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Product and Vendor News; Post-Merger Psychology; Ocwen Back in CA

Posted To: Pipeline Press

Through the wonders of modern air travel, I find myself in Miami. But everywhere, in front of the grocery stores, in truly exciting news, are reminders that it’s Girl Scout Cookie season. Yes, 200,000,000 packages every year made by two companies. Although many view this as a sign that March Madness will soon be here, or that baseball season is in the offing, they have their own season. Did you know Thin Mints are vegan ? And those TM freeze well - buy a dozen boxes and throw them in the freezer for the summer - dinner party guests will be astounded. Product news Parkside Lending is pleased to announce the release of HomeReady . This FNMA product allows access to mortgages for creditworthy, low- to moderate- income borrowers who were previously underserved in the marketplace. Key highlights...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: Fed Minutes and Auction Cycle Make Up For Slow Data

Posted To: MBS Commentary

It's another slow week for bond markets in terms of pure "economic data." The only relevant reports are Existing Home Sales (Wed), New Home Sales (Fri), and Consumer Sentiment (Fri). None of these are especially reliable market movers, and Consumer Sentiment is mainly important due to its inflation expectation component (one of the things the Fed admits to watching). Economic data is just one subset of calendar events. Fed communications and Treasury auctions are in their own categories. Both show up this week. Wednesday's 2pm release of the FOMC Minutes (a more detailed account of the Fed's conversation that culminated in the statement we saw on Feb 1st) is probably the biggest potential market mover on the calendar. The Fed didn't make any material changes at that...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Week Ends Roughly Where it Began, with Bonds Drifting

Posted To: MBS Commentary

For all the sturm and drang seen in the middle of the week, trading levels somehow managed to hit today's 3pm close almost perfectly in line with Monday morning's levels. As expected, Monday and Friday were relative non-events, given that neither contained any interesting data or events on the calendar. This week's drama was primarily reserved for Tuesday and Wednesday. The biggest event of the week for bonds was arguably the release of Yellen's prepared congressional testimony at 10am on Tuesday morning. Markets were looking for some read--ANY read--on the Fed's most timely thoughts on rate hikes. When the first few newswires specifically mentioned the need to hike sooner vs later, it was off to the races for bond yields. Wednesday saw the weakness continue. At issue were...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Slightly Lower to End Week

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates moved lower for a 2nd straight day. This helps undo virtually all of the damage done by the first 3 days of the week. In other words, today's rates are right in line with last Friday's after having been noticeably higher for the past 4 days. There were no significant economic reports or market-moving headlines today as markets were instead focused on limiting their exposure to volatility over the upcoming 3-day weekend. On that note, keep in mind that banks and most mortgage lenders will be closed on Monday for the Presidents Day holiday. 4.25% remains the most prevalent conventional 30yr fixed rate on top tier scenarios, although a handful of lenders moved back down to 4.125% yesterday and today. Borrowers being quoted the same "note rate" as yesterday are seeing today's improvement...(read more)

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GSE Profits Put Taxpayers More Than $78 bln Ahead

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs) each reported positive financial results for the fourth quarter of 2016. The two have posted nearly uninterrupted quarterly profits, (Freddie Mac had a net loss of $354 million in the first quarter of 2016) since 2012. Under the conservatorship agreement, net profits are "swept" to Treasury in the form of dividends. After the expected Q4 dividends, Treasury will have received $78.4 billion more than the GSEs borrowed. Fannie Mae reported annual net income of $12.3 billion and comprehensive income of $11.7 billion in 2016. In the fourth quarter income was $5.0 billion and comprehensive income was 4.9 billion. Income in the third quarter was$3.2 billion and for all of 2015 it was $10.6 billion Freddie Mac's full-year net income was $7.8 Billion and Comprehensive...(read more)

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Product, Appraisal News; Upcoming Events; FHA/NHF/Sapphire Drama; SoFi, Altisource, Blackstone

Posted To: Pipeline Press

In lender and regulator news, SoFi (Social Finance) is reportedly close to raising $500 million in fresh funds from an investor group led by Silver Lake & SoftBank. Bloomberg reported that during an earnings call this week Blackstone Mortgage Trust plans to expand construction loan business. With plenty of undeployed equity at Blackstone, CEO Steve Plavin observed that it is a challenging environment for banks to compete and there is still demand from developers, and that BXMT has a unique opportunity. Banks "are not really in it" and BXMT wants to fill void. He believes that higher rates can produce a "very attractive ROI." At the other end of the spectrum shares of PHH Corp fell as much as 20% yesterday . Apparently, investors are disappointed it did not announce a sale on the investor...(read more)

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17 Percent of Consumers Unaware That Mortgages Involve Closing Costs

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Despite the regulations imposed by the Truth-in-Lending/RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rules and disclosure forms in October 2015, some homebuyers still say their final closing costs caught them by surprise . Some appear to have been unaware that closing costs were even required. ClosingCorp, a provider of real estate closing cost data and technology, has released results of a new on-line survey that explored whether TRID has helped consumers better understand the closing costs associated with purchasing a home. The survey, commission by ClosingCorp and conducted by Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research, was conducted in early January, among 1,000 adults nationwide who had purchased a home during the 12 months ended on January 1, 2017. When asked what surprised them about their closing...(read more)

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NAR Releases New Measure of Affordability

Posted To: MND NewsWire

The National Association of Realtors ® and on-line real estate marketplace have unveiled a new housing affordability model . The model uses data on mortgages, state-level income information, and real estate listings to derive two measures of availability and affordability. The data results first in an Affordability Distribution Curve which examines how many listings are affordable to buyers in a particular income percentile. The second measure, the Affordability Score, is a calculation equal to twice the area below the Affordability Distribution Curve on a graph. Confusing, especially without seeing the graph , but we trust it is enough to know going forward that this number will vary between zero and two. A score of one or above indicates a market where homes for sale are more affordable...(read more)

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Lower FICO Scores - A Harbinger of Hope?

Posted To: MND NewsWire

What is that cloud of dust in the distance? Is it a bird, a plane? We mix our popular culture references, but maybe it is a faint signal of approaching looser lending standards. Ellie Mae's Origination Insight Report for January reports a fairly significant drop in the FICO scores of closed loans, down 4 points overall compared to the previous month, to an average of 722 . While one month certainly doesn't make a trend, this was the latest what has been a nearly monthly drop in scores, coming down off the 2016 high of 731 in August. It was however mostly refinancing that brought down the average. Conventional refinance scores dropped 7 points to 732, FHA eased back by 3 points and VA by 2 points. Ellie Mae also reports that the share of home purchase originations dipped slightly in January...(read more)

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