17 Percent of Consumers Unaware That Mortgages Involve Closing Costs

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 14:40:03 GMT

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Despite the regulations imposed by the Truth-in-Lending/RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rules and disclosure forms in October 2015, some homebuyers still say their final closing costs caught them by surprise . Some appear to have been unaware that closing costs were even required. ClosingCorp, a provider of real estate closing cost data and technology, has released results of a new on-line survey that explored whether TRID has helped consumers better understand the closing costs associated with purchasing a home. The survey, commission by ClosingCorp and conducted by Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research, was conducted in early January, among 1,000 adults nationwide who had purchased a home during the 12 months ended on January 1, 2017. When asked what surprised them about their closing...(read more)

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NAR Releases New Measure of Affordability

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 14:30:42 GMT

Posted To: MND NewsWire

The National Association of Realtors ® and on-line real estate marketplace have unveiled a new housing affordability model . The model uses data on mortgages, state-level income information, and real estate listings to derive two measures of availability and affordability. The data results first in an Affordability Distribution Curve which examines how many listings are affordable to buyers in a particular income percentile. The second measure, the Affordability Score, is a calculation equal to twice the area below the Affordability Distribution Curve on a graph. Confusing, especially without seeing the graph , but we trust it is enough to know going forward that this number will vary between zero and two. A score of one or above indicates a market where homes for sale are more affordable...(read more)

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Lower FICO Scores - A Harbinger of Hope?

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 13:56:54 GMT

Posted To: MND NewsWire

What is that cloud of dust in the distance? Is it a bird, a plane? We mix our popular culture references, but maybe it is a faint signal of approaching looser lending standards. Ellie Mae's Origination Insight Report for January reports a fairly significant drop in the FICO scores of closed loans, down 4 points overall compared to the previous month, to an average of 722 . While one month certainly doesn't make a trend, this was the latest what has been a nearly monthly drop in scores, coming down off the 2016 high of 731 in August. It was however mostly refinancing that brought down the average. Conventional refinance scores dropped 7 points to 732, FHA eased back by 3 points and VA by 2 points. Ellie Mae also reports that the share of home purchase originations dipped slightly in January...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: Bonds Favor Range-Bound Neutrality Ahead of 3-Day Weekend

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 13:39:56 GMT

Posted To: MBS Commentary

It's a real dud of a day in terms of excitement on the event/econ calendar. There are no significant economic reports and no potentially market-moving Fed speeches (Mester speaks at 8pm--too late to move markets--not to mention that her stance wouldn't surprise anyone). This leaves financial markets to trade in an unencumbered void of influence, expressing their purest, intrinsic trading ideas and goals. On the Friday before a 3-day weekend, those goals may simply involve paring positions and retreating to the neutrality at the center of recent ranges. Just such a move is already underway for bonds from the overnight session. Normally, the developments in the chart would be more exciting, because we have yields breaking the midpoint of the range and fast stochastics shifting bullishly...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Bonds Bounce Back, But Why?

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 22:38:14 GMT

Posted To: MBS Commentary

As far as bond market rallies go, today's was one of the most mysterious in recent memory. Several conclusions will have to be jumped to in order to assign any semblance of causality. One of the best, simplest arguments for latent bond market strength is the fact that the risk barometer du jour--Yen-- had begun a strong move lower (stronger Yen) yesterday. That trend helped arrest yesterday's rising rates despite relentless stock gains. Then today, as soon as stocks faltered, rates were instantly ready to pay more attention to the Yen move that had continued unabated. If you want to add an extra twist to this narrative, consider this article that came out shortly before today's rally began. Investors would be considering its point (perpetual legal imbroglio for Trump) moments before...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Finally Find Some Traction

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 21:51:00 GMT

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

After spending the past 5 business days moving higher, mortgage rates finally found their footing today. The improvement came in phases, with today's first round of rate sheets only marginally better than yesterday's. Bond markets (which underlie rate movement) surged into stronger territory around 11am as investors pared risk during Trump's press conference. This allowed most lenders to "reprice," meaning they send out revised rate sheets with better terms. From the highest levels in nearly 3 weeks yesterday, today's rates ultimately fell to the lowest levels of the week by the afternoon. 4.25% remains the most prevalent conventional 30yr fixed rate on top tier scenarios, although several lenders moved back down to 4.125%. That means most borrowers will see today's improvements in the form...(read more)

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Building Permits Approaching Post-Meltdown Highs

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 14:53:31 GMT

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Results from this morning's residential construction report from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development were mixed . Construction permits made a strong showing while housing starts were down, continuing the see-saw pattern that has persisted for months. The Western region was markedly weak across all three of the report's areas. Construction permits were issued at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,285,000, up 4.6 percent from the December rate of 1,228,000. The latter number was a revision from the 1,210,000 units previously announced. On a year-over-year basis permitting posted an 8.2 percent increase over the previous January's pace of 1,188,000. The results bested estimates of analysts polled by Econoday who were looking for permits in the range of...(read more)

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Do You Have the Right Homeowners' Insurance?

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 14:53:00 GMT

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Most mortgages contain a requirement that the collateral property carry adequate insurance to cover repayment of the mortgage in the event of a loss. However, Edward Martinez, a technical trainer in CoreLogic's Insurance & Spatial Solutions department, writes in the company's Insights blog that what satisfies a lender may not be the best solution for the homeowner. The required insurance, generally called homeowner's insurance, is a package policy that covers both damage to property and legal liability for any injuries or property damage a homeowner, family members, or household pets may cause to other people. Martinez explains that there are eight levels of homeowner insurance . The most basic is HO-1 which covers only specific named perils; HO-8 is designed for older homes and usually...(read more)

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Merger Mania: PHH, G-Rate, LenderLive and More; FHA/VA Changes

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 14:38:00 GMT

Posted To: Pipeline Press

Bank of America has opened 3 completely automated branches without any employees. Customers can use ATMs or have video conferences with employees at other branches, and the branches are about 25% the size of a normal branch. Bank of America indicates that since 2009 it has reduced its branch footprint by 23%, as the percentage of customers doing automated transactions has jumped 94%. Merger & Acquisition news. For various reasons (age of owners, shifting business models, cost of compliance) the mergers and acquisitions situation has been off to a strong start , and expected to continue. The latest example is Realogy Holdings Corp, a full-service residential real estate services company, and Guaranteed Rate, an independent retail mortgage company, announced a new joint venture , Guaranteed...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: Longer-Term Bonds Trying to Resist

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 13:31:31 GMT

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Today begins with another glut of economic data at 8:30am, although it's fairly tame compared to yesterday's CPI/Retail Sales duo. Housing Starts are expected to come in at 1.222 mln after last month's 1.226 mln reading. The analogous numbers for Building Permits are 1.23mln vs 1.228 mln previously. The only other consequential data at 8:30am is the Philly Fed Index, expected in at 18.0 vs 23.6 previously. Jobless Claims comes out at the same time, but it's not a market mover these days. Beyond that, bond markets-- especially longer-dated bonds (7, 10, 30yr yields and Fannie 3.5 MBS, for a few examples) will be doing their best to cling to edge of the consolidation range broken yesterday. In terms of technical analysis, most chartists consider the first day of a technical breakout...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Trend Remains Unfriendly, but Bonds Find Support

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 22:19:41 GMT

Posted To: MBS Commentary

When it comes to the most simplistic charts of bond market trends, there are two "bad things" that rates could do in the current context. One of the two bad things happened today. 10yr yields broke above the upper boundary of the consolidation trend that began in early December. This refers to the converging white lines in the chart below. As expected, the breakout was followed by additional momentum leading yields toward the 2.53% level. Ideally, this is where we would see support in the event of a breakout and indeed we did. The worst case scenario (the other "bad thing" mentioned above) is a ways off still. That would involve yields breaking above the highs seen in December--something that would truly support a longer-term, bigger-picture move toward higher rates. Today's...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Approach 3-Week Highs

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 21:29:00 GMT

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates rose for the 5th day in a row following a higher reading in this morning's inflation data and an upbeat Retail Sales report. In general, stronger economic data and higher inflation motivate investors to move money out of the bond market. As demand for bonds falls, bond prices move lower and rates move higher. Today's increase brings mortgage rates close to their highest level in 3 weeks . You'd have to go back to January 25th to see worse. That said, "worse" is a relative term. Both then and now, a top tier scenario would result in a conventional 30yr fixed rate of 4.25%. Today's upfront costs would be just slightly lower. Only a few lenders remain at 4.125% on comparable scenarios and several have moved up to 4.375%. Loan Originator Perspective Bond markets lost further ground...(read more)

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Delinquencies Rose in Fourth Quarter, Foreclosure Stats Improve

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 18:47:52 GMT

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Mortgage delinquencies had their first fourth quarter uptick since 2013, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said on Wednesday. Its quarterly National Delinquency Survey put the delinquency rate, loans that are at least one payment past due but not in foreclosure, at 4.80 percent of all mortgages in the last quarter of 2016. This was an increase of 28 basis points (bps) from the third quarter level and was 3 bps higher than in the fourth quarter of 2015. The serious delinquency rate, loans that are more than 90 days past due or in foreclosure, was 3.13 percent, up 17 basis points from the previous quarter and an increase of 31 bps from a year earlier. MBA said over 70 percent of the serious delinquencies were attributable to loans originated in 2007 and earlier ." Foreclosure starts dipped...(read more)

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Builder Confidence Leveling-Off as Buyer Traffic Wanes

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 15:36:55 GMT

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Builder confidence in the market for single family homes slid 2 points again in February to a score of 65 on the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). The index had backed off two points in January as well, after reaching a decades-long high of 69 in December. Analysts had been expected an increase in the HMI this month. Those surveyed by Econoday had an average expectation of 68 for the index. NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald said, "While builders remain optimistic , we are seeing the numbers settling back into a normal range. Regulatory burdens remain a major challenge to our industry, and NAHB looks forward to working with the new Congress and administration to help alleviate some of the pressures that are holding small businesses back and making...(read more)

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Vendor and MI News; Fannie/Freddie in the Markets; Refis Down to 2009 Levels

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 14:56:47 GMT

Posted To: Pipeline Press

“The flat earth society has members all around the globe.” Speaking of orbs, while global wealth totals $255 trillion , the median wealth of all 4.8 billion global adults is just $2,222 ; the average is $52,819. Economist Elliot Eisenberg informs us that, “In North America, it takes $4.47 million in wealth to be in the top 1%, in Europe it takes $1.41 million, in Asia-Pacific $660,000 and in China $230,000. The 33 million earthly millionaires, 0.7% of the global adult population, own 45.6% of all planetary wealth.” V endor and MI news The mortgage tech company Special Agent X has launched Version 2.0 of its X-Ray digital dashboard. We had already told you about how X-Ray transforms massive amounts of information on loans, leads and accounting, as well as information...(read more)

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Refinancing Share Sputters to 8-Year Low, ARMs Revive

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 13:44:50 GMT

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Applications for both purchase and refinance mortgages declined during the week ended February 10 compared to activity a week earlier. The Mortgage Bankers Association said its Market Composite Index, a measure of applications volume, was down 3.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis compared to the week ended February 3 and was 1 percent lower unadjusted. The share of refinancing slipped by 1 percentage point, the fourth consecutive week it has fallen, reaching 46.9 percent of all mortgage applications, the lowest share since June 2009. The Refinance Index decreased 3 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index fell by 5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis but remained 1 percent higher than the week before when unadjusted and 3 percent higher than the same week...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: Bonds Look to Defend The Line Amid Data and More Fed-Speak

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 13:33:14 GMT

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Fed Chair Yellen takes the hot-seat at Congress for a 2nd day today, but this time in front of the always-cheerful and relentlessly intelligent folks at the House Financial Services Committee. Not that yesterday's Senate testimony was some paragon of thoughtful dialogue between professionals, but compared to what we typically see at the House, it may as well have been. In other words, today's testimony is not the same animal. The tough questions have already been asked and answered. Yellen's prepared statement (the thing that moved markets in the first place) is already out and will remain unchanged. Today is about drama, political posturing, and inane tirades that make one wonder if we're all on Candid Camera: American Democracy Edition. The bottom line is that Yellen's...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Bonds Take Yellen's Meaning, Even if She Didn't Offer

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 22:22:38 GMT

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Bond markets (and markets in general) periodically experience an interesting phenomenon whereby traders are determined to make one of two bets following an anticipated piece of news. This is most often seen in the reaction to the monthly NFP numbers. Traders aren't always as determined to forcibly extract meaning from Fed communications, but when they are, the reactions tend to be more abrupt . Today was such an occasion. Janet Yellen could have taken her seat in the Senate and simply pointed discreetly toward the ceiling and the market response would have been the same. Investors were ready to trade rates quickly to the low or high side of the recent range if they read Yellen's remarks as indicating lower or higher chances of a March rate hike respectively. The first few newswires...(read more)

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Losing Streak Continues for Mortgage Rates

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 21:34:00 GMT

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates moved higher for the 4th straight day today, following Fed Chair Janet Yellen's congressional testimony. It wasn't that Yellen's speech or Q&A contained any major surprises. Rather, bond markets (which dictate rates) were simply looking for some indication of "sooner vs later" with respect to the Fed's next rate hike. Her comments were generally more in line with "sooner." Bond markets responded by quickly trading rates to higher levels, resulting in multiple "negative reprices" for mortgage lenders this morning. Bonds calmed down in the afternoon, and ended up clawing back roughly half of the morning's losses by the end of the day. Many lenders were consequently able to offer "positive reprices"--bringing rate sheets part of the way back to yesterday's levels. Despite the...(read more)

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Housing Distress Measures Continue Double Digit Declines

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 19:55:50 GMT

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Both the size of the foreclosure inventory and the number of foreclosures completed declined by large percentages from December 2015 to December 2016. CoreLogic, in its monthly National Foreclosure Report, puts the number of completed foreclosures nationwide at 21,000 in December, a 40 percent decline from the 36,000 homes that were foreclosed a year earlier. On a month-over-month basis, completed foreclosures were down by 8.1 percent compared to November when 23,000 homes were foreclosed. As a basis of comparison, before the decline in the housing market, completed foreclosures averaged about 22,000 per month nationwide between 2000 and 2006. December's foreclosures were down 82 percent from the peak month of September 2010, just before the nationwide foreclosure moratorium was instituted...(read more)

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Realtors Say It's a Dog's World

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 19:42:16 GMT

Posted To: MND NewsWire

No one asks for their employment verification or computes their debt-to-income ratio. Yet, when it comes to buying, selling, or renovating a home the family fur baby apparently plays an important role in the process. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) has just released results of its annual survey on remodeling , titling it Animal House: Remodeling Impact Report . The survey found that 81 percent of respondents reported that animal-related considerations play a role in their decisions about the next living situation. "In 2016, 61 percent of U.S. households either have a pet or plan to get one in the future, so it is important to understand the unique needs and wants of animal owners when it comes to homeownership " said NAR President William E. Brown. "Realtors understand that...(read more)

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