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  • MBS RECAP: Bonds Kick Rally up a Notch After Auction

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    The day began in fine shape, especially in light of the stronger reading on GDP. European bond market strength remains at the heart of our ability to hold ground that otherwise seems out of reach. German Bunds, Europe's 10yr benchmark, pushed down to .77% on Friday and looked like they might bounce yesterday. But today saw another rally down to .75% this time. This was significant because it happened in spite of Germany's GDP holding in positive territory today--something market participants reckoned would be negative for bonds overnight. We had a GDP reading this morning as well. Not only was it much stronger than expected, but there weren't any major caveats to the strength. Internal components were broadly stronger and "inventory-building" didn't prop up the number...(read more)

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  • Mortgage Rates Back Into High 3's

    Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

    Mortgage rates fell more today than in recent days. Positivity was fueled chiefly by European bond market strength as serious growth concerns persist and rates push ever-closer to their mid-October lows. Domestically, a strong 5yr Treasury auction helped ignite an afternoon bond market rally that included mortgage-backed securities (MBS). When MBS improve enough in the middle of the day, lenders often release new, stronger rate sheets. This was the case today, and the improvements were good enough to bring 3.875% into the running for the most prevalently-quoted conforming 30yr fixed rate for top tier scenarios. As of this afternoon, it's just barely edging out 4.0%. That's the first time we've seen the most common top-tier rate quote in the 3's since October 21, and one of only a handful of...(read more)

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  • MBS MID-DAY: Positive European Backdrop Helps US Bond Markets Hold Ground

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    With the increased amount of data on today's calendar, we've seen increased volatility, but it hasn't been too threatening so far. In fact, bond markets are currently in positive territory day-over-day despite GDP coming in much stronger than expected this morning (and well-rounded to boot!). The easiest offsetting factor to point to would be the Consumer Confidence data, which came in much weaker than expected. Upon closer examination, however, we find that the 10am Confidence data didn't really have much of an impact on domestic bond market momentum. Treasuries and MBS were already bouncing back from post-GDP weakness and with the exception of a few minutes of volatility, are still at the same levels seen right before the data. So there must be a third variable at work here...(read more)

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  • Loan Limits Unchanged in Most of U.S.

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    The maximum conforming loan limit will remain at $417,000 for most of the U.S. in 2015. FHFA announced the limits, which define the size of loans eligible to be acquired by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, on Monday. The limits are established under the terms of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) and recalculated each year. The limits were unchanged despite substantial increases in most indexes that measure home prices on national and local levels. FHFA explained that HERA requires that while the baseline loan limit be adjusted each year to reflect changes in the national average home price, after a period of declining prices any prior declines must be fully offset before a loan limit increase can occur. During the financial crisis the FHFA home price index declined by close to...(read more)

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  • Further Deterioration in Home Price Gains -Case-Shiller

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    Is the party officially over? S&P Dow Jones Indices said today that the increase in home prices, which has shown diminishing energy for months, experienced a broad-based slowdown in September. The company's Case-Shiller Home Price Indices continued to show gains over the levels of a year earlier, but the size of those gains continued to contract. The Case-Shiller National Index rose 4.8 percent from September 2013 to September 2014 while the 10-City Composite posted a 4.8 percent increase compared to September 2013 and the 20-City was up 4.9 percent. The respective year-over-year gains for the two Composites in August were 5.5 and 5.6 percent. Charlotte and Dallas were the only cities to see stronger annual gains in September than in August while Cleveland was unchanged. Both city indexes...(read more)

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  • Servicing Continues to Hit the Market; Upcoming Events; Credit Union Lending Laws

    Posted To: Pipeline Press

    The next story reminds me of the husband who was asked by his wife (who invited the guests, cleaned the house, did the shopping, made the stuffing and all the side dishes, set the table, and cooked Thanksgiving dinner) to carve the turkey, replied, "Do I have to do everything?!?" I wonder if folks at the FHFA feel the same way - so much of what they do impacts residential lending. "Yay, the new loan limits are here! The new loan limits are here!" Well, actually, they're the old loan limits - which are certainly better than lower limits. Freddie, for example, sent, "In line with today's Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announcement on the 2015 loan limits, we are maintaining our base conforming loan limits at the existing 2014 levels through December 31, 2015, and increasing the high-cost...(read more)

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  • MBS Day Ahead: Econ Data Ramps up; How Well are MBS Doing?

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    Yesterday was a fairly solid day for bond markets. Although it suffered from decreased participation, there was still strong support at technical ceilings and a good responsiveness to economic events and headlines. At least that seemed to be the case based on the timing of the headlines combined with the ostensible market reaction. Today will offer a better chance to put that to the test . There are a few important pieces of data in Europe that will already have printed by the time you read this. Then we get the 2nd reading of Q3 GDP at 8:30am followed by Consumer Confidence at 10am. Several other reports dot the calendar, but those are the only market movers in terms of econ data. The afternoon's 5yr Treasury Note Auction warrants extra attention at 1pm after yesterday's 2yr Note auction...(read more)

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  • MBS RECAP: Showing Signs of the Season, but That Worked out OK Today

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    During the 3.5-day Thanksgiving week, we expect to see a lack of participation in bond markets juxtaposed with condensed data and volatility. Data and participation were certainly limited today and accordingly, there wasn't much movement. The small amount seen was clearly connected to headlines and events. It also reacted more than it normally would in a few cases. The first move of the overnight session was logical enough. One of the most widely-followed pieces of economic data in Germany was stronger than expected and bond markets consequently lost some ground. As the domestic session took over, a weaker Markit PMI report (typically not a market mover) may have actually gotten the ball rolling on a bounce back from overnight weakness. Shortly thereafter, comments from Germany's Central...(read more)

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  • Mortgage Rates Now at 1-Month Lows

    Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

    Mortgage rates continue making improvements so small and so steady that they're barely noticeable, but they're improvements just the same. That's recently left us in the best territory in nearly a month. Today extends those slow and steady gains just enough to technically claim the "1-month low" designation, despite the fact that rates aren't materially different than they have been. The most prevalently-quoted conforming 30yr fixed rate remains 4.0% for top tier borrowers, but each day of modest improvement brings us closer to 3.875% and puts 4.125% farther in the rearview. With the Thanksgiving holiday coming up, financial markets will be cramming a day and a half worth of work mostly into Wednesday. That increases the prospects for volatility over the next 2 days. Indeed, past examples of...(read more)

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  • Who Will Pick up Fed's MBS Buying Slack?

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    The Federal Reserve has completed its latest round of Quantitative Easing, the government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are under orders to continue shrinking their investment portfolios and significant constraints exist to keep private investors from purchasing agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS). So who, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) asks, is going to pick up the slack? A white paper written by MBA's vice president and senior economist Michael Fratantoni, lays out the conundrum facing the MBS market. Fratantoni says both policy makers and the housing industry have a common interest in bringing private capital into the mortgage markets but the key question is how and in what form that private capital can best reenter the system. MBA has advocated for...(read more)

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