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Rates Rise but Refi Share Unchanged

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 16:26:15 GMT

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Refinancing accounted for 35 percent of all mortgages originated in August, unchanged from July, but down from 47 percent at the beginning of the year. Ellie Mae's says, in its Origination Insight Report for the month, that refinancing is holding up especially well among conventional loans where the share ticked up 2 percentage points from July to 42 percent of all loans. "As the summer season draws to a close, refinances held steady at 35 percent of all closed loans coupled with a slight increase in interest rates to 4.27, up from the 2017 low of 4.25 in July," said Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae. The share of loans claimed by each product type was unchanged from both June and July. Conventional loans made up 64 percent, FHA 22 percent, and VA 10 percent. The time to close a...(read more)

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UI Praises HARP Benefits, Lessons

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 15:14:13 GMT

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Sometimes government gets it right. The Urban Institute (UI) clearly thinks that the Home Affordable Refinance Program, at least in its second iteration , was one of those times. The history of HARP, as the program is known, is the subject of a post in UI's Urban Wire blog credited to four UI analysts*. They say that, before 2009, borrowers who had little or no equity in their homes could not refinance, even if their mortgages were current. With home prices plummeting, the number of homeowners in that situation was rapidly expanding and many were stuck in loans with 6 percent or higher rates, even as current rates fell below 4 percent. This cost borrowers significant savings and deprived the struggling economy of much needed stimulus. In 2009, the two government sponsored enterprises (GSEs...(read more)

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Agency Conforming Changes; Market Exec on Cost to Originate

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 13:37:32 GMT

Posted To: Pipeline Press

Welcome to the autumn equinox. How about this? There have been no public CFPB enforcement actions or consent orders dealing with QM, ATR, or TRID. Zero, zip. Has the CFPB realized that companies are genuinely trying to adhere, and that having 100% TRID error-free originations is impossible? Or that that regulation through enforcement action is not a good idea, a concept advanced by lenders, state & regional trade groups, and the MBA? Certainly there are violations - just look at pages 17 & 18 of the Supervisory Highlights . Giving lenders instructions, and time for continued improvement, rather than taking away half their net worth via a penalty is constructive. But as my cat Myrtle seems to believe, "Just because there aren't heads impaled on the castle wall doesn't mean the beatings...(read more)

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Home Equity Increases, Average Gains Vary Wildly

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 13:18:49 GMT

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Rising home prices continue to fuel fast growth in household equity. CoreLogic said on Thursday that owners of mortgaged properties in the U.S. (roughly 63 percent of all homes) gained an aggregate of $766 billion in additional equity between the second quarter of 2016 and the same quarter this year. This is an increase of 10.6 percent in nationwide equity over that period. The average increase for each homeowner was just under $13,000, but the distribution is far from even across the states. A few states in the west , notably Washington, Hawaii, and California, with equity gains of $40,000, $33,000 and $30,000 respectively, have offset much poorer performances elsewhere. Homeowners in Alaska saw their equity decline by an average of $1,200 and Delaware homeowners also posted a tiny loss. On...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: Despite North Korea Headlines, Same Showdown on Tap

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 12:59:54 GMT

Posted To: MBS Commentary

With a dearth of economic data on the calendar, bond traders were set to take cues from other traders, technical levels, and perhaps a big-ticket headline or two. Today begins with just such headlines . As has been the case for several market moving headlines of late, today's center on North Korea. North Korea has tested nukes within its borders. It's tested ICBM's outside its borders, but it has yet to test ICBM's with nukes outside its borders--something it threatened to do overnight. That's the big shift this time around, and the key reason that these headlines were worth a market reaction whereas the last round of "test" headlines fell on deaf ears. The overnight reaction was clearly "risk-off" (stocks, Yen, bond yields all moved lower). But if we...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Bonds Generally Hold Ground, Complicating The Outlook

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 20:40:46 GMT

Posted To: MBS Commentary

In a sick way, it would have been easier to see additional weakness in bond markets today. At least that would have jived with past precedent of "course corrections" from the Fed resulting in a shift in the prevailing momentum. Arguably, yesterday's Fed announcement was a course correction--not because they implemented the balance sheet normalization, but rather, because they clarified the impact that recent data and events had on their rate hike outlook. Long story short, recent data and events didn't slow the Fed down as much as markets figured it would. It wouldn't have been a surprise to see yesterday's weakness continue overnight and into the next several trading days. Instead, bonds picked out a fairly handy technical ceiling at 2.28% in 10 yr yields and left...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Find Some Support

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 19:44:00 GMT

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates have been higher almost exclusively for the past 2 weeks. Yesterday was no exception as the Federal Reserve released a rate hike forecast that was slightly more optimistic than markets were expecting. By yesterday afternoon, the average 30yr fixed mortgage rate was at its highest levels in over a month. The Fed news justified a defensive stance among prospective mortgage borrowers. When rates move initially higher following a Fed announcement, it's all too common to see that momentum continue in the following day. In today's case, we've actually seen a bit of support. Underlying bond markets were in slightly better shape vs yesterday for most of the day, thus allowing lenders to either keep mortgage rates unchanged or to bring them marginally lower. 4.0% remains the most prevalently...(read more)

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3 Trends That Will Drive The Mortgage Market in 2018 - Freddie Mac

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 16:36:28 GMT

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Hard to believe it's already that time again, but Freddie Mac's Economic and Housing Research Group are out with their forecast for 2018. The headline is that they expect the economic environment to remain favorable for housing and mortgage markets, with moderate economic growth of about two percent, solid job gains, and low mortgage interest rates . In other words, Deja vu all over again. There will be, they say, three trends driving the 2018 mortgage market: an increase in purchase mortgage volume; cooling of rate refinance activity, and more borrowers tapping their home equity. They put forward specific expectations for each. Increases in the volume of purchase mortgages will be the result of modest gains in both home sales and home price growth. Thus far in 2017, home sales are the highest...(read more)

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Pacific Division Prices Down in FHFA Report

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 13:48:50 GMT

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Home prices increased by 0.2 percent from June to July according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA's) House Price Index (HPI). The previously reported May to June gain was unchanged at 0.1 percent. Analysts expected a more aggressive increase . Those polled by Econoday had reported a consensus of 0.4 percent, with a range of 0.1 to 0.5. The FHFA's index is constructed using home sales price information from purchase mortgages sold to or guaranteed by the government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The year-over-year appreciation in the July HPI was 6.3 percent compared to 6.5 percent in June. The largest gain among the nine census divisions was 0.6 percent in the East North Central division (Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio). The Pacific division...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: Bond Sell-Off's Grinch-Like Heart Growing 2.28 Sizes

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 13:43:36 GMT

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Remember when the Grinch's heart grew 3 sizes? No, I mean, do you really remember watching that movie for the first time and the feeling you had when you saw the Grinch finally on the cusp of doing something redeeming? Fans of low rates might be having a similar feeling today. The recent sell-off (or call it a "correction," if you like, as it has yet to erase the bigger rally that preceded it) has been a certifiable grinch . 9 out of the past 9 trading sessions (through yesterday) saw yields close at higher levels than they opened. Frustratingly , there were 2-3 days starting on Thursday or Friday of last week that made it seem like the correction was leveling off ahead of this week's Fed announcement. Obviously, this was the bond market's attempt at an allusion Cindy...(read more)

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False Claims Act Penalty; Lender's Disaster News; Fed Does the Expected

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 13:25:29 GMT

Posted To: Pipeline Press

I am currently in South Carolina, and as it turns out, no other U.S. region is more populous than the South Atlantic United States (Washington, D.C., Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida). I realize that this commentary is focused on residential lending, but this area also represents a key portion of the CMBS market , as it carries the second-highest total of outstanding balance by region. A high delinquency rate, aftermath from natural disasters, and broader market trends, however, have put some stress on the South Atlantic region. It can't help but impact residential lending. Legal News Another fine was levied by the Department of Justice under the catch-all False Claims Act. A federal judge ordered Allied Home Mortgage Corp, Allied...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Ugly September Gets Uglier After The Fed

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 21:28:49 GMT

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Today's Fed announcement wasn't appreciably different than most economists, traders, and armchair analysts expected. They confirmed the inception of the balance sheet normalization plan. They referenced temporary impacts from hurricanes. They didn't get overly-optimistic about the economy or inflation. But markets didn't put their trading pants on today thinking about how the Fed announcement would read. Traders wanted to see THE DOTS (a reference to the "dot plot" the Fed uses to convey its quarterly update to rate hike expectations. Based on the past 2 months of fairly dovish Fed speeches, lackluster inflation data, downgraded growth forecasts, and various non-data-related risks for the economy, market participants figured the Fed would cool its jets compared to...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Highest in More Than a Month After Fed

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 21:12:00 GMT

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates rose today following the announcement and--more importantly--the Fed's updated economic projections . The Fed holds 8 meetings a year. They release an official policy announcement after all of those. Four of the meetings are "special" and are followed not only by a policy announcement, but also by updated economic projections from Fed members. These projections include an important "dot plot" of the Fed's rate hike expectations. The so-called dots have been more important than the actual announcement on some occasions. While most of today's press coverage will focus on the fact that the Fed finally enacted its plan to shrink its balance sheet. That was widely expected, however. Investors weren't sure how the past few months of economic data and events would affect the rate hike...(read more)

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Differences Between Current and Previous FOMC Statements

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 18:04:57 GMT

Posted To: MBS Commentary

(Additions underlined, deletions struck through) Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in JuneJuly indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising moderately so far this year. Job gains have been solid, on average, since the beginning of the year,remained solid in recent months, and the unemployment rate has declined.stayed low. Household spending has been expanding at a moderate rate, and growth in business fixed investment have continued to expand.has picked up in recent quarters. On a 12-month basis, overall inflation and the measure excluding food and energy prices have declined this year and are running below 2 percent. Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; survey-based measures of longer...(read more)

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Existing Home Sales Distorted by Harvey

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 14:53:06 GMT

Posted To: MND NewsWire

August was yet another disappointing month for existing home sales. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) says those sales were down for the fourth time in five months, retreating 1.7 percent from July's estimate of 5.44 million to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.35 million units. The August number still eked out a tiny 0.2 percent increase from the August 2016 estimate, but is the lowest rate of sales since then. Analysts had been expecting a slight increase from July, probably based on a 1.5 percent increase in pending sales in July. Econoday reported estimates ranging from 5.350 to 5.550 with a consensus of 5.480 million. Total existing home sales are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops. Single family home sales were...(read more)

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Uniform Closing Dataset (UCD) Info; FINRA; Fed Announcement

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 14:27:19 GMT

Posted To: Pipeline Press

UCD Information As announced in September 2016,the Uniform Closing Dataset (UCD) mandate remains September 25, 2017Lenders who can deliver the UCD are expected to adhere to the mandate and submit a successful UCD XML file for all loans being delivered on or after September 25 , 2017 (based on Note Date). However,Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae(the GSEs) are revising its approach to enforcing the UCD delivery requirement. Each GSE's loan delivery system will check for a successful UCD XML file submission, which will result in a "warning" edit if the data are not provided. Lenders should take advantage of these warning messages to ensure they are able to submit a UCD for all loans sold to Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. The GSEs will work with industry participants over the next several months to help...(read more)

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Mortgage Apps Tanked Last Week. Was it Rates' Fault?

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 12:52:38 GMT

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Overall mortgage application activity diminished significantly during the week ended September 15, but refinancing continued to hold its own, representing more than half of the mortgage applications received. The Mortgage Bankers Association says its Market Composite Index, a measure of that volume was down 9.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis compared to the week ended September 8. The earlier week's data included an adjustment to account for the Labor Day holiday. On a non-adjusted basis, the Composite Index increased 12 percent. "At first glance, we might assume that last week's interest rate spike easily explains the drop in apps," notes Mortgage News Daily's Matt Graham, "but then we see MBA's rate survey only shows a 0.01% rise. It's good to remember that survey rates are going...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: Bonds Ready to Move Either Direction After The Fed

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 12:33:25 GMT

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Much like an actor can get lost in a role and take things a bit too far, bond markets played the part of "a market undergoing a correction" a little too well. As of yesterday afternoon, 8 out of the last 8 business days saw 10yr yields close at higher levels than they opened. Low yields of 2.02 have given way to 2.22+ in just over a week. Zooming out to the bigger picture, if you'd been told 2-3 weeks ago that yields would be over 2.22, you probably wouldn't have minded. After all, that's the technical level we were testing as the last full week of August began. The abrupt feeling of the recent selling spree comes courtesy of the snowball rally that took place after Labor Day. That rally coaxed out all inclined buyers and relied on a short squeeze (sellers forced to cover...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Bonds Reaffirm The September Correction

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 21:33:21 GMT

Posted To: MBS Commentary

While MBS managed to remain 1 tick in positive territory today, Treasury yields were higher on the day and the overall mood in bond markets managed to remain downbeat for yet another day. For all intents and purposes, the driving force was simply ongoing "corrective" momentum from the same old correction that's been underway for a week and a half. There were a few economic reports this morning (Housing Starts and Building Permits--stronger than expected and Import/Export prices--higher than expected), but neither had a noticeable impact on bond trading. The 9:30am NYSE open was visually the starting point for today's selling pressure. This reiterates the points above about "corrective momentum" and the unimportance of the econ data. Simply put, traders wore their...(read more)

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Rates Steady Near Recent Highs Ahead of Fed

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 20:36:00 GMT

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates remained unchanged today, on average. This keeps them in line with their highest levels in more than a month, though admittedly, there hasn't been much upward movement since the sharpest leg of the spike ended last Wednesday. Conventional 30yr fixed rates in the "high 3's" remain available for top tier scenarios, but 4.0% is slightly more prevalent now. While there were several economic reports and seemingly important news stories today (both tend to have an effect on rates), bond markets marched to their own beat. Traders were generally getting in position for tomorrow's Fed Announcement. Two weeks ago, the order of the day had been to push rates lower heading into Hurricane Irma weekend. There's been a correction in play since then. From the long-term lows in early September...(read more)

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Fraud Risk Continues Upward Trend

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 17:42:10 GMT

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Jumbo refinances led the way as mortgage fraud risk posted another gain in the second quarter of 2017. CoreLogic reports that overall risk, as measured by its Mortgage Application Fraud Risk Index, was up 16.9 percent from the second quarter of 2016. The company estimates 13,404 mortgage applications contained indications of fraud, an 0.82 percent incidence , compared to 12,718 applications or 0.70 percent a year earlier. CoreLogic's Mortgage Fraud Report analyzes the collective level of loan application fraud risk the mortgage industry is experiencing each quarter. The report looks at detailed data for six fraud type indicators that complement the national index: identity, income, occupancy, property, transaction, and undisclosed real estate debt. The company said the continued shift from...(read more)

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Building Permits Regain Footing, Housing Starts Still Struggling

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 14:03:07 GMT

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Residential construction outcomes in August were mixed, with permitting enjoying a strong comeback after more than a 4 percent downturn in July, but housing starts continuing to slide. Residential completions were also down substantially, which was probably weather related. The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development said that permits for residential construction were up 5.7 percent from the previous month, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,300,000 units compared to a revised (from 1,223,000) rate of 1,230,000 units. Permits are now running 8.3 percent ahead of their August 2016 rate. Permits bested even the most positive projections of analysts polled by Econoday . They had forecast in a range from 1,200,000 to 1,250,000 units with a consensus of 1,220...(read more)

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FHA, VA Updates; Ginnie Mae Overview

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 13:15:45 GMT

Posted To: Pipeline Press

Ginnie, FHA and VA News Lender updates regarding Texas and Florida are quieting down slightly, so let's play some catch up on government programs. Ginnie Mae will consider potentially misleading marketing practices involving U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs-backed lenders. Acknowledging concerns U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren raised in a recent letter, Ginnie Mae Acting President and Chief Operating Officer Michael Bright said that she is right to be bothered by the potential impacts aggressive mortgage marketing practices could have on veteran borrowers. Bright stated that Ginnie Mae has already taken some steps to address these issues, and announced the creation of a joint "Lender Abuse Task Force," which will work with the VA to crack down on such practices especially for VA IRRRLs. People...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: Pirate Talk Could Be Our Best Option

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 12:54:42 GMT

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Ahoy ye salty dogs sailing the high seas of the mortgage world. Another year has come and gone without any grand preparations for Talk Like a Pirate Day, so these first two sentences will likely be the extent of the allusion, although a phrase or two may slip into today's MBS Huddle video (if you're an MBS Live member and don't know what the Huddle is, avast ye! This be the link ye need . Make sure that "yes" is selected at the bottom, and you'll be availed of the Huddle this afternoon). Down to business... Actually, talking like a pirate could prove to be as interesting as anything the bond market has in store for us today, given that so much of the bigger picture focus remains on tomorrow's FOMC events (announcement, forecasts, press conference). As I see it...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Weaker Start With No Major Scapegoats

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 20:49:51 GMT

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Bonds got off to a weaker start on this Fed week, and there weren't any convenient scapegoats in sight. That said, there were a few caveats. Most notable, it was the 2nd lowest volume day of the year for Treasuries, and that's an environment that allows a smaller trading imbalance to have a bigger effect on prices and yields. While we might have hoped the correction that took rates higher last week had run its course, there was still some room to run. 10yr yields pushed up over 2.23% today, rising just over 3bps. While that's the highest level in exactly a month, it's somewhat refreshing to see bonds merely sell-off casually as opposed to getting caught up in a snowball selling spree. Snowball selling wouldn't have been too hard to imagine given the strong performance of...(read more)

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