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MBS RECAP: Traders Move to Sidelines Ahead of Fed Announcement

Traders Move to Sidelines Ahead of Fed Announcement

September’s big Fed announcement doesn’t hit until next Wednesday, but it’s not too early for markets to freak out about it a little bit.  The fear is expressed in the form of a move to the sidelines for both stocks and bonds.  In other words, both sides of the market sold off today.  Treasuries fared a bit better, and MBS fared better still (2.0 coupons only dropped an eighth of a point by…

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Rates at 2-Month Highs Ahead of Fed Week

Mortgage rates ended the week at the highest levels in roughly 2 months as investors moved to the sidelines ahead of next week’s Fed announcement.

In other words, investors sold bonds (among other things) and in the bond market, selling pressure means lower prices and higher rates, all other things being equal. 

Despite the poor finish, things started out well enough.  The Consumer Price Index (CPI), a key inflation report, came out lower than expected on Tuesday.  With inflation being an important consideration for the bond market at the moment, the reaction was obvious.  Unfortunately, it was also short-lived.

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New Forbearance Plans and Reentries Rise

Black Knight says that the number of active forbearance plans continued to fall over the last week, but also noted an uptick in both new plans and reentries to the program, primarily among VA and FHA loans. The number of active forbearances dropped by 22,000 or 1.4 percent during the week ended September 14, leasing 1.596 million borrowers in active plans. This is 3.0 percent of all mortgaged homeowners. It marks the first time the total number has dipped below 1.6 million. The number of forborne loan in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs) portfolios and those serviced for FHA and the VA each declined by 15,000, but that was partially offset by an increase of 8,000 in the numbers serviced for bank portfolios and private label securities (PLS).

 

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Flipping Transactions Increase, Profits Do Not

The number of homes flipped by investors grew by 3.5 percent in the second quarter of the year. It was the first increase in more than a year. ATTOM says its second quarter U.S. Home Flipping Report shows that 79,733 single-family homes and condominiums in the United States were flipped during that period. Those transactions represented 4.9 percent of all home sales, or one in 20 transactions compared to one in every 29 sales in the first quarter. Flips were down 6.8 percent from one in 15 transactions in the second quarter of 2020. The recent number was lower than the flipping rate through most of the last decade.

 

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Fed Ethics Rules Get High-Powered Review

Another powerful group of federal officials are in the hotseat after details of their personal finances were revealed. While there are no accusations of wrong-doing (unlike the case of several senators who faced ethics reviews in 2020), the financial disclosures of several Fed presidents have prompted a bank-wide smell test. As Thomas Franck reported for CNBC, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has directed the central bank’s staff to review its ethics rules after 2020 financial disclosures from some regional presidents revealed large investments and stock trades.

 

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MBS Day Ahead: Bonds Testing Weakest Levels in 2 Months

The headline is a bit dramatic, but not untrue.  10yr yields were as high as 1.351 yesterday–just a moderate day of weakness away from the 2-month high of 1.385 seen at the start of last week.  Before that, there were two other bounces in similar territory (1.379 and 1.375).  That puts today’s heretofore high of 1.382 easily in the same league, and it means we’re in the middle of another test of the range ceiling.

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There is no obvious catalyst for this morning’s selling spree. Analysts/traders will consider the landscape and conjure up scapegoats accordingly. In…

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Highest Rates in a Week After Surprisingly Strong Economic Reports

Mortgage rates moved higher again today, bringing the average lender to the worst levels since last Thursday.  There are a few exceptions to that due to recent regulatory changes.  Specifically, many lenders made improvements to loans for 2nd homes and investment properties.  That’s the short version.  If you need to background, here’s the long version.

The average loan scenario was unaffected by the regulatory changes and thus was free to react to the day’s bond market weakness.  Bonds responded immediately to a pair of economic reports that came in much stronger than expected this morning.  In general, stronger data pushes bond prices lower and yields (aka “rates”) higher.  

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MBS RECAP: Uneventful Afternoon After Strong Data Sends Yields Higher

Uneventful Afternoon After Strong Data Sends Yields Higher

Today’s key development was the duo of much stronger economic reports at 8:30am (Philly Fed and Retail Sales).  Indeed, this accounted for the only interesting moments of the day.  5 minutes later, both MBS and Treasuries weakened to levels that persisted through the 3pm CME close.  Bottom line: quick adjustment due to the data and then a sideways grind that reinforced the broader…

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Refis and Purchasing Split Originations in July

Refinancing and home purchases had a nearly even share of mortgage originations in July. ICE Mortgage Technology said that 50 percent of closed loans during the month were purchase mortgages while 49 percent were for refinancing. Refinancing, however, continued to dominate the conventional market at 54 percent of those loans. The share among FHA loans was 22 percent and refis accounted for 32 percent of VA loans. The time to close a loan improved slightly from June to July. It took an average of 48 days on average, one day less than in June. The time to close a refinance dipped from 48 to 47 days and purchase loans took 48 days compared to 51 the previous month.

 

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MBS Day Ahead: Starting on The Back Foot After Stronger Retail Sales

Bonds are starting the day on the back foot as Retail Sales rose 0.7% despite a median forecast of -0.8.  The Philly Fed numbers also surged past 18.8 forecasts to the tune of 30.7–decisive victories for economic data on both fronts.  Bonds are reacting logically with a move to the weakest levels of the day, but it’s pretty orderly so far.  Ideally, it should be challenging for selling pressure to get too excessive as traders keep powder dry for next week’s Fed.

From a technical standpoint, this weakness adds emphasis to yesterday’s conclusion.  Simply put, bonds…

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*Assumes 2.799% APR, 20% down payment, and conforming 30-year fixed rate first mortgage on a single family, primary residence. The monthly payment you enter includes only principal and interest. Additional required amounts such as taxes, insurance, home owner association dues, assessments, mortgage insurance premiums, flood insurance or other such required payments should also be considered. Not all individuals will qualify for a mortgage loan based on the payment entered. Rates cited are for instructional purposes only; current rates are subject to change at any time without notice.  **Posted APR is based on Mortgage Assumptions
 
 
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