Pending Sales Rise, Signal Impressive Demand

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Pending home sales bounced back in September after falling by 2.5 percent in August the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) said on Thursday. NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a measure based on contracts signed for existing home purchases, rose 1.5 percent in September to 110.0 from 108.4 (revised from 108.5) in August. NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said a robust increase in the West and a healthy bump in the South more than compensated for declines in the other two regions. With last month’s gain, the index is now 2.4 percent higher than last September …read more

MBS RECAP: Bonds Weaker as Supply Weighs

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Bonds were stronger during Asian market hours this morning, but things changed quickly as European trading got underway. Relative to Treasuries, European bond markets blasted toward higher yields fairly quickly. Blame can be spread fairly evenly between data, new debt supply, and the ongoing selling trend in global bond markets. (New debt supply refers to new bonds coming to market, competing for investors' affections. Econ 101: higher supply = lower prices). This morning's economic data didn't present too big a hurdle for bond markets. New Home Sales came in just shy of expectations and the previous …read more

Mortgage Rates (And Uncertainty) Remain High

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage Rates didn’t move much today, with most lenders just slightly higher than yesterday. This keeps us right in line with the highest levels in more than 4 months. For the sake of perspective, outside the past 4 months, rates have hardly ever been as LOW as they are today. The average lender is quoting conventional 30yr fixed rates of 3.625% on top tier scenarios, though several remain at 3.5%. The bond markets that underlie rate movement are generally defensive and uncertain at the moment. Investors are anxious to see if next week’s Fed announcement …read more

New Home Sales Relatively Strong, Despite Downward Revision

Posted To: MND NewsWire

New home sales resumed their upward march in September, rising above August sales which had retreated significantly from a near decade-long high of 629,000 units set in July. The Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development said newly constructed homes were sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 593,000 in September, up 3.1 percent from August. The number was an improvement however only because the sales rate for August was revised down from the original report of 609,000 units to 575,000. September sales were 29.8 percent higher than a year earlier when the …read more

Bank M&A; FHA & VA Updates; Re/Max Rolls Out New Mortgage Company

Posted To: Pipeline Press

It is well documented that “women spend more time wondering what men are thinking than men spend thinking.” Lemon Drops move over! (For those of you who don’t know, the Lemon Drops are an informal group of mortgage gals that meet up at conferences to network.) Women in the real estate financing sector have a new opportunity to connect with others in their field and to access and exchange information about the industry. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) announced the launch of mPower , a professional networking platform that aims to create “a strong, diverse network …read more

MBS Day Ahead: Trend Remains Unfriendly, But MBS Outperform

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Last week provided some hope for bond markets due to a relatively strong move off the recent highs. 10yr yields recovered from the previous week's 1.80% closing level to 1.73% a week later. Granted, that's not a huge move, nor is it a great outright level relative to the past 4 months, but it was a step in the right direction . Unfortunately, such steps are often seen during longer-term uptrends. We would have liked to have seen a solid break below the 1.73% pivot point (a “pivot” because it recently acted as a firm “ceiling” …read more

Mortgage Rates Stuck at Highs For Now

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage Rates were unchanged in many cases today, with a handful of lenders inconsequentially better or worse versus yesterday’s latest offerings. Despite moving lower on 4 out of the past 6 days, rates were never able to put meaningful distance between themselves and the highest levels in more than 4 months. The slow progress was partly a market phenomenon and partly due to lender strategy. Mortgage rates are driven by bond markets–specifically, mortgage-backed-securities (MBS). Bond markets were hesitant to rush back toward lower rates after topping out in mid-October because traders continued to wait for …read more

FHFA, Case-Shiller Agree: Price Appreciation Staying Strong

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Price gains accelerated in August, rising more year-over-year than they did in July according to data released today by both the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller. The Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, rose 5.3 percent compared to August 2015. In July the annual gain was 5.0 percent, revised from an original estimate of 5.2 percent. Before seasonal adjustment the National Index posted a month-over-month gain of 0.5 percent (the increase from July to August was 0.7 percent) and an 0.6 percent increase after seasonal …read more

Fannie and Freddie Updates From The Conference; Trends in HELOCs & eClosings

Posted To: Pipeline Press

The annual mortgage conference is in full swing, and I am sure that reports of “ 10 vendors for every 1 residential lender ” are exaggerated. Well, maybe not. That aside, for tens of thousands of years, homo sapiens involved in residential lending have used acronyms. What would we do without the ability to abbreviate something? Throw in regulatory reform and its alphabet soup of acronyms and terms, and our heads are swimming. Occasionally I am asked about a list of acronyms of frequently used terms. Here’s the latest: Financial Services Glossary . And plural acronyms …read more

MBS Day Ahead: What do Recent Moves Tell us About Market’s Focus?

Posted To: MBS Commentary

At the risk of repeating a common refrain, rates have been rising gradually since July and in a more volatile way since early September. I've chalked up a fair amount of that volatility to anxiety over the potential European tapering, and I continue to see the early December European Central Bank announcement as the biggest flashpoint for bond markets in the near-term future. That said, it's not the only flashpoint. With what can only be described as 'entirely too many' soundbytes from Fed speakers talking about the need to hike rates, against the backdrop of utter …read more