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  • MBS RECAP: Lack of Data Today, Snowstorm Tomorrow Taking Toll on Participation

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    After two weeks of elevated volumes and activity, today hearkened back to old-fashioned Mondays . Participation was light, market movement was largely an overnight affair, and there was a general absence of interesting info during the domestic session. While we will add a bit of economic data to the domestic calendar tomorrow, it's now looking like the weather in New York may be keeping financial market participation subdued yet again. So what are the implications of thinner participation in capital markets? If today was any indication, not much, but that's not always the case. Generally speaking, decreased participation usually means that every dollar of trading that manages to occur has more than the average dollar's worth of impact when it comes to moving trading levels. In other...(read more)

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  • Mortgage Rates Unchanged Amid Lack of Motivation

    Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

    Mortgage rates were unchanged in most cases today, though some lenders were microscopically higher or lower compared to last Friday. Any attempts at more meaningful market movement were seen in the overnight trading hours in Asia and Europe. Rates stood a good chance to improve after election results in Greece, based on the market's reaction overnight. By morning, however, bond markets (which inform mortgage rates) were right back were they spent most of Friday, thus leaving us with the relatively unchanged mortgage rate sheets. Most lenders are still quoting 3.625% for top tier conforming 30yr fixed scenarios. Apart from the overnight drama in Europe, there wasn't much going on domestically today. In general, markets are still sorting out their reaction to last week's even bigger news regarding...(read more)

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  • MBS MID-DAY: Choppy, Sideways Range, Little-Changed From Friday

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    The week is off to a fairly anticlimactic start, belying the initial volatility seen after the Greek elections early in the overnight session. 10yr yields have traded a respectably wide range of 1.75 to 1.84 overall, but only made it as low as 1.799 during domestic hours so far. The bounce back into weaker territory is primarily a factor of steadily weaker trading levels in Eurozone bond markets and, to a lesser extent, a bounce back in equities markets after tanking out of the gate in overnight futures trading. Apart from the tradeflow reaction to Greek elections, we haven't seen any salient market movers so far today, and there are no high-probablity events on the calendar. From a technical perspective, 10yr yields bounced nicely at 1.84 , and that continues to be a line in the sand we'd...(read more)

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  • FHA Premium Cut not about the GSEs

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE Julian Castro, Secretary of Housing and Urban said today that the reduction of FHA annual premiums has nothing to do with competition from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The 50 basis point reduction in annual mortgage premiums announced by Castro earlier this month, is effective for loans with case numbers issued starting today. Castro told a panel on CNBC’s Squawk Box that the rollback is about maintaining a balance between keeping FHA’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance fund strong and fulfilling FHA’s traditional mission of providing homeownership opportunities for first time homebuyers and middle class families Castro said the FHA’s last annual report in November showed that over the last few years the fund had gained $21 billion...(read more)

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  • Nitty-Gritty on the HUD & FHA Changes and How Lenders are Handling Them

    Posted To: Pipeline Press

    One never knows what will cause mass hysteria . Maybe the storm hitting the Northeast? I doubt Ocwen's troubles will cause it, but the industry has watched its stock plummet and chairman resign, its battling with regulators in New York and California, it being prohibited from buying a block of servicing from Wells Fargo, adding a pastor to its board of directors, and now Reuters tells us it seems that large investors are lining up to sue it . FHA posted information regarding Borrowers' Notification and Full-Months Interest. As a reminder, last August a Federal Register final notice (Docket No. FR-5360-F-02) was published regarding the elimination of post-settlement interest for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgages with an effective date of January 21, 2015. This rule revises FHA's...(read more)

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  • MBS Day Ahead: 2015 Volatility Continues with Greek Election Reaction and Fed Announcement

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    It's more or less impossible that we'll see any chance in policy stance with this Wednesday's FOMC Announcement, but it's still on the radar as a relevant event. Markets are interested to see how the Fed might react to recent developments, which include European QE and the ongoing slide in oil, among other things. Again, the reaction wouldn't have anything to do with current monetary policy. It could, however, come in the form of a change in verbiage that hints at more patient rate-hike timing . Before we hear from the Fed, the first two days of the week already look set to focus on the market-based reaction to the weekend's Greek elections . As expected, the anti-austerity party won, but it's not yet clear if they'll have enough seats to govern alone (if they...(read more)

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  • Mortgage Rates Move Back toward Long-Term Lows

    Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

    Mortgage rates were modestly lower today, and are now getting back in line with levels not seen in more than 20 months. Only the last 3 days of last week were any better. That said, the amount of improvement in the mortgage market pales in comparison to other parts of the bond market that are normally much more correlated. For instance, 10yr Treasury yields moved 0.08% lower today. Average mortgage rates barely managed half that. In general, the broader bond market is insanely volatile and insanely illiquid right now. lliquidity refers not to an absence of volume, but to small numbers of buyers and sellers interested in transacting at any given price. The buying and selling of bonds (which includes the mortgage-backed securities) moves rates higher and lower. The more buyers and sellers there...(read more)

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  • MBS RECAP: We've Only Just Begun (to See ECB QE Volatility)

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    Some time between yesterday's European Central Bank (ECB) announcement and this morning's open, market participants decided to interpret the QE program as buying a fixed amount of bonds of Eurozone countries based on their weighting (aka "capital key") in the ECB. While the statement does indeed say that purchases will be based on the capital key, it doesn't specify whether that refers to maximum eligible purchases or a flat guarantee to split the €60bln according to the key. The latter seems to be the consensus. That means that Germany, France, and Italy will receive nearly half of the purchases. This would more than explain the roaring move to new all-time low yields in German Bunds when QE was ostensibly about lifting up the periphery. But perhaps this is the price...(read more)

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  • MBS MID-DAY: Bond Markets Continue Riding ECB Wave

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    You may have the market aphorism that it's easier to ride waves than to swim against them. The post-ECB bond market wave is still in force today with all corners of the bond market gaining ground, but especially the longer end of the yield curve. That, in turn, provides some benefit for MBS with Fannie 3.0s up more than a quarter of a point. The most refreshing thing about today is the lack of volatility during the domestic session. 10yr yields have held under 1.85 and above 1.80-- not too shabby considering the circumstances. Volume is much lower and markets are generally looking tired, but happy after doing a pretty great job of front-running yesterday's ECB announcement over the past few months. The caveat about 'riding the wave' is that we're not getting any new information...(read more)

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  • Strengthening Economy Expected to "Drag" Housing Along

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    Fannie Mae's economists expect the economy to strengthen in 2015 and that will "drag" housing into a better cycle this year. The company's forecast for the year includes a moderate acceleration of economic growth, "driven by strengthening private domestic demand, especially consumer spending, amid continued low gasoline prices, firming labor market conditions, rising household net worth through both financial and housing wealth, improving consumer and business confidence, and reduced fiscal headwinds." They project growth will accelerate from their estimate of 2.6 percent in 2014 to 3.1 percent in 2015. This stronger climate "should lead to improving income prospects, underpinning a higher rate of household formation in 2015." Fannie Mae's Economic Strategic Research Team, led by Doug Duncan...(read more)

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