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Housing Starts Still Under The Weather; Single-Family Permits on The Mend

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 13:58:53 GMT

Posted To: MND NewsWire

The U.S. Census Bureau is mum on causation, but results from the southern region would indicate that the August and September hurricanes probably drove declines in both housing permits (except those for single-family residences) and housing starts in September. Both were down by over 4 percent compared to their August numbers, although housing starts had previously been very weak . Housing completions did rise. The Bureau, in conjunction with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, reports that housing permits nationwide were issued at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,215,000, down 4.5 percent from the August estimate of 1,272,000 units. The August number is a revision from the original estimate of 1,300,000. The September results and the August revision dropped the rate of permitting...(read more)

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Hurricanes Impact on Housing Could Last

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 13:51:13 GMT

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Fannie Mae has lowered its third quarter projections for GDP growth by 0.2 percent to an annualized 2.4 percent based on its assessment of the overall impacts of the recent hurricanes. The company's Economic and Strategic Research (ESR) Group says the storms appeared to have slowed consumer spending growth and dragged modestly on consumer and business confidence. They also disrupted home sales, a sector already suffering from tight inventory. The overall economic impacts of the storms are expected to be short-lived so the fourth quarter estimates have been revised up slightly to reflect a rebound in activity and the start of rebuilding efforts. Their GDP growth forecast for all of 2017 remains at 2.2 percent. The ESR is not quite as optimistic about next year. They expect a boost from hurricane...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: Time For That Mid-October Craziness in Bonds

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 13:43:19 GMT

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Ah mid-October... All too often in the 2009-2014 time frame, we'd seen abrupt reversals of trends at this time of month. We haven't really been on the lookout for that old behavior because 2014 seemed to mark a shift in that trend. 2014 itself was easily attributed to the massive sell-off in Chinese stocks. 2015 was mysteriously sideways. And 2016 was understandably sideways ahead of the election. Even in 2017's version of October so far, we haven't seen nearly the same amount of back-and-forth seen in the 2009-2014 time frame, but as of this morning we are arguably seeing the same pattern begin to play out as bonds are abruptly weaker just days after confirming a positive shift. Analysts scrambled to explain the move overnight and there's really no cohesive conclusion....(read more)

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Mortgage Applications Regain Footing

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 13:12:50 GMT

Posted To: MND NewsWire

The volume of mortgage applications increased last week for the first time since early September. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said its Market Composite Index, a measure of that volume, rose 3.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis during the week ended October 13. It did decline 7 percent on an unadjusted basis from the week ended October 6, a week was shortened by the Columbus Day holiday. The week's results included an adjustment to account for that event. The increase in the Composite Index was the result of gains in both refinance and purchase mortgage applications. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index was up 4 percent compared to the previous week although the unadjusted version fell 6 percent. The Purchase Index was 9 percent higher than during the same week in 2016. Refinancing...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Bonds Scramble Back to Unchanged, Leaving Outlook Cloudy

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 20:52:07 GMT

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Treasuries and MBS have spent the past 2 days trading well inside the range set by last Friday's volatility (big rally following CPI data). Unfortunately, the central tendency during those 2 days has been toward moderately weaker levels. This casts some doubt on what looked like a clear signal on Friday, but it's too soon to rule out additional gains based on today's trading. After all, bonds did manage to make it back to unchanged in many cases. Fannie 3.5 MBS were perfectly unchanged and 10yr yields ended the day just barely into positive territory. Things looked more bleak around 9am this morning when bonds had taken a noticeable turn toward weaker levels. There were no clear fundamental justifications for the movement at the time (import price data was 20 minutes before the...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Rise a Bit More From Recent Lows

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 19:51:00 GMT

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates were at their best levels in roughly a month last Friday afternoon. Since then, they've risen modestly on each of the past two business days. As has been the case for quite some time, day-to-day movement continues to be very tame. The actual interest rates at the top of loan quotes rarely change from one day to the next. Instead, fine-tuning adjustments to the overall cost of financing come courtesy of slightly higher upfront costs--at least in today's case. In other words, if you were being quoted 3.875% yesterday on a 30yr loan yesterday, chances are you'd be seeing the same rate today, but with upfront costs just a bit higher (or a lender credit that's just a bit lower, depending on the scenario). In the bigger picture, rates are attempting to push lower after rising fairly...(read more)

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Builders' Confidence Returns as Hurricane Worries Wane

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 14:35:38 GMT

Posted To: MND NewsWire

After reacting strongly to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma with a four-point drop in September, the Housing Market Index (HMI) regained its footing in October. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) says the HMI, which measures its new home builder member's attitudes toward the new home market gained four points this month, reaching 68, its highest reading since May. Analysts had expected the index, which NAHB cosponsors with Wells Fargo, to remain unchanged from September at 64. "This month's report shows that home builders are rebounding from the initial shock of the hurricanes," said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald. "However, builders need to be mindful of long-term repercussions from the storms, such as intensified material price increases and labor shortages." Derived from a monthly...(read more)

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Construction Numbers Look Much Better Broken Down by State

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 14:26:19 GMT

Posted To: MND NewsWire

It has been a rather dismal spring and summer for construction, one in which permitting has declined in three out of the last four months. Going more granular, however, a report from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) finds that residential permitting, and thus construction, is picking up steam in many states. The Census Bureau releases two separate reports covering aspects of residential construction each month. The one MND readers are most familiar with is the Residential Construction Report which provides details on the issuing of building permits, housing starts, and unit completions. It is based on the Survey of Construction and is partially funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The second report focuses primarily on permits and presents data from the...(read more)

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Wire Fraud, MBI and LEP Products; HMDA Stats; The Fed's Leadership

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 13:22:56 GMT

Posted To: Pipeline Press

Does the Fed Chairman make a difference? Yes. Taylor and Powell’s names continue to be mentioned, although Trump is set to interview Janet Yellen Thursday. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if Janet Yellen was being given the boot, unfortunately. Trump must decide whether to risk jarring the markets to ensure deregulation. After all, she is an Obama appointee, and Donald Trump has shown disdain for all things Obama. (More on Yellen in the capital markets section below.) Products and Conferences In correspondent news, AmeriHome's Correspondent Scratch and Dent Program continues to help originators sell loans with origination defects. The AmeriHome program is designed to save clients time and money shopping for buyers and negotiating new contracts by having AmeriHome handle these transactions...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: Quickly Becoming a Battle to Remain in a Friendly Trend

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 13:18:14 GMT

Posted To: MBS Commentary

As we discussed last week, the positive technical signals don't get much clearer than they did after Friday's CPI data (weak inflation helped bonds break a floor that had been stubbornly holding for several weeks. At the time, the biggest risk as I saw it was that the positive cues were "too obvious." When there's such a resounding confluence of technical and fundamental input, it makes sense to ask the question: if everyone wants to be a buyer, who are they going to buy from? The weakness seen yesterday (and so far today) is exactly what we risk by following the technicals to the letter. Frustratingly enough, we still haven't seen enough weakness to abandon our hope for a broader shift toward lower rates. That could be a decision for today, however, if bonds end up...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Sideways to Slightly Higher

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 21:02:00 GMT

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates were sideways to slightly higher today, depending on the lender. Underlying bond markets suggested a bit more movement, and that will likely be reflected in tomorrow morning's rate sheets unless bonds improve overnight. In other words, effective rates are just a bit lower this afternoon than bond market trading levels would imply. This happens fairly often when bonds move during the day, but not by a wide enough margin to prompt mortgage lenders to reissue the day's rate sheets. All that having been said, the change would still be fairly minimal in the bigger picture, with most any lender continuing to quote the same interest rate (just with slightly higher upfront costs). After dropping at the best pace in more than a month to the lowest levels in roughly a month on Friday,...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Political Headlines Cause Volatility in a Narrow Range

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 21:01:43 GMT

Posted To: MBS Commentary

If the only things you could observe about today's bond trading were volumes and "buy vs sell," there were a few moments where things got fairly interesting --especially after 2pm. That's when the biggest volume and the biggest movement of the day occurred. While there were several headlines in play at the time, it was Trump's off-the-cuff reference to a surprise economic development bill that would be announced "later on," after sufficiently focusing on "tax cuts and some other things right now," that most clearly rocked bond markets. "Rocked" is a relative term, to be sure. If you wanted to talk up the headline, you could point out that it resulted in a bigger single minute of volume in Treasury Futures than last week's very important...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: Bonds Can Absorb Some Weakness Without Derailing The Trend

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 13:27:18 GMT

Posted To: MBS Commentary

It looks like it will be touch and go for bonds as the week begins. If yields or technicals touch certain overhead ceilings, you should go lock your loans. If you're up to speed on Friday's technical victory, you're equipped to understand this week's outlook. If you're not, here's a brief recap. We've basically been waiting for bonds to show us a bigger commitment to gains after a few half-hearted attempts to break the shackles of the sell-off that began on 9/11/17. Friday finally delivered the first technical "victory" with trading levels breaking below the 200-day moving average (also the high-volume, high yield mark from the big "tax plan day" sell-off at the end of September). We'd also been hoping to see MACD (the bottom indicator on...(read more)

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Big Bank Earnings and News; M&A Continues

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 13:26:36 GMT

Posted To: Pipeline Press

Given the latest tax plan, will the mortgage interest deduction stay, but become worthless? The GOP blueprint would double the standard deduction for individuals and couples, making the mortgage interest deduction worthless for anyone who doesn’t itemize. Stay tuned… Bank News Here's a little trivia for tonight's Happy Hour: baby boomers control about 67% of all bank deposits. JPMorgan has partnered with PayPal to allow Chase customers to link cards to PayPal accounts. Meanwhile, Citibank has also partnered with PayPal to allow Citi customers to pay using ThankYou points at merchants that accept PayPal. For a Basel III update, The Basel Committee for Banking Supervision is close to reaching an agreement on capital rules for banks . France has complicated the final negotiations...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Bonds Bounce Big After Weak Inflation Report

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 20:30:59 GMT

Posted To: MBS Commentary

There was a time--in fact, there was a stretch of several years--when inflation-related reports just didn't matter . I would have been the first to tell you that (and often was), even as those with a more conventional approach to market analysis would never dismiss the relevance of inflation when it came to bond market motivations. Still, the proof was in the pudding. Inflation reports would surge and retreat, falling far from forecasts. Yet bond markets wouldn't bat an eyelash. Bonds even moved in the opposite direction from that suggested by the inflation data on many occasions. But inflation is back! Well, to be clear, the importance of inflation-related data is back. Inflation itself, as seen again in today's data, is struggling to come back, and that's a coup for bond markets...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Back Into The 3's After Inflation Report

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 18:47:00 GMT

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates moved lower today. For many lenders, it was the biggest drop in more than a month and it also brings them to the best levels in roughly a month. Others were more hesitant to make significant updates to today's rate sheets based on this morning's strength in bond markets (which underlie mortgage rates). If you're not seeing much of an improvement compared to yesterday at a specific lender, they're more likely to pass along that improvement if bond markets continue holding in current territory at the start of next week. Just to be clear on how much improvement you might expect from a day like today, we're talking about roughly one quarter of 1 percent of the loan amount, expressed in terms of upfront cost. In other words, if your loan is $100k, then your upfront costs would have...(read more)

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Mortgage Guidelines Could be Twice as Loose and it Still Wouldn't be 2007 Again

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 14:56:00 GMT

Posted To: MND NewsWire

The Mortgage Bankers Association's Mortgage Credit Access Index, released earlier this week, showed continued slight easing in the credit markets, especially in the jumbo loan space. A second similar index from the Housing Finance Policy Center, has credit tightening slightly. The Centers Credit Availability Index (HCAI) moved off the recent peak of 5.4, set in the first quarter of this year, to 5.1 in the second quarter. The Center says the decline was due primarily to a shift in market composition , from the government channel to the portfolio channel where lending standards are tighter. The HCAI measures the share of purchase mortgages that are likely to default, that is, become 90 or more days past due, and lenders' willingness to tolerate it. A lower index indicates a lower tolerance reflected...(read more)

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Lender and Investment Bank Updates - New Products; All Eyes on Fed

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 13:24:18 GMT

Posted To: Pipeline Press

Per Fed Chair Janet Yellen, the Federal Reserve has been working to revise post-crisis financial regulations, making them less onerous and better suited to individual banks’ size and complexity. "For community banks, which by and large avoided the risky business practices that contributed to the financial crisis, we have been focused on making sure that much-needed improvements to regulation and supervision since the crisis are appropriate and not unduly burdensome" Nice. Lenders Making Moves With New Products "Rob, is Quicken Loans buying & selling real estate?" Technically no, but in a manner yes. If you want the full details you should contact someone at the Quicken Loans Family of Companies (QLFOC, this industry is obsessed with acronyms) since this entity owns both Quicken Loans...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: All Rise! The Judge is In

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 12:18:34 GMT

Posted To: MBS Commentary

My apologies to baseball fans, both of you. The "judge" in today's case is this morning's CPI (Consumer Price Index) data. Bonds have been deliberating all month about whether to make an attempt to break above 2.40% or bounce back into the confines of the range that's dominated the past 6 months. On the plus side, yields quickly backed down from their first run at 2.40%, but on a negative note, they've thus far refused to move back below the 200-day moving average (or "the low 2.3's," if you prefer). This morning's CPI data isn't necessarily the be all, end all determinant of bonds' next move, but for several months, it's arguably been the biggest motivator in terms of economic data. Reason being: it's the last piece of the puzzle...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Bonds Starting to Gather Momentum Again

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 00:04:53 GMT

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Bond markets are matching their best 3-day performance in over a month with today's stronger closing levels. Unlike the previous examples, the current 3 days have resulted in the biggest move lower in yields from the previous day's highs. Pretty confusing sentence... let me explain. Friday's high yields were just over 2.40% in 10yr Treasuries and today closed at 2.32%--an 8bp improvement. The previous corrections were good for a 7bp and 1.5bp improvement using the same measurement rules. The frustrating thing is that we have no idea whether or not to be excited about that until we see tomorrow morning's CPI data. It has been and continues to be this week's data highlight. As for today, the PPI data did a small amount of damage in the morning as the "core" indices...(read more)

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Be Careful What You Read About Mortgage Rates Today

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 23:19:00 GMT

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rate data collection is tricky business . Some sources rely on survey data that can have a limited collection window and a significant lag. Other sources rely on incredibly aggressive quotes that tend to have caveats that limit the rates' availability and applicability to the average top tier scenario. We take a different approach that takes all the potential distortion and confusion out of the process. The result is the most accurate day-over-day mortgage rate movement available, and today's a good day for it. Reason being: today is Thursday! Why is Thursday cause for exclamation? It's the day of the week that Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey is released. This is the long-standing benchmark for mortgage rates as far as financial markets and news media is concerned. There...(read more)

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MBA Predicts Plunge in New Home Sales; Hurricanes Blamed

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 15:01:43 GMT

Posted To: MND NewsWire

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) is forecasting that a significant decline in new home sales occurred last month. However, like much of the other September housing data that has been released so far, it appears that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are behind much of the downturn. According to MBA's Builder Applications Survey (BAS), mortgage applications for the purchase of newly constructed homes were down 7.5 percent on a non-seasonally adjusted basis in September when compared to September 2016. MBA says the sales, estimated at 42,000 new homes, was a decrease of 19.2 percent from the 52,000 homes sold the previous month. "Applications for new home purchases were down year over year in large part due the impacts of hurricane activity ," said Lynn Fisher, MBA's Vice President of Research...(read more)

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Comparing Housing Booms and Busts

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 13:46:43 GMT

Posted To: MND NewsWire

With home prices nearly back to where they were when the housing crisis began, CoreLogic's principal economist Molly Boesel compares the duration of the recent cycle to those of other downturns. While there hasn't been a comparable period of performance nationwide, she looks at several regional ones. After hitting peak in 2006, the national price level fell for five years , finally reaching bottom in March 2011. Most other sources set the date for the bottom of the market to exactly a year later which may indicate they are using inflation adjusted numbers. From peak to trough, prices fell 33 percent nationally. As of July 2017, CoreLogic data shows prices were approximating the 2006 level. Boesel compares these numbers to those of the Texas oil bust in the mid-1980's which resulted in a 16...(read more)

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HMDA Dashboard; Upcoming Training; UCD News

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 13:33:16 GMT

Posted To: Pipeline Press

The driving force of housing prices is supply and demand, and the demand is increasing. In the Bay Area, and for hundreds of miles north, the smoke is everywhere, reminding one of the 23 (and counting) who perished and 3,500 (and counting) houses and buildings destroyed by the fires. Truly tragic, and now there are thousands of families who have no place to live whatsoever and who will need long term solutions – joining those in the Gulf Area & Caribbean. Correction In yesterday's commentary the link for National MI Bulletin (Declared Disasters) was incorrect and should be http://www.nationalmi.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/National-MI-Announcement-UW-SVC-2017-04.pdf . I apologize for any confusion. Upcoming Events Freedom Mortgage Wholesale, a full-service, nationwide lender, is...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: Still Waiting For The Trading Week to Start (Tomorrow)

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 13:04:25 GMT

Posted To: MBS Commentary

CPI, CPI, CPI... The "Consumer Price Index" is the one thing on this week's economic calendar that stood out as a top tier potential market mover. After a few revisions, the lowest-in-years reading of 1.6% for "Core CPI" became 1.7% in June and has held at 1.7% in the 3 subsequent reports. If we see that number finally rise tomorrow, it will be an ominous sign for bond bulls--one that that suggests there may be something to the Fed's assessment of super low inflation being temporary. The only problem with CPI being a big market mover--at least as far as TODAY'S trading session is concerned--is that it doesn't come out until tomorrow! As the week has progressed, we've seen a series of swings and misses by all manner of market data, events, and headlines...(read more)

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