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MBS RECAP: Bond Weakness Looking More and More Serious

Posted To: MBS Commentary

With a 2nd day of fairly strong selling pressure in bond markets, the recent trend toward lower rates has been forcefully called into question. You can see the potential breakout from that trend in the chart below (I'll mark it up and discuss additional technical implications tomorrow morning). For today, let's recap what's up with all this weakness . First and foremost, the French election was a jumping-off point for the next phase of bond market momentum. If Macron had been shut out of the run-off election, we'd still be rallying . If Le Pen had won outright, we'd be rallying even more sharply. Because neither of those things happened, investors got the proverbial green light to get back into a " risk-on " trade. Last Friday's breaking news on this Wednesday's...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Highest in 2 Weeks

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates moved moderately higher again higher today, as global financial markets continued reacting to recent geopolitical flashpoints (like the French election, discussed yesterday). Markets are also moving in anticipation of future flashpoints (like tomorrow's tax reform announcement). In general, investors have piled back into riskier assets like stocks because the French election reduces long-term risks to the European Union. Investors previously were more willing to buy bonds--a safe haven asset frequently used to insulate investors from increased risk. The prospects for tax reform have a similar effect in that they encourage investors to favor riskier assets at the expense of bonds . When demand for bonds decreases relative to supply, rates move higher . To be clear, we can't have...(read more)

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Fannie Moves to Accommodate Student Loan Debt

Posted To: MND NewsWire

At $1.4 trillion, student loan debt represents the U.S.'s second largest debt market behind mortgages and, in several recent surveys, younger respondents have said those loans are a large reason they are unable to save up a downpayment to buy a home. The debt won't easily go away, but Fannie Mae now says it would like to make those loans a slightly little less painful presence in borrowers' lives. The company is announcing policies that will assist homeowners and potential homebuyers with student loan obligations to qualify for a mortgage. The company notes the significant increase in that kind of debt over the last decade has created challenges and put up obstacles to homeownership. In acknowledgement that "one size does not fit all." the new policy provides borrowers three options from which...(read more)

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New Home Sales Nearly Match Post-Crisis High

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Sales of newly constructed homes appear to have stopped, at least for the moment, their up-one-month, down-the-next pattern. They rose for the third consecutive month in March, and did so convincingly. The Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development say that sales of new homes jumped 5.8 percent in March, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 621,000 units. The rate nearly tied that of July 2016, 622,000 units, for the highest sales pace since the housing crisis. March also marked the first time since last July that sales have topped 600,000. March sales were up 15.6 percent compared to the previous March when the annual rate was 537,000. Analysts had expected an increase in sales, but widely undershot the mark. Those polled by Econoday were looking for results in the...(read more)

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Home Price Gains Aren't Cooling Off

Posted To: MND NewsWire

For the fourth consecutive month, the National Home Price Index from S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller has set a new price peak, rising 5.8 percent in February. It is now a half percentage point above the pre-crisis peak reached in July 2006. The Housing Price Index released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) also accelerated, gaining 0.8 percent in February, compared to 0.2 percent in January. The Case-Shiller National Index, which covers all nine U.S. Census Regions, increased its annual pace, rising 0.1 percent more than it had for the 12-month period ended in January. The resulting 5.8 percent change was the largest in 32 months . The pace did slow on a month-over-month basis. The seasonally adjusted National Index was up 0.2 percent from January, identical to the December-January...(read more)

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Training in Sales, Reverse, HMDA, Cust. Satisfaction; Appraisal News - Illinois vs. AMCs?

Posted To: Pipeline Press

How much do the CEOs of builders make? Turns out they make some decent gravy , certainly good news for them. In other good news, this time for WF, the FDIC and the Federal Reserve Board announced that Wells Fargo had adequately remediated the deficiencies in its 2015 resolution plan. As a result, Wells will no longer be subject to growth restrictions imposed last year. ("Resolution plans, required by the Dodd-Frank Act and commonly known as living wills, must describe the company's strategy for rapid and orderly resolution under bankruptcy in the event of material financial distress or failure of the company.) Appraisal and collateral news Never easy being an appraiser. Recently there was a " shortage " of appraisers, and in many parts of the nation it would take weeks, if not months, for an...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: Fight Continues For Bonds; New "Gap" to Watch

Posted To: MBS Commentary

For the past 5+ months, any discussion of "the gap" among bond traders could have only referred to the 2.15-2.17 gap created on Veterans Day weekend in 2016 (Nov 11-13). Yields closed at 2.15 before the weekend and opened at 2.17 when trading resumed the following week. Gaps instantly become significant targets for traders. The first time trading levels re-visit a gap, the result is more often a bounce. That's how it happened with the 2.15-17 gap this time around. Yields made it back early last week, but definitely bounced. If we return, we'll have a better chance of breaking through. For now though, we have another gap to contend with. This one was created by the French election weekend, and it took 10yr yields from closing levels of roughly 2.25 to opening levels of just...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Bonds' Reaction to French Election Was Right On

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Heading into the French election at the end of last week, we knew that Le Pen (the candidate who likely would have helped the bond rally continue) probably wasn't going to win, but that there was a small chance. As such, markets could MOSTLY price in a Macron victory (the candidate who would likely result in bond market weakness). While Macron didn't win outright, he did advance to a run-off that he's widely expected to win. Some of last week's bond market losses were due to pre-election polls predicting this result. It stood to reason that there would be a bit of extra bond selling to do once we had confirmation that Le Pen wouldn't win. Although the selling classified as more than "a bit" at first, these reactions to overseas events often die down in US trading...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Slightly Higher After French Election

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates moved moderately higher today, and most of the blame goes to the presidential election in France. If you're wondering what European politics have to do with mortgage rates in the US, you're not alone. While it certainly isn't the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about what's motivating rates, its impact was unmistakable today. To understand the connection, first consider that the EU economy is slightly bigger than that of the US. Then consider France is the third biggest economy in the EU. Germany is the biggest and the UK is the second biggest. On that note, don't forget that the UK is currently in the process of exiting the European Union. Now to bring it all home, simply consider that one of the candidates in the French election (Marine Le Pen) wants France to...(read more)

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