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Home mortgage rates and real estate news - CNNMoney.com

Should I get a fixed- or adjustable-rate mortgage?

Read full story for latest details.

What will your monthly mortgage payment be?

In the market for a new home? Or planning to refinance? Find out what your monthly payment will be.

Looking for a home in Berlin or Budapest? Prepare to pay more

Europe took 11 of the top 20 spots on a ranking of cities with the largest price increases in the first quarter, according to global property agency Knight Frank.

Zillow buys a mortgage lender and the stock tanks

Read full story for latest details.

Is Manhattan's rental market finally cooling off?

Rent prices in Manhattan are slowing down and landlords are offering concessions as inventory on the island grows.

Was my home a good investment?

Calculate the return on your home and how it compares to returns on stocks, bonds and overall home prices.

Housing market remains strong, despite mortgage rate worries

Homebuilder Lennar reported sales and profits that topped forecasts and indicated there is still healthy demand for new homes despite rising mortgage rates.

Why West Coast home prices are surging

The hottest markets are in the West, and it's creating an affordability issue.

What to spend money on (and what to DIY) as a new homeowner

Angie Hicks, co-founder of Angie's List, talks about how to keep your costs in check as a new homeowner.

He made $400,000 flipping a house

Read full story for latest details.

How to save $9,000 on your mortgage

Read full story for latest details.

It's tough to be a homebuyer in Seattle

Read full story for latest details.

Are you ready to buy a home?

Read full story for latest details.

Home Depot's sluggish sales may be warning sign for housing

Home Deport reported sales growth that missed Wall Street's forecasts. The company specifically cited a 'slow start' to spring as a problem. Bad weather did hurt sales. But rising mortgage rates might be a bigger problem going forward.

Even rising mortgage rates won't stop homebuyers

Read full story for latest details.

Home prices are on an epic run

Real estate prices posted an annual gain of 6.3% in February, and have been rising continuously for the past 70 months.

How these hurricane-ravaged states have avoided a housing disaster -- so far

An expected deluge of hurricane-related foreclosures has so far been avoided, thanks in part to new provisions by federal agencies and regulations imposed after the financial crisis.

5 ways to afford your first home

Read full story for latest details.

London's property market is in a coma

London experienced years of booming property prices. But the market has now ground to a halt.

WSJ.com: Real Estate

Gardens and Mountains in Australia

This luxury period-style home on more than 50,000 square feet of land has a national park out the back door and is just a 90-minute drive from Sydney.

DJ Khaled Lists Miami-Area Villa With Sneaker Room for $7.99 Million

The social-media star and music producer is selling the Aventura, Fla., home several months after purchasing a property in Miami Beach.

The Artsy Southern Town That Wants to Be the Next Portland

Former milltown of Greenville, S.C., has been rejuvenated by a thriving cultural scene; average home prices have risen over 20% in the past three years.

The Challenges of Selling a Hollywood Home

In Los Angeles, an abode that has housed generations of Hollywood legends can be the ultimate status symbol, but there are complications when it is time to sell.

Hollywood Producer Joel Silver Sells Malibu Home for $38 million

Joel Silver, producer of the “Die Hard” and “Matrix” film franchises, sold his Malibu, Calif., home on Carbon Beach for $38 million.

Ziff Family Florida Compound Is Seeking Almost $200 Million

Known as “Gemini,” the nearly 16-acre estate south of Palm Beach is one of the highest priced listings in the country

An Apple Manager's Headquarters for High Jinks

A creative director crafts a San Francisco home dedicated to daring, whimsy and fun.

Japan's Creative, Ephemeral Homes

Buyers value new, highly personalized houses—forget resales. This model has one happy side-effect: a flourishing of some of the world’s most wonderfully bizarre architecture.

Soho Penthouse Seeks $29.995 Million

The seller is Jon Venetos, the former head of Surveyor Capital, which is part of hedge-fund giant Citadel.

Developers Put on the Glitz for Busy Fall Selling Season

Increasingly, developers use a wide range of splashy affairs to promote luxury residential real-estate sales in autumn, the most important sales period after spring.

Microsoft Opens Flagship Store on Fifth Avenue

Microsoft will step onto one of the world’s biggest retail stages Monday when it opens its Fifth Avenue store in Manhattan as part of its strategy to boost direct contact with consumers.

A Resnick Scion Strikes Out on His Own

With a new Chelsea condominium that’s 80% sold, Scott Resnick shows he’s up to the challenge of developing residential projects on his own.

Shopping Mall Developer Taubman Dies

A. Alfred Taubman, the self-made billionaire who cemented the enclosed shopping mall into American culture has died. He was 91.

Fannie, Freddie to Lower Fees

The Federal Housing Finance Agency is set to direct Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to reduce mortgage fees on some borrowers.

An App That Helps Glimpse the Future

Rokitt’s augmented-reality technology helps architects and residents see a skyline’s potential.

What's the Deal

A roundup of real-estate news in the tri-state region

New York's Institutional Building Spree

Projects by schools, hospitals and others more than tripled in the first half of this year compared with a year earlier.

Stonewall Inn, Historic Gay Site, May Become New York City Landmark

The city Landmarks Preservation Commission is scheduled to hold a hearing Tuesday on designating the Stonewall Inn as an individual landmark for its pivotal role in New York City’s social history.

Red Berries Are Coming Back to New Jersey

In a sign of the changing beverage market, a longtime plant and distribution facility of juice maker Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc. will soon be home to the company Bai Brands, which produces drinks made from the coffee fruit.

Rent Regulations Expire as Deal Eludes Lawmakers

New York City’s rent regulations expired at midnight Monday as Albany lawmakers couldn’t agree on how to renew a law that afforded protection to more than two million people.

A House Made for a Sailor

The Kroeses are selling their waterside home in Westbrook, Conn., designed to complement lives spent largely on sailboats. The nautically themed home is on the market for $1.975 million.

Group Wants Parking Lots Converted to Elderly Housing

A study by the advocacy group LiveOn NY has identified 39 parking lots in the five boroughs that it says are underused and would be better used as housing for seniors.

What's the Deal: News Digest

A round-up of commercial real-estate news in the Greater New York region.

Rent a Desk, or Bathroom, in New York City With an App

A slew of innovative app-based services help New Yorkers instantly book short stints at the smallest of city spaces—a bathroom, a living room, an office. Need a pit stop? Try Airpnp.

In Franklin Lakes, People Tend to Stay Awhile

The affluent New Jersey community, population 10,600, is about 25 miles from Manhattan. Residents are drawn by its well-regarded public schools, relatively low property taxes and bucolic atmosphere.

Avison Young Hires Big to Accelerate Growth in New York

A. Mitti Liebersohn has left his longtime brokerage team at JLL to join Avison Young’s New York office.

What's the Deal: News Digest

A roundup of real-estate news in the Greater New York area.

Designers Put Cork in It

Once dismissed as cheap and ugly, cork is becoming cool as top designers create pieces that are not only sustainable, but covetable.

Five Midcentury Homes for Interiors Inspiration

Take a tour of these classic residences, including Modernist designer Eileen Gray’s 1929 villa, now open to the public after years of restoration.

Design's Best-Kept Secret: Eames Radios

Collectors are tuning into radios designed by Charles and Ray Eames—a more accessible way to own an original by the midcentury masters.

Basic Home Essentials That Are Anything But Ordinary

Even if you aren’t ready for Marie Kondo’s life-changing magic, you can still embrace the beauty of simplicity by investing in items that are functional and stylish.

Five Fresh Spring Vases

Choose the perfect vase to display those long-awaited spring flowers at their best.

Ways to Give Your House Away

Anyone inspired to donate their home to charity should know that the tax rules are complicated.

Chita Rivera on the Leap That Launched Her Dance Career

The actress/dancer was a tomboy who grew up in a lively Washington, D.C., home.

Comedian Mike Myers Lists New York Duplex for $16.95 Million

The “Austin Powers” creator purchased the 4,200-square-foot penthouse in Soho for roughly $7.9 million in 2007

Philadelphia Penthouse Is Listing for a Record $17.6 Million

Under construction, the apartment has the highest asking price in the city.

Where Luxury Homes Sell the Fastest

An analysis of home listings over a two-month period identifies San Jose, Calif., as the place where home buyers need to act quickly.

Extreme Closet Makeover

A look inside the $85,000 closet renovation of a California doctor.

Westchester's Priciest House Is Listing For $29.5 Million

The 98-acre property in Mount Kisco, N.Y. was once owned by showman Billy Rose

Advantages of a One-of-a-Kind Home

Homes with a special feature that is no longer allowed under local building rules may give owners an edge when it’s time to sell.

The French Riviera at a Bargain

There are rare deals in glittering Cap d’Antibes, the onetime party spot of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.

Barcelona's Draw as 'Urban Resort'

Spain’s second city is luring new home buyers who like the city-and-surf lifestyle of the coastal metropolis.

After Foreclosures, Home Buyers Are Back

Many who lost their homes during the early part of the financial crisis are rebounding after credit-penalty phase.

CBRE Global Investors Buys Stake in Three GGP Malls

One of the world’s largest real-estate asset managers has purchased a 49% stake in three malls in a deal that values them at more than $1 billion and shows that investors still have an appetite for top-tier retail property.

FAO Schwarz Is Returning to New York

A dominant presence in Midtown Manhattan for decades before its closure in 2015, the toy store is coming to life again with a new, 20,000-square-foot Rockefeller Center location.

Sportswear-Maker Puma to Open New York Flagship

Germany’s Puma has signed a lease deal to creating a marquee location on Fifth Avenue that will be the first of its kind for the company in North America.

Kushner Cos., Brookfield Near a Deal for Stake in 666 Fifth Ave.

The real estate arm of Brookfield Asset Management is in advanced talks with Kushner Cos. to buy roughly a 50% stake in 666 Fifth Ave. and invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the Manhattan office tower, which has been at the center of a controversy over possible conflicts of interest involving Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser.

Mortgage News Daily

MBS RECAP: One of Three Things is Going on With Bonds

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Bond markets sold-off today in a slightly more alarming way than we've seen so far in 2019. This was accompanied by 11th straight trading session where stocks closed higher than they opened, as well as the best S&P prices in more than a month. One of three things could be going on. At face value, this is alarming . The first option is that all of the above is cause for concern. After all, we were worried about stocks and bonds reversing course in 2019 after the strong and correlated move in late 2018. This is the worst case scenario, but not necessarily a guaranteed scenario. The 2nd option is that all of the above is a 'false alarm.' Perhaps stocks are overly optimistic about a trade deal. Perhaps markets are too smart for their own good thinking they know what will happen...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Nominally Higher Despite Bond Market Warning

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates rose gently today. Most mortgage borrowers (and many mortgage professionals, for that matter) wouldn't be aware of slightly more alarming risks lurking underneath the surface. Those risks involve the broader bond market from which mortgage-related bonds take their directional cues. More simply put, if US Treasuries are improving, mortgage-backed bonds tend to improve as well. The level of correlation varies though. For nearly all of 2018, mortgages weren't improving as quickly as the most widely-used rate benchmark: 10yr Treasury yields. That began to change recently--especially when 10yr yields began moving higher 3 weeks ago. During that time, we've seen moderate moves higher in 10yr yields met with modest moves higher in mortgage rates. Today was another one of those days...(read more)

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Has RESPA's Servicer Rule Reduced Foreclosures?

Posted To: MND NewsWire

In accordance with requirements of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently conducted five-year assessments of two rules it promulgated under the act. We summarized their assessment of the Ability-to-Repay/Qualified Mortgage rule last week. What follows is a brief summary of the assessment of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act's (RESPA's) servicing rule. Many provisions of the rule relate to servicer obligations to review delinquent borrowers for foreclosure avoidance options such as loss mitigation. These include requiring servicers to make certain disclosures, take certain procedural steps, and meet prescribed timelines when borrowers are applying for and being evaluated for these options. The data showed...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: Bonds Break One Ceiling, But The Next One is More Important

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Ever since bottoming out in early 2019, 10yr Treasury yields faced a pretty clear line in the sand from a technical standpoint. 2.82% stuck out like a sore thumb overhead due to multiple instances where it acted as a floor in 2018. It may have seemed too far away to worry about 3 weeks ago, but with 2.75% being broken yesterday/today, 2.82% is next in line. Would a break above 2.82% be the end of the world for bonds? Not necessarily. In fact, in the biggest of pictures, as long as yields don't break above 3.26%, the longer-term outlook could remain positive. It would just be getting off to a rockier start compared to a scenario where yields are instead able to hold fairly steady in the 2.75-2.82 range until finding a reason to rally. Either way, the longer-term outlook will depend on bonds...(read more)

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Condo, Sales, and Business Intelligence Products; Freddie and Fannie Program Changes

Posted To: Pipeline Press

For the first time in history, the six biggest banks — JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley — made $100 billion in profit in a year. Yowzah! There’s a lot going on out there, and Ben Smidt put out his “Mortgage Expert Insights on Business Planning Strategies” that is worth a gander. Every basis point counts, right? With the increase in short-term rates, for non-depository lenders, does your accounting team tell you how much it costs every day to have a funded but unsold on your warehouse? If they haven’t, they should. Conventional Conforming Changes For the most part Freddie and Fannie have motored on, regardless of the PUGS (partial U.S. government shutdown). Let’s see what they’ve been up...(read more)

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New Home Sales Pull Back Amid Global Uncertainty

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Applications for new home purchases dropped in December , falling 6.8 percent behind those a year earlier. The deficit from November was even larger, a decline of 13 percent. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) estimates that those numbers, which do not include any adjustment for seasonal patterns, translates into new home sales during the month at an annual rate of 552,000 units, a 12 percent decrease from the estimated November pace of 627,000 units. On an unadjusted basis, MBA says there were 37,000 new homes sold during the month, down 17.8 percent from the 45,000 new home sales in November. "New home sales declined for the second straight month in December, from 627,000 units to 552,000 units, as factors such as a volatile stock market and economic uncertainty , both here and abroad...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Trade Headlines Provide Sneak Peak for Bond Market Vulnerability

Posted To: MBS Commentary

The Wall St Journal ran a story this afternoon suggesting Treasury Secretary Mnuchin was pushing for a compromise deal to ease Tariffs on China in order to grease the skids for trade talks. As a result, stocks and bonds lost their cool --relatively. Case in point, in the 30 minutes following the headline, nearly 350k 10yr Treasury futures contracts traded. To put that in perspective, the 30 minutes following the January 4th jobs report saw just over 250k. To be fair to the jobs report, it created lasting volume throughout the day whereas the trade-related headlines made for a much more condensed dose. Even so, the reaction speaks to importance of trade-related updates as the US works on hammering out a deal with China. We could also argue that it speaks the deprivation that markets have been...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Holding Ground But Volatility Could Increase

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates were technically steady today. In fact, as of this writing, most lenders are offering slightly better terms compared to yesterday, but only by barely-detectable amounts. The afternoon brought volatility in financial markets owing to trade-related headline. That volatility isn't moving in a good direction for mortgage rates at the moment. The takeaway is that, all other things being equal, lenders will be offering slightly weaker terms tomorrow morning, assuming they don't see quite enough weakness to adjust today's offerings with only a few hours left in the day. Combine the volatility risk with the fact that rates are still very close to their lowest levels since last April, and this is still a compelling opportunity for potential homebuyers or owners interested in refinancing...(read more)

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Subservicer, Non-Agency Products; World Debt Increasing; Primer on "Duration" and Mortgage Pricing

Posted To: Pipeline Press

Time has a way of slipping by. For example, I’ve really been meaning to transfer a bunch of Lotus 1-2-3 and Quattro Pro spreadsheets I have off of some floppy disks and onto my laptop but never seem to get around to it. Speaking of time passing, Moody’s send out a warning that if the partial US government shutdown (PUGS) continues it could create problems for the U.S. bond market. Entities that depend upon federal money for revenues or paying debts could experience "liquidity strains." As we know the lack of liquidity will take a company, or person, down to their knees faster than anything. Yet nothing is certain but death and taxes, and the IRS plans to recall thousands of workers now on furlough because of the PUGS. Lender Products and Services Wrapping up a record-breaking 2018...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: There Are Only So Many Ways To Say It

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Unless you've missed the past few days of commentary, you've heard me say something about the sideways uncertainty in markets as investors wait for a government shutdown resolution. There are only so many ways to say it. So I'll let someone else say it this morning. The following is from the head of US Rates Strategy at BMO Capital Markets, Ian Lyngen: "Treasuries are in a classic holding pattern as we await further clarity on a variety of fronts. The government shutdown remains front and center, if for no other reason than the dearth of economic data the closure has created and mounting concerns the stalemate will impact the real economy." It can't be said with much more clarity. Even if we want to argue the shutdown, itself, isn't a major market mover, it's...(read more)

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Will New FHFA Head Follow his Instincts or Bow to Reality?

Posted To: MND NewsWire

"The most important question in housing policy heading into the new year has nothing to do with interest rates, housing supply, or home sales," Urban Institute (UI) non-resident fellow Jim Parrott says. "It's what kind of director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Mark Calabria will be ." Calabria has been named to replace Melvin Watt as director of the agency that regulates the Federal home Loan Banks and the GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. FHFA has also been conservator of the GSEs since 2008. Parrott says the agency has "an enormous hand in who in this country can get a mortgage and on what terms ." He adds, "And in Mark Calabria, the Trump administration has nominated one of Fannie and Freddie's greatest skeptics, raising the prospect that they, and the market that depends on...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Bonds Looking Reluctant to Make Bigger Moves Without Data

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Today would have been Retail Sales day were it not for the government shutdown. This also prevented Business Inventories from reporting (not an insignificant piece of data even if not on par with Retail Sales). Tomorrow will see the New Residential Construction numbers (housing starts and building permits) stay silent due to the shutdown. This isn't an environment where bond traders are eager to make big bets. That much is evident in the general sideways grind of the past week and a half. Some of the only times that we see "big bets" are in response to trading levels being coaxed out of the prevailing range by other factors. That was the case today as 10yr Treasury yields approached their highest levels of the year. Before the ceiling could be challenged, a big trade came through...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Up Slightly, But Still in Great Shape

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates rose modestly today after spending the past 2 days moving sideways. It was really yesterday's market weakness that caused today's move. Mortgage rates are most directly affected by the trading of mortgage-backed securities (MBS). When MBS are weaker, rates rise. MBS were weaker throughout the day yesterday, but not by quite enough for lenders to go to the trouble of revising their rate sheets for the worse. Instead, lenders simply waited until this morning to make the changes implied by the market. This delayed reaction is common when the market movement on any given day isn't quite enough to justify lender reprices. In the bigger picture, rates have been in a holding pattern, possibly waiting for some indication that the government shutdown will end. When such a thing happens...(read more)

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Manufactured Home and Capital Markets Products; Radian Expands; Big Banks' Mortgage Volumes

Posted To: Pipeline Press

As pricing battles rage in the wholesale channel, there has been plenty of news of layoffs in residential lending over the last six months industry-wide, due to reasons like becoming more efficient, lower volumes, or fewer delinquencies, the most recent being BB&T and Mr. Cooper (page 7). What would actually be newsworthy is if a well-known company had no change or layoffs in the last six months! You can bet land use has changed over the decades, and I received this question: “Rob, I have to give a presentation to a bunch of real estate agents. Have you seen anything on how land is used across the nation?” This is the last good piece I saw: Here you go . Lender Products and Services Manufactured home lending has been a challenge for lenders. Chattel lending is only being done...(read more)

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Builder Confidence Buoyed by Lower Rates

Posted To: MND NewsWire

After falling an aggregate of 12 points in November and December the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) appears to have stabilized. The HMI, a measure of home builders' confidence in the market for newly constructed homes, gained 2 points in January, rising to 58. This one 1-point higher than analysts polled by Econoday had predicted. "The gradual decline in mortgage rates in recent weeks helped to sustain builder sentiment," said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel. "Low unemployment, solid job growth and favorable demographics should support housing demand in the coming months." The HMI is derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 years among its builders who specialize in new residential construction. The survey asks builders...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: This Morning's Retail Sales Report is Emblematic of The Bond Market's Issue

Posted To: MBS Commentary

There will be no Retail Sales report this morning due to the government shutdown. This provides a perfect example of the issue the bond market is currently facing. It begins with the state of flux in the economy and in monetary policy. Now more than ever , arguably, the Fed is on the lookout for clues in economic data. They need to know whether it makes any sense to keep hiking rates or if there are some indications that things could be slowing down. To be fair, the Fed has already shared anecdotes about growth concerns, but then something like the last NFP report comes along and compels the Fed to keep rate hikes on the table. Fed policy aside, market participants would also like a read on how the economy is doing, considering the uncharted territory in which we continue to operate (i.e. longest...(read more)

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Millionaires Cash-Out Too; Big Refis for Big Homes

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Somewhere in this country there are 230 homes with mortgage balances between $10 and $20 million dollars. According to a post written by Arthur Jobe in the CoreLogic Insights blog, 75 percent of them were originated since 2013, and 180 represent refinances. Those refinances were largely originated since 2013 as well. These homes are unlikely to be in your neighborhood (or ours) although you would have the best shot if you live in California, home to 55 percent of the super jumbo refinances. Seventeen percent are located in Florida, and smaller percentages (4 to 6 percent) in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and Texas. Of course, even zillionaires like to save money, and adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) are particularly popular for loans of this magnitude due to their lower initial rates...(read more)

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Purchase Mortgage Applications Reach 8 Year High

Posted To: MND NewsWire

January 11 ended the first full business week in a while and mortgage activity responded accordingly. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported a strong rebound when, despite a government shutdown, business returned more or less to normal. MBA's Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 13.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week ended January 4, reaching its highest level since last February. On an unadjusted basis, the Index was up 45 percent. Purchase mortgage applications moved higher for the sixth time in the last eight weeks, resuming the upward trajectory that was interrupted by the Christmas holidays. That index was up 9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis to its highest level since April 2010. The unadjusted Purchase Index...(read more)

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NAR Survey Finds American Dream Depends on Affordability

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Homeownership as an American dream is alive and well according to new data from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) 2018 Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) Survey. The survey was conducted across all 12 months of last year. Sixty-four percent of respondents were homeowners, 27 percent were renters, and 9 percent were non-homeowners living with a family member without paying rent. NAR just released Aspiring Home Buyers Profile , which focuses on survey responses from non-homebuyers, both those who rent and those living with a family member. Of the non-owners, 45 percent were 34 years or under, 59 percent make an income of under $50,000, and 43 percent live in suburban areas. Across the quarters of 2018 non-homeowners were consistent in their desire to own a home in...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Minimal Bond Market Damage Thanks to Stocks' Hard Start

Posted To: MBS Commentary

The S&P had been idling in place with prices between 2560 and 2600 for more than a week. During that week, we've discussed the risks associated with a break above 2600. Simply put, if stocks managed to break above their nearest notable technical ceiling, perhaps bonds would do the same. In that case, we were looking at yields of 2.75% as the correlated ceiling. Now today, the S&P closed at 2610 and 10yr Treasury yields not even above 2.72%. To be fair, when stocks broke that ceiling this morning, bonds definitely came along for the ride . But everything played out on a smaller scale, as if both sides of the market were suppressed by some larger uncertainty. While there were quite a few brexit-related headlines in the news, we'd be far better served by focusing our attention...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Unchanged Again as Markets Remain Cautious

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates were unchanged yet again today. Given that rates are based on trading levels in underlying bond markets, it's no surprise to learn that bond investors have been hesitant to take things too far in either direction after pulling up slightly from the long-term lows achieved in early January. The same could be said for the stock market, but replace early January with late December. For either side of the market, the biggest lingering uncertainty is the fate of the government shutdown . The extent to which a shutdown resolution would move markets remains to be seen. But at the very least, there's a risk that a resolution would push stocks and interest rates higher in unison--at least temporarily. From there, it would fall to actual economic data to set the tone. In that regard, bonds...(read more)

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LO Resources; CRM, PR, and Sales Products; January Training

Posted To: Pipeline Press

Are rates too high given where the U.S. economy is? Traders, investors, and the Fed think they’re where they need to be, given the information we have. Others believe they will head lower this year due to a slowing economy. The release of bank big bank earnings today is shedding some light on economic temperature, but recall that the word “patient” appeared in the recent FOMC minutes as well as in several comments by Fed Chairman Jay Powell related to the timing of potential upcoming rate hikes. (The last time we saw “patient” show up in Fed speak then Chairwoman Janet Yellen used it in reference to rate hikes in early 2015.) Would you patiently wait for your paycheck? U.S. government owes an estimated $5.3 billion to federal workers who have not been paid since...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: Stocks and Bonds in Holding Patterns, Waiting For Info

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Neither side of the market (debt/bonds or stocks/equity) feels like it has enough information to move out of recent holding patterns. These sideways trends emerged last week after a an apparent "New Year Bounce" toward higher stock prices and bond yields had proven itself to be a false start. Perhaps 2019's early trend could have remained intact were it not for several key sources of uncertainty. There is an important brexit-related vote in UK parliament tonight, but it will only be important for US bond markets if the vote offers a surprising result. Right now, the expectation seems to be that the Prime Minister's brexit plan will be overwhelmingly rejected. But if it's a reasonably close call, that would leave hope alive for brexit to happen on schedule. There are two...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Bonds Stay in Solid Shape Despite Morning Weakness

Posted To: MBS Commentary

The overnight trading session was thinly-traded due to a holiday closure in Tokyo. Buyers outnumbered sellers until the domestic session. Promptly after the 820am CME Open , sellers showed up in US Treasuries. Bond market weakness radiated out from there. By the end of the day, it would become more clear that some of the selling was related to corporate debt hedging (read more about why that matters HERE ). Bonds were weaker throughout the morning hours, and then leveled off after European markets closed. It's not uncommon to see Treasuries level-off or reverse course right after European bond markets close. This can happen for a variety of reasons although it can be as simple as a sudden drop in market participation that happens when only one of the three continental areas is trading ...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Unchanged to Start the Week

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates held their ground today, keeping them in line with long-term lows achieved over the past 2 weeks. To be fair, it was the previous week that offered the biggest benefits, but last week was no slouch. Factoring out the first few days of January, it would have been the best week for mortgage rates since April 2018. It was a relatively quiet day for financial markets with the bonds that underlie mortgage rates trading in mostly the same territory as last week. It remains to be seen how markets will react to the absence of the typical spread of economic data (much of which is on hold due to the government shutdown ). Beyond that, the shutdown could certainly begin to have an effect on the economy itself although it's hard to say how big of an effect that would be. With this now being...(read more)

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