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MBS RECAP: A Few Strategy Considerations Ahead of The Fed

“Inside Day” Placeholder Ahead of Wednesday’s Main Event

The AM commentary revisited and reiterated the consolidation range that’s been intact for more than a month.  As far back as 2.5 weeks ago (after the last jobs report) it became increasingly clear that the bond market stood its greatest chance of breaking out of the consolidation range after the September 22nd Fed announcement.  The direction, magnitude, and sustainability of that breakout remains to be…

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Mortgage Rates Little-Changed Ahead of Fed Day

By the end of last week, mortgage rates moved up to match their highest levels in 2 months.  After a modest recovery yesterday, today’s rates are little-changed. 

As is often the case when examining day-to-day rate changes, we’re talking about relatively small movements in the bigger picture.  The average mortgage seeker would likely be seeing the same “note rate” on almost any day in more than a month now.  In the most extreme circumstances, the change would be limited to 0.125% (typically the smallest increment separating different rate offerings for most lenders).  When the bond market doesn’t justify an entire eighth of a percent, lenders make adjustments via upfront costs/credits.  In this way, the “effective rate” is changing every day even if the “note rate” is not. 

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Construction Numbers Pushed Higher by Multifamily Surge

Residential construction numbers were a surprise again in August. Permits for construction and housing starts were both higher than expected, however, multifamily numbers were driving the results. Housing permits were issued at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.728 million units, a 6.0 percent increase from the 1.630 million permit rate (revised down from 1.635 million) in July and 13.5 percent higher than the 1.522 million number in August 2020. Analysts had expected permits to pull back from the July pace. Those polled by both Econoday and Trading Economics had projected permits at 1.6 million units.

 

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Freddie Mac Confirms Heightened Appraisal Gaps in Minority Areas

A cluster of stories about appraised values of homes in minority areas hit the national news earlier this summer and now Freddie Mac has released an analysis of the smoke/fire variety. The company says it found appraised values are more likely to fall below the contracted sale price of a home in census tracts with a higher share of Black and Latino households, resulting in what is known as an appraisal gap. This is precisely what was alleged in news reports. Further, the extent of that gap increases as the percentage of persons of color living in the census tract grows. Freddie Mac based its analysis on 12 million appraisals it received as part of the home purchase process between 2015 and 2020.

 

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MBS Morning: With 1 Day Left, Pre-Fed Range Remains Intact

Trading ranges and consolidation patterns can make for tedious discussion when they’re well-behaved for weeks on end.  We began discussing the current example in mid-August when the 1.38% ceiling was first rejected.  The following week suggested it was less of a “range” and more of a consolidation pattern–a theme that dominated the analysis ever since.  Despite a valiant attempt after last week’s CPI data and yesterday’s snowball risk-off rally (thanks Evergrande?), today begins with yields safely inside the same old range.  Barring another unexpected…

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Remote Work Is Here To Stay. Can Your Home Deliver the Space You Need?

Remote Work Is Here To Stay. Can Your Home Deliver the Space You Need? | Simplifying The Market

A lot has changed over the past year. For many people, the rise in remote work influenced what they’re looking for in a home and created a greater appetite for a dedicated home office. Some professionals took advantage of the situation and purchased a bigger home. Other people thought working from home would be temporary, so they chose to get creative and make the space they already had work for them. But recent headlines indicate working from home isn’t a passing fad.

If you’re still longing for a dedicated home office, now may be the time to find the home that addresses your evolving needs. More and more companies are delaying their plans to return to the office – others are deciding to remain fully remote permanently. According to economists from Goldman Sachs in a recent article from CNN:

“Job ads increasingly offer remote work and surveys indicate that both workers and employers expect work from home to remain much more common than before the pandemic.”

Other experts agree. A survey conducted by Upwork of 1,000 hiring managers found that due to the pandemic, companies were planning more remote work now and in the years to come. Upwork elaborates:

“The number of remote workers in the next five years is expected to be nearly double what it was before COVID-19: By 2025, 36.2 million Americans will be remote, an increase of 16.8 million people from pre-pandemic rates.”

The charts below break down their findings and compare pre- and post-pandemic percentages.Remote Work Is Here To Stay. Can Your Home Deliver the Space You Need? | Simplifying The Market

How Does This Impact Homeowners?

If you own your home, it’s important to realize that continued remote work may give you opportunities you didn’t realize you had. Since you don’t need to be tied to a specific area for your job, you have more flexibility when it comes to where you can live.

If you’re one of the nearly 23% of workers who will remain 100% remote: 

You have the option to move to a lower cost-of-living area or to the location of your dreams. If you search for a home in a more affordable area, you’ll be able to get more home for your money, freeing up more options for your dedicated office space and additional breathing room.

You could also move to a location where you’ve always wanted to live – somewhere near the beach, the mountains, or simply a market that features the kind of weather and community amenities you’re looking for. Without your job tying you to a specific location, you’re bound to find your ideal spot.

If you’re one of the almost 15% of individuals who will have a partially remote or hybrid schedule:

Relocating within your local area to a home that’s further away from your office could be a great choice. Since you won’t be going in to work every day, a slightly longer commute from a more suburban or rural neighborhood may be a worthy trade-off for a home with more features, space, or comforts.

Bottom Line

If ongoing remote work is changing what you need in a home, let’s connect to find one that delivers on your new wish list.

Content previously posted on Keeping Current Matters Fidelity Home Group | Home Buyer Experts | Mortgage Rates

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MBS RECAP: Surprise Snowball Rally as Stocks Swoon Over Global Risks

Surprise Snowball Rally as Stocks Swoon Over Global Risks

When it comes to stocks vs bonds, pundits generally give too much credit to one side for movement in the other.  In fact, on days with big movement in both markets, it’s not uncommon to see stock people blaming the bond market and bond people blaming the stock market.  In today’s case, the bond rally wasn’t even in the same league as the bond sell-off, and the latter was clearly the flag-bearer for…

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Builder Sentiment Moves Slightly Higher, but Many Still See Hurdles Ahead

Builder confidence edged its way higher in September, ending a three-month slump. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reports that the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) rose a single point to 76 in September. The HMI is a measure of home builder attitudes toward the new home sales market. NAHB chief economist Robert Dietz says, “Builder sentiment has been gradually cooling since the HMI hit an all-time high reading of 90 last November. The September data show stability as some building material cost challenges ease, particularly for softwood lumber. However, delivery times remain extended and the chronic construction labor shortage is expected to persist as the overall labor market recovers.”

 

 

 

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MBS Day Ahead: What is Evergrande and Why Do Bonds Care?

Evergrande is a Chinese real estate company that has been circling the drain for months.  During that time, press reports increasingly suggest that Evergrande’s collapse could have some measure of systemic impact given the vast amount of money it owes to other institutions.  Several of the likely-to-default bonds are due this week and so far, there is no word on anything resembling a bailout from the Chinese government.  Some of the most alarming opinions have suggested this is China’s “Lehman moment,” but there’s plenty of pushback against that thesis. 

Still, the…

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MBS Morning: What is Evergrande and Why Do Bonds Care?

Evergrande is a Chinese real estate company that has been circling the drain for months.  During that time, press reports increasingly suggest that Evergrande’s collapse could have some measure of systemic impact given the vast amount of money it owes to other institutions.  Several of the likely-to-default bonds are due this week and so far, there is no word on anything resembling a bailout from the Chinese government.  Some of the most alarming opinions have suggested this is China’s “Lehman moment,” but there’s plenty of pushback against that thesis. 

Still, the…

…(read more)

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Fidelity Home Group | Mortgage News | Mortgage Rates

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