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Posted To: MBS CommentaryIf the official end of QE is to be an inspirational moment for bond markets in the bigger picture, you wouldn't know it based on how trading has gone since then. A case is rapidly building for the news being fully priced in ahead of time and actual whipsaw effect happening a few weeks earlier. Whatever the case, inspiration was lacking and continues its absence today. MBS were able to hold super steady today at slightly stronger levels. But here too, the improvement was fairly uninspired , and may even have more to do with the fact that rates had simply spent so many days in a row moving higher after October 15th's big drop. That can happen sometimes. One thing's for sure though: the traditional motivations were irrelevant today. Rates are typically pressured higher by stronger...(read more)
Posted To: Mortgage Rate WatchMortgage rates pulled back to hold near 4 percent after rising to the highest levels in 3 weeks. After yesterday's Fed announcement, the most common rate quotes were at risk of edging up to 4.125% for top tier borrowers. While some lenders are still in that range today, the improvement keeps the balance tipped decisively toward 4.0% . In other words, both rates are out there today, but 4.0% is more prevalent. In general, rates are nearly back in line with Tuesday's. Whether rates had simply had enough of their recent move higher or whether they're just more in tune with weakness in the European economy, today's stronger GDP report didn't have any impact. Typically, stronger data would push rates higher. That said, the resilience was nominal at best, keeping us in a limbo between 2014's previous...(read more)
Posted To: MND NewsWire"A real estate market that should be flying high is instead a real estate market that is faltering ," according to Brian Mushaney, Executive Vice President, Data Solutions, for RealtyTrac. Writing in the current issue of RealtyTrac's Housing News Report he points to a market which he says should be a buyer's paradise in many ways, with property values well below historic affordability levels, banks with tons of cash to loan, interest rates near their all-time lows, and foreclosures abating. "So why," he asks, writing, "have home sales stalled in recent months? It is an issue of affordability he says, but not the way we usually think about it. The 30 percent of income as a measure of the maximum to be spent on housing doesn't work today because markets vary enormously. The better approach is...(read more)
Posted To: MBS Commentary"Jobless Claims remained in the 280's and GDP came in at 3.5 vs a 3.0 forecast. So naturally, bond markets are adding to yesterday's weakness." That sentence would be seem logical and appropriate for most any time in the history of bond markets, but as we continue to navigate the extended post-crisis tumult, a strange new reality is constantly being defined. 2013 was the last time we saw a really firm connection between data and trading levels. The interesting thing was that it was the opposite of the traditional connection. Weaker data actually helped bond markets as it prolonged the hope that QE3 would stick around. After tapering began--and even more so after it became apparent that it was on an all but predetermined, linear course--bond markets became increasingly divorced...(read more)
Posted To: Pipeline PressAs mortgage bankers gear up to see what the Shipping Department dresses up as tomorrow, let's take a quick look at some demographics. There is now a larger cohort of unmarried young adults who are driving the overall homeownership rate down as they are less likely to own a home. The creation of household formations plays an important role in homeownership rates among young adults and is one of the main reasons the average age of first time home buyers is now 31 years old. There were plenty of smoke signals yesterday regarding Provident Funding Associates, LLC. as the broker herd was spooked. (There are several "Providents" around the nation, so the rumors may not have involved the well-known California wholesaler that bills itself as, "The Undisputed Price Leader since 1992", known to live...(read more)