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May Uptick in Builder Confidence Proves Fleeting

Posted To: MND NewsWire

The National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB's) measure of builder confidence broke out of its multi-month slump in May, rising 3 points. Much of that gain was reversed this month as the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) dropped by 2 points to 64, returning to the low- to-mid-60s range it has occupied since the first of the year. "While demand for single-family homes remains sound, builders continue to report rising development and construction costs , with some additional concerns over trade issues," said NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde. "Despite lower mortgage rates, home prices remain somewhat high relative to incomes, which is particularly challenging for entry-level buyers ," said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. "And while new home sales picked up in March and April, builders...(read more)

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06/17/2019 03:09 PM

MBS Day Ahead: Housing Data and The Fed

Posted To: MBS Commentary

In the week just past, the bond market began by threatening to bounce toward higher rates after an impressive, 5-week rally to the lowest levels since 2017. The first sign of support appeared without any provocation other than "relatively higher yields." This is a good thing because it indicated traders were looking for an opportunity to step in and buy bonds without any additional motivation. They were looking to reinforce the range as opposed to ride a wave of momentum back to weaker levels. In the week ahead, the bond market will get a more compelling cue regarding a potential range breakout. If there's one event that stands out, it's Wednesday's Fed announcement . This is also one of the meetings that includes updated economic projections (i.e. Fed member rate forecasts...(read more)

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06/17/2019 01:25 PM

Commercial Products; Flood and Disaster Updates; Capital Markets

Posted To: Pipeline Press

I find builder’s naming policies amusing. Let’s call a subdivision “Hidden Valley” or “Lonesome Pines” when it isn’t hidden or lonesome anymore with 500 homes in it. Let’s pave over peach orchards, an area where hawks hunt, or a field of sage brush and then name roads after them. Maybe they can charge more for a house on a street with a cute name. Builders aren’t fools, and they, appraisers, and homeowners also know that houses with garages have more value. Chicago homes with garages sell for an estimated 38% more than comparable homes without them, per a new analysis from Redfin, adding nearly $47k to the sale price of a typical Chicago home. Nationwide, homes with garages sell for $23,211 more than homes without, which equates to a 12...(read more)

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06/17/2019 01:19 PM

MBS RECAP: Modest Reactions to Econ Data as Bonds Wait For Bigger News

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Somehow, the bond market managed to end the week at 2.084% (10yr yield) which is exactly where it ended last week. In all my years of market-watching, I've never seen a sharp weekly (like the one we just had in late May) at the end of a sharp multi-month rally give way to 2 straight weeks of fairly flat trading in bonds. To say that this raises the risk of a very big breakout very soon would be an understatement. Today's data was no help in sussing out the direction of such a breakout. Strongly positive revisions to last month's Retail Sales numbers put only modest pressure on bonds early this morning. A huge drop in consumers' 5yr inflation expectations pushed back in the other direction by about as much at 10am. The rest of the day was spent moving perfectly sideways. When...(read more)

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06/14/2019 10:27 PM

Mortgage Rates Just Had Another Awesome Week

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

While we can't say that this week's best mortgage rate offerings were quite as good as last week's best, they were pretty darn close. In fact, quite a few lenders have simply been quoting the same rates for the entire 2-week period. That happens from time to time, but it never happens after rates make a strong run to the lowest levels in nearly 2 years. Seriously, I can't find any past examples of a similar turn of events. Therefore, it's safe to declare this to be yet another awesome week for rates, even though it's not an awesome week for the average mortgage originator to have much time to sleep, eat, or chill with the fam! Rather than cry for your friendly neighborhood originator, it makes more sense to add to their workload (if you haven't already). With a very important Fed announcement...(read more)

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06/14/2019 10:07 PM

Calabria and Carson: Housing Leaders Talk Reform, Accomplishments

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Attendees at the Ginnie Mae Summit commemorating the agencies 50 th anniversary on Thursday heard from both Dr. Ben Carson, Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Dr. Mark A. Calabria, newly confirmed director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Each addressed their plans for updating their respective housing finance components. Calabria spoke first to the increasing role of non-bank mortgage originators. In 2013, he said, non-banks originated 30 percent of the mortgages sold to one of the government guarantee programs. By February of this year, that footprint had doubled to 60 percent. In 2018 those companies originated roughly 50 percent of all mortgages sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs) and they are now Ginnie Mae's main counterparties...(read more)

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06/14/2019 04:59 PM

Two FHA Premium Changes, An End to MI Requirement?

Posted To: MND NewsWire

The House Financial Services Committee (FSC) passed a clutch of bills this week, several of which will assist homebuyers and homeowners. Two directly affect the cost of an FHA loan. The FHA Loan Affordability Act (H.R. 3141), introduced by Dean Phillips (D-MN) would repeal the requirement that borrowers with FHA loans pay premiums on FHA mortgage insurance for the life of their loan. The bill would reinstate the previous policy which allowed borrowers to drop the insurance when the outstanding balance of their loan is reduced to 78 percent of the original value of the home. The wording of the bill appears to specifically disallow consideration of equity accrued through home price appreciation. The bill passed the committee 34 to 25. Another FHA related bill, The Housing Financial Literacy Act...(read more)

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06/14/2019 01:08 PM