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Builder Confidence at Best Levels Since 2018

 

Posted To: MND NewsWire

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), which has held in the mid-to-upper 60 range since May, finally got moving this month. The Index, a measure of home builder confidence in the market for newly constructed houses, jumped up 3 points to reach 71, the highest level since February 2018 . NAHB Chair Greg Ugalde said, "The housing rebound that began in the spring continues, supported by low mortgage rates, solid job growth and a reduction in new home inventory." "The second half of 2019 has seen steady gains in single-family construction, and this is mirrored by the gradual uptick in builder sentiment over the past few months," said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. "However, builders continue to remain cautious due to ongoing supply side constraints...(read more)

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Harvard Study Looks at Where, How Aging Baby Boomers Live

 

Posted To: MND NewsWire

While a lot of attention is now focused on Millennials, the country is still aging. A new report from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies looks at how the growing population of elderly is poised to change the characteristics of homeownership and the need to prepare for the ramifications. The first part of the report, Housing America's Older Adults 2019 , details the aging of the population as Baby Boomers increasingly reach retirement age - the leading edge of the second largest generation in history is now 73 years old - and where and with whom they reside. The number of households headed by persons 65 years of older increased from 27 million in 2012 to 31 million in 2017. The next younger age cohort, those aged 50 to 64 grew only by 770,000 to about 35 million. Over the next 20 years...(read more)

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Broker, LOS, Warehouse Products; Nationwide Events and Free Training

 

Posted To: Pipeline Press

Sen. Patrick Moynihan once said, “Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.” In a question guaranteed to generate opinions, there is, “Rob, do you ever think that the mortgage industry will be like the gasoline business, dominated by a very few huge companies?” No, I don’t think so. The cost and barriers to entry are too low. I very much doubt that a few lenders will ever dominate the mortgage origination sector. Looking back over a few decades concentration among the top 30 lenders has been very fluid. The top 30 lenders had a 92% market share in 2008, but that has dropped to 57% in 2018. Over the last ten years, 23 of those top 30 lenders are newly in this elite group which means that only seven have been able to sustain their leadership...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: Brexit Headlines vs Retail Sales

 

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Yesterday saw bonds undo a decent amount of overnight progress to end at the highest yields in nearly a month. 10yr Treasuries broke above the 1.75% level. If they close above 1.75% again today, it would add validity to the weaker trend of the past 2 weeks. Trade headlines helped at first but Brexit headlines led the reversal. Bonds will continue sorting out the relative impact of Brexit anticipation compared to domestic economic data as we get the week's only significant report: Retail Sales. As frustrating as it may be, we're quickly finding ourselves in a position to give geopolitical events MUCH more sway over market movement than we would have just 2 weeks ago. It's frustrating because after the last Fed meeting, the bond market thesis has been something like this: "keep...(read more)

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Purchases Decline, Refis Still Strong as Rates Show Mixed Results

 

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Mortgage application volume eked out a slight gain during the week ended October 11 as interest rates became mixed . Purchasing weakened while the volume increase was again driven by refinancing activity. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said its Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, rose 0.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier and was 1 percent higher before adjustment. The Refinance Index gained 4 percent and was 199 percent higher than the same week in 2018. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 62.2 percent of total applications from 60.4 percent the previous week Both the seasonally adjusted and the unadjusted Purchase Indices dropped by 4 percent from their level during the week ended October 4. The unadjusted...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Bonds Built Up Only to Be Let Down

 

Posted To: MBS Commentary

There were two key parts to today's market movement. The first was the general push back against Friday's bond market weakness courtesy of less upbeat details emerging in the US/China trade talks. Long story short, China said it wants another round of talks before signing the phase one deal unveiled on Friday. It also had at least one other stipulation regarding December's planned tariff hikes. Bonds logically cheered that news, ultimately undoing ALL of Friday's domestic session losses. The 2nd component to today's movement was an even bigger push back in the other direction courtesy of renewed Brexit optimism. This hit European bonds like a sack full of quarters mid-morning but US bonds still got the nickels. It didn't help that domestic equities markets also happened...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Turn Higher After a Strong Start

 

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates ended higher for the 4th straight business day on Tuesday, but that wasn't necessarily destined to be the case this morning. After last week's US/China trade announcements put upward pressure on rates heading into the 3-day weekend, some of the positivity was backtracked over the weekend. This pushed stock prices and bond yields (aka "rates") lower to start the day, but the rate recovery didn't last long. As news came in about improved odds for a Brexit deal, European bonds began losing ground quickly. This, along with a strong performance in US stock markets, put pressure on US bonds throughout the morning (pressure on bonds = higher rates). By the end of the day, most mortgage lenders had reissued rates that were closer to last Friday's . Tomorrow brings the week's only major...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: Moving Averages Suck (And Other Thoughts to Kick Off The Week)

 

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Last week brought a bit of a bumpy ride for bond markets with trade-related news accounting for most of the drama. Things were more uneventful on the first 3 days of the week, but Thursday and Friday saw yields threaten to resume the sort of uptrend seen at the beginning of September. With the overall rally trend closing in on its first birthday and with the total drop in 10yr yields being roughly 175bps as of last Monday (3.26% in late 2018 to 1.51%), every time selling pressure picks up in a noticeable way for more than a day, it forces us to consider the mortality of that long-term trend. In other words, is this the beginning of the end of 2019's rally? Are last week's rates the lowest we'll see in a long time? I think the market is going to do a pretty good job of letting data...(read more)

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Marketing, POS, Appraisal Products; Non-QM Company and Product News

 

Posted To: Pipeline Press

Scholars disagree on how much sleep we need, what time is the best time to wake up, and what time to go to work. But then again, scholars disagree on everything. Being a capital markets person on the West Coast is not easy, with most rising between 4 and 5AM and at their desks by 5 or 6 AM. This was really a convoluted way of working in the news that in California the Governor has signed a law mandating a later (8AM) start time at public elementary schools, 8:30 for high schools. What the heck? “Shifting to a later start time will improve academic performance and save lives because it helps our children be healthier.” Couldn’t they just go to bed a little earlier? Speaking of nocturnal patterns, most of the U.S. doesn’t change their clocks back an hour until November...(read more)

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Characteristics of First Time Buyers Differ by Age

 

Posted To: MND NewsWire

The typical first-time homebuyer may not be who you think he or she is. A new report from Zillow says that rather than the young shopper eager to become a homeowner but worried about qualifying for a mortgage, nearly a third of today's buyers are over the age of 40 and have a "ton of buying power." They are confident about their finances and might even pay cash for their homes. Older first-time homebuyers have lower incomes (a median of $57,500) than the younger cohort ($72,500) but they told the Zillow surveyors they were not particularly concerned about qualifying for a mortgage and indeed they needn't have been. Only 22 percent were ultimately unable to qualify compared to more than a third of first-time buyers under the age of 40 who were denied a mortgage. Twenty-three percent of the older...(read more)

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Inventory Issues Highlight Downside of Lower Rates

 

Posted To: MND NewsWire

While declining interest rates are generally viewed as good news for consumers, they aren't without their negatives. Realtor.com's September housing trend report released last week highlights one of them. Inventories of available homes, which had been recovering from months of record low numbers, have begun to shrink again. Even worse for first-time buyers, the decline is hitting hardest within the lowest price tier. Overall inventory was down 2.5 on an annual basis compared to a 1.8 percent annual decline in August, but entry level homes , those priced under $200,000, continued a decline that started in May of 2014. The supply of homes in that tier for sale in that category declined by 9.8 percent in September. The largest segment of inventory is in the mid-price range, homes listed between...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Traders Trading Trade (Deal)

 

Posted To: MBS Commentary

With the exception of the wee hours yesterday morning, the past 2 days have been all about the trade deal. Markets knew Trump and the Chinese vice premier would be meeting this afternoon and they increasingly believed some sort of trade announcement was likely. In fact, both stocks and bonds did such a good job getting ahead of such a thing that they moved in counter-intuitive directions as soon as it was announced. You know... buy the rumor, sell the news, and all that... While you know I'd be the first in line to say too many words about something that happens in financial markets, today was really that simple. In short, it was 2nd day of stocks and bonds pricing in some announcement of progress in US/China trade relations. In that context, the bond losses are reasonable (more than reasonable...(read more)

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Big Jump in Mortgage Rates This Week

 

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates moved higher from Wednesday through the end of the week. Thursday and Friday were especially abrupt as financial markets hurried to get in position for a potential US/China trade announcement. What does trade have to do with the mortgage market? Quite a lot actually! Tariffs and general trade uncertainty have been some of the biggest driving forces behind 2019's huge drop in rates. Downbeat economic data and eroding business confidence led investors to put more money into safer havens like the bond market. When demand for bonds increases, bond prices move higher and bond yields (aka "rates") move lower. The economic uncertainty also played a key role in forcing the Federal Reserve to shift its stance on rates early in the year. While the Fed doesn't control mortgage rates directly...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: Another Correction is Underway. How Long Will It Last?

 

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Yesterday brought an abrupt confirmation of a bounce in bonds. For 10yr Treasury yields, the scene of the bounce was 1.51% earlier in the week. Multiple attempts to move lower failed, but yields stayed close enough to try for 4 straight days. Things began to change on Wednesday as bonds began to weaken just slightly. Even then, they day's weakest levels weren't any worse than those seen on the previous day. It fell to yesterday, then, to not only break the little sideways range (1.51-1.59), but to crush it. The bounce validates the bigger-picture consolidation trend seen below. There is room to run in terms of momentum/technicals. In other words, bonds were just overbought, so they may shift back to being oversold, and they're not quite there yet--even in terms of fast stochastics...(read more)

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Vacation Homes Paved the Way to Greater Household Wealth

 

Posted To: MND NewsWire

While home prices have surged back from their housing crisis lows, a report from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) says homes purchased as vacation properties have appreciated even more. NAR's 2019 Vacation Home Counties Report says that over the five years that ended in 2018, existing and new home prices gained an aggregate of 31 percent while the median price of a second home rose 36 percent. NAR found the areas with the greatest increases over the five-year span were in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts. Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, says the present figures are telling, especially when compared to data from 10 years prior. "As of 2018, household net worth reached an all-time high of $100.3 trillion - that's nearly double from a decade ago when wealth declined...(read more)

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