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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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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…

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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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