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Posted To: MBS CommentaryBonds responded generally favorably to the available economic data, which included on-target ADP jobs numbers (177 vs 175k forecast) and weaker Chicago PMI (51.5 vs 54.0 forecast). That only helped us in the morning, however. European bond market weakness pulled yields higher into the European close, and month-end volatility at home caused a few more swings by the end of the day. If you were to only look at today's bond market movement relative to yesterday's, things looked downright volatile. 10yr yields began the day above yesterday's highest yields and within 2 hours had swung well below yesterday's lowest yields. They swung back to nearly the same levels 2 more times before finally ending the day with an abrupt move to the highs. Volatile and scary, right? Well, not really...(read more)
Posted To: Mortgage Rate WatchMortgage Rates were unchanged today, ending a month without much movement in general. In fact, the most prevalently quoted conventional 30yr fixed rate on top tier scenarios remained in a range of 3.375-3.5% for more than 45 days! That's the sort of absence of volatility that greatly decreases the need to stress out about locking or floating your rate, but as always, the question is whether or not that will continue to be the case. Near-term volatility in rates can come from the economic data over the next two days. Markets are anxious to see if it will support the Fed's case for hiking rates in the upcoming meeting. In general, the stronger the economic data, the greater the probability that the Fed hikes. Although the Fed doesn't directly control mortgage rates, if the probability of a hike...(read more)
Posted To: MND NewsWireDespite some predictions that pending home sales would fall in July, they actually rose modestly to reach their second highest level in over a decade. The National Association of Realtors® reported that its Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) was up 1.3 percent to 111.3 from a downwardly revised (from 111.0) 109.9 in June and was up 1.4 percent compared to July 2015. The index had reached its highest level since February 2006 this past April when it hit 115.0. The July index was second only to that number. NAR pronounced the increase in purchase contracts as broad-based ; only the Midwest failed to improve on its June numbers. Analysts surveyed by Econoday had projected the index could be in the range of a 1.8 percent decline to a 1.4 percent gain. The consensus was a positive move of 0.6 percent...(read more)
Posted To: Pipeline PressWhat does $24 million buy you in Oregon ? Just find 24 people to pony up a million each. Some economists love to look at the FHFA's housing statistics. Newly minted math and statistics majors, and summer interns, employed by the FHFA to put them together, also love them. These numbers, of course, only reside in the world of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, nut are useful to a limited degree, especially when viewed in context and taken over several months. Things look pretty good , and we certainly see a different picture than a few short years ago when the trend was negative. As a reminder, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) sends out its House Price Index (HPI), and one can take a gander at it monthly or quarterly - to smooth out those fluctuations. The HPI is calculated using home sales...(read more)
Posted To: MBS CommentaryWho remembers asymptotes from high school? Those are the curved lines that gradually approach a certain level--getting closer and closer, but never reaching it. Sometimes in bond markets, instead of the normal triangular consolidations (i.e. linear trends of "higher lows" and "lower highs" converging), we instead have a static level on one side and an asymptotic line on the other side. A picture makes it easier to see, and it just so happens to apply to the current environment where 10yr yields have had a ceiling around 1.60 (with the brief exception of the Jackson Hole breakout) offset by a lower boundary that has constantly been approaching the upper boundary by smaller and smaller amounts. As the chart shows, the trend strength (measured by the ADX technical overlay-...(read more)