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Home mortgage rates and real estate news -

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.

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.

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.

This Texas military town has nearly closed the black and white homeownership gap

Killeen, Texas is a relative oasis of racial parity when it comes to homeownership. The reason: Fort Hood.

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.

Flip this house! Zillow plans to buy and sell homes

Read full story for latest details.

Looking to buy your first home? Good luck with that

House hunting is going to be difficult this spring ? especially for those looking to become owners for the first time.

Yes, you can still deduct interest on your home equity loan ...

The new tax law has created a lot of confusion over whether tax filers may still deduct the interest they pay on home equity loans and lines of credit. The IRS says that you can, but only if the money is used to improve your home.

Warning signs in the housing market aren't hurting Zillow

Shares of Zillow have soared this year. But other housing-related stocks have dipped, and even Zillow's top economist is worried the real estate market may cool off.

Home sellers are making huge profits. So why aren't more people selling?

It's the most profitable time to sell your home in more than a decade, so why aren't more home owners listing?

Why you want Amazon to be your new neighbor

Amazon has announced a list of 20 cities as potential locations for its second headquarters. The winner is likely to see a significant boost to its real estate market.

3 ways tax reform will hit home values

The freshly-passed tax code could be a drag on home values.

Homeowners: Here's what's in the tax bill for you

Homeowners would be able to deduct interest on the first $750,000 of a new mortgage under the final tax bill -- down from the current $1 million threshold.

For many, the rent is still too damn high

Rental affordability has improved, but for many renters it's still a struggle to make ends meet.

This is how long it takes to sell a house

It's a sellers market, which means wanna-be homeowners have to be move fast when a home hits the market.

Hurricanes could bring another disaster: Foreclosures

Read full story for latest details.

Who's affected by the mortgage changes in the House tax bill

The Republican tax bill proposes capping the mortgage interest deduction at $500,000. That's bad news for these home buyers.

Aston Martin is getting into... luxury real estate?!

Aston Martin is getting into the real estate business with a new 66-story residential tower in Miami. 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.

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.

Sign of the Times: New Office Space Created in Retail's Tumult

Normandy Real Estate Partners’ $133 million deal for the upper portion of ABC Carpet’s flagship store is an example of office space edging into territory that once was retail’s domain.

Want to Buy a Luxury Hotel in the U.S.? Try China's Insurance Regulator

When Chinese regulators seized control of Anbang Insurance, they took ownership of more than a dozen luxury U.S. hotels. Now, as the government looks to sell, it faces a problem: The buildings likely are worth less than what Anbang paid only a couple of years ago.

New York's Commercial Property Slump Shows Signs of Slowing

After a two-year plunge, brokers are optimistic that more deals will take place in 2018.

NYC Council Stops Midtown Tower Construction

Work on an 800-foot-tall tower in East Midtown that has been under construction for six months was halted last week following a vote by the New York City Council to limit skyscrapers in the area,.

Mortgage News Daily

Home Sales Unfazed by Spring Snow and Rising Rates

Posted To: MND NewsWire

New home sales continue to improve after grim reports in December and January. New home sales posted a solid gain in March, and revisions to the February data also resulted in a positive outcome during the month. Those sales, reported by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development on Tuesday, bested analysts' expectations and put sales well ahead of those in 2017. Sales of newly constructed single-family homes were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 694,000 in March compared to the revised rate of 667,000 in February, a 4.0 percent increase. Even better, the revision to February numbers was significant, up from the original report of 618,000, originally reported as a 0.6 percent month-over-month loss. That number had been viewed as good news, after drops...(read more)

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FHFA: Current Run of Rising Home Prices Likely to Continue

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Both the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller reported on February home prices on Tuesday and both showed little moderation in the rate of appreciation. Case-Shiller's reported gains, in fact, appear to be growing larger. Case-Shiller's National Home Price NSA Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, was up 6.3 percent on a year-over-year basis. The annual gain in January was 6.1 percent. The non-seasonally adjusted index increased by 0.4 percent from February and it rose 0.5 percent after adjustment. Both composite indices increased their year-over-year results as well . The 10-City Composite rose 6.5 percent on an annual basis, one-half point greater than the December to January gain and the 20-City grew to 6.8 percent. It was 6.4 percent the...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: Don't Let 3.0% Make You Dumber

Posted To: MBS Commentary

You won't be able to avoid "3% 10yr Treasury Yields" this week. For starters, 10's have already hit 3.0033% today, but simply being close seems to have everyone inside and outside the industry talking. As is often the case when there's a big, obvious trend that hits/breaks a big historical level, the conclusion of most professionals and laypersons is that "rates will continue to rise." Such insight deserves one of these: "Rates are gonna rise" is the easiest call to make in a world where the Fed is hiking, QE purchases are abating, and the government is financing more spending by issuing more Treasury debt. There are other pressures, but these are the biggies. It's logical and normal to assume these things put upward pressure on rates. It's...(read more)

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TPO and Secondary Products; Lender Data Breach; New LIBOR Substitute

Posted To: Pipeline Press

Where should a lender reduce expenses? I received this note from STRATMOR’s Jeff Babcock. “In our numerous conversations with client mortgage origination companies regarding necessitous cost cutting, the target is virtually always operations and fulfillment. Technology applications are generally justified based on operational efficiencies. Yet the MBA and STRATMOR Peer Group Roundtables (PGR) data over the last three years for Mid-Size Independents confirms that Fulfillment accounts for approximately 27% of direct production expense (average of about $2,000 per loan) while Sales costs run 73% (average of about $5,300 per loan). The real opportunity for achieving meaningful expense reductions clearly rests with the all-encompassing arena of sales functions. If a lender had been successful...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Bonds Show Up, Break Stuff, And Then Just Walk Away

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Have you ever seen someone randomly do something fairly awful/hurtful/aggressive, offer no explanation or apology, and then just leave the scene? That was essentially what bond markets did today. Friday's already unpleasant weakness was forcibly extended , bringing yields to the highest levels in more than 4 years during the overnight session (a feat that was nearly repeated during domestic hours). There were no new developments in the bond market world to justify such a turn of events. Still, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise if you've been reading this commentary. After all, last week was all about the "defeat of the friendly Springtime consolidation in rates." That defeat paved the way for the bigger-picture, longer-term selling trend to get back underway. Bottom...(read more)

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NOW Mortgage Rates Are at 4-Year Highs

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates moved markedly higher today, officially leaving them at new 4-year highs. The only other time they've earned that distinction this year was in February--NOT last week as all the major surveys claimed. To be clear, they were certainly close last week, but the surveys didn't account for some of the worst individual days in February. Does any of this really matter? No, not so much. Here's what matters: The average lender is quoting very well-qualified borrowers with huge downpayments something north of 4.5% on conventional 30yr fixed mortgages today. Let's call it 4.625%. Up until Friday, that number hadn't been over 4.5% except for on a few of those ill-fated February days. Also important is the message that such a move sends. Simply put, the bond market (which underlies rates...(read more)

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Freddie Mac Forecast: Lots of "Ifs" and "Buts"

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Freddie Mac's economists say, "The broader economic environment remains favorable for home sales," but they add a lot of caveats to that statement . Sales are holding up so far, despite the increase in mortgage rates, but will that continue? Sales started recovering in 2010, with the aggregate of new and existing sales growing annually except for 2014; largely because rates rose that year. Rates are not necessarily the only driver, however, from 2016 to 2017 home sales rose along with rates. Of course, sales depend on the interaction between demand- and supply-side factors. Demand factors include demographics, labor market outcomes, and financing conditions including rates and the availability of credit. Among supply factors are the construction of new homes, vacancy rates, and the inventory...(read more)

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Existing Home Sales Beat Headwinds, Score Small Gains

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Existing-home sales seemed to have reclaimed their footing, posting their second consecutive gain after two straight months of declines. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) said March sales of single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and coops rose 1.1 percent compared to February, putting sales at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.60 million units. The March pace built on a 3.0 percent increase in February, but sales are still down 1.2 percent compared to March 2017 . Sales in February were at a rate of 5.54 million. Analysts polled by Econoday had expected existing home sales in the 5.39 to 5.80 range. The consensus was 5.51 million units. Single-family homes sales were up 0.6 percent to an annual rate of 4.99 million units from 4,96 million in February, putting those sales...(read more)

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Events and Webinars; GDP Primer; Rates at 2014 Levels

Posted To: Pipeline Press

“A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon, you’re talking real money,” was never actually uttered by Illinois politician Everett Dirksen. ("Oh, I never said that. A newspaper fella misquoted me once, and I thought it sounded so good that I never bothered to deny it.") The big news late Friday was the CFPB & OCC announcing a settlement with Wells Fargo for auto-loan administration and mortgage practices – all lenders need adequate compliance or risk management programs, right? Wells Fargo said that the company would adjust its first quarter 2018 preliminary financial results by an additional accrual of $800 million, which is not tax deductible. According to the CFPB's consent orders, apart from paying the fine, Wells Fargo will remediate harmed consumers and undertake...(read more)

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MBS Week Ahead: 10yr at 3%: The Most Overrated--Possibly Even Meaningless--Ceiling

Posted To: MBS Commentary

I'm going to be surly this week about the way the bond market is covered in the financial media. Many of the articles to which I take exception will appear in the live news stream on MBS Live and Mortgage News Daily. They are there for reference and/or "target practice," if you take my meaning. And I'm not talking about plinking cans in the 3rd grade at my buddy Tim's house (he had dirt bikes too!). I'm talking more like a heavy explosives demonstration. So please, stay behind the safety glass, put on your protective eyewear, and observe. Target 1: The Notion That High Rates Hurt Stocks: No matter how many times someone writes this in a news article--no matter how many times a talking head claims this on the TV--it never becomes true. I mean, I guess it could become...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Bonds Surge to Weakest Levels since 2014

Posted To: MBS Commentary

10yr yields hit the highest levels in more than 4 years this afternoon as bigger-picture selling pressure looks to be taking the reigns back from the Springtime consolidation that helped rates hold steady-to-slightly lower in March. There are no big, obvious reasons for the sudden spike in rates. We're left to cobble together a narrative from boring, esoteric stuff like an "imbalance in trading positions," anxiety over the data, earnings, and bond supply next week, and the end of a few days of extra help from tax deadline retirement account funding. Or, if you'd like to go with fewer words , it's no less valid to say that technicals and momentum are the culprits. In other words, bonds were in a consolidation trend. They tested the ceiling, broke the ceiling, and have been...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Quickly Approaching 4-Year Highs

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Let's clear one thing up before we begin. Freddie Mac, MBA, and Ellie Mae all noted new 4-year highs in mortgage rates this week. They are all technically wrong. This has to do with the way their data is collected and/or averaged. And while I have no doubt that they are accurately conveying the results of their data collection efforts according to their methodology, there is a more accurate way to do things. Specifically, we can track actual lenders' rate sheets every day. Even if we take an average of that daily data, we still find that rates aren't quite back to 4-year highs just yet. Depending on the lender, these occurred on one of the days near the end of February. In fact, some lenders' rates from March 21st are still higher than today's. Are we talking about very big differences between...(read more)

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Wells Fargo to Face Largest Fine Yet

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Once again Wells Fargo is about to pay dearly for its inability to walk the straight and narrow. The Washington Post , under the byline of Renae Merle, is reporting that the bank is about to be hit with the largest penalty of the Trump administration , perhaps as early as today. A settlement, reported to be in the neighborhood of $1 billion, has been reached between wells and its regulators, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) over improprieties in both their mortgage and auto lending business. The Bank acknowledged last week that it faced a hefty fine. Neither regulator has commented on the matter to date. Wells Fargo has admitted to charging some customers improper fees to lock in their mortgage interest rates and to forcing...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: If Rates Keep Moving Higher, It Could Still Be a Head Fake

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Rates are in the midst of a serious, threatening move higher. Yesterday brought additional confirmation of the end of the friendly Springtime consolidation trend and it took us one step closer to the highest yields in more than 4 years. The specific reasons for yesterday's weakness were covered in the MBS Live Huddle , but even then, the bigger-picture justification for gradual weakness in 2018 is well-documented here and elsewhere (Treasury issuance, Fed policy outlook, upside growth/inflation risks). Rates could very well continue higher today--possibly even enough to break those pesky 4-year highs from back in late February. But even if they do, it might not be the end of the world. In fact, there are at least 2 recent examples of big scary rate spikes consolidating (like we did in March...(read more)

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MBA's Compliance Accreditation; Freddie and Fannie Changes Continue

Posted To: Pipeline Press

Did you know that Wells Fargo gives more assistance and aid to people and communities through its Foundation than any other company in the United States. For example, “the Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT program looks to the future by delivering down payment assistance and financial education to homebuyers.” If only people focused on that, right? Not only did Wells tragically lose an employee in the Southwest Airline accident, but in a smack to the Retail Division the American Federation of Teachers notified Wells that it is dropping the bank as a recommended mortgage lender for the national education union's 1.7 million members. The press continues to talk about a settlement of a potential $1 billion fine, and by some specific measures other lenders have overtaken Wells’ volume...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Bonds Add Exclamation Point to Yesterday's Breakout

Posted To: MBS Commentary

The break outside what we'll call the "Springtime Consolidation" for bonds started taking shape as early as last week. On Thursday and Friday, yields hugged the upper boundaries of that trend, simultaneously shying away from the sort of positive bounce that would typically suggest the trend's continuation. No matter! Perhaps they just needed to think things over for the weekend and things would look different on Monday. Nope! In fact, bonds weakened on Monday, which just about put the nail in the coffin of the Springtime Trend, but Tuesday's resilience raised doubts. By yesterday, however, we probably had our final answer with the big break above 2.835% and even a modest break above 2.86% in 10yr yields. Today's overnight weakness was plenty to put a period at the...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Jump to Highest Levels in About a Month

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates jumped higher today as bonds continued a move away from narrow Springtime range seen in March and early April. Bonds dictate rate movement and yesterday saw the bond market make its first convincing attempt to break what had been a friendly, narrow range. This of course coincided with a narrow range for rates in the past few months. It was also "friendly" relative to the trajectory seen in the first part of the year. When these sorts of ranges become established, the boundaries take on a special significance. As soon as the floor or the ceiling is definitively broken, there tends to be some additional momentum in the direction of the break. That's why yesterday's headline mentioned that bonds were suggesting "more trouble ahead." I'd hoped to be wrong about that, but here's the...(read more)

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Weather Cools Remodeling Perceptions

Posted To: MND NewsWire

The Remodeling Market Index (RMI) is to home remodelers as the Housing Market Index (HMI) is to new home builders. Each is constructed by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) to reflect builder confidence in their particular share of the market. The quarterly RMI is based on responses to a survey in which professional remodelers are asked to gauge current market conditions in terms of major and minor additions and alterations , maintenance and repairs on both owner- and renter occupied dwellings. NAHB assigns a numerical value to those answers. They are also asked about calls for bids, work commitments over the next three months, work backlogs, and appointments for proposals. Those questions form the basis of the future indicators index. The overall market index retreated to its...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: What Stock Lever? Bonds Tanking Without Any Help

Posted To: MBS Commentary

We've been increasingly wary about a potential break of the recent consolidation/rally trend --the one that saw yields move sideways to slightly stronger from late Feb through early April. Yields tiptoed to the top of that range as of Tuesday and then fired a more forceful warning shot with a bigger breakout yesterday. Today looks set to continue the destruction of the trend with sharp losses overnight. Where might this be going? With 2.86% breaking and 2.91% already being tested, there's really only the super-long-term highs at 2.95+ remaining. To see anything higher, we have to go back more than 4 years. If that breaks, there's not much overrun until we're looking at 2011's levels in the low 3's as the supportive ceiling. But let's slow down a bit. We'll cross...(read more)

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Rates on Closed Loans at 4 Year High

Posted To: MND NewsWire

The share of refinancing loans dropped to 38 percent of loans closed in March, down from 43 percent in February. Ellie Mae's Origination Insight Report for the month notes that the 5 percent decline in those loans was consistent across all three loans types, FHA, VA, and conventional. Refinancing slipped as the interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to their highest level since January 2014. Ellie Mae said that the average rate on closed loans which had been at 4.33 percent in January and 4.48 in February jumped to 4.69 percent in March. The percentage of loans with adjustable rates (ARMs) increased to 6.3 percent from 5.5 percent the previous month. The distribution of loans across loan types was largely unchanged. The FHA share rose 1 percentage point to 20 percent while conventional...(read more)

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Home Price Increases Outpace Income Gains - Again

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Fewer homes on the market are affordable than a year ago, and fewer households can afford them with their current income. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) and the website have released a list of the least and the most affordable locations nationwide based on the area's income and the website's active listings. The maximum affordable home price assumes that 30 percent of a purchaser's income can go to pay for the financing, property tax, homeowner's insurance costs, and a mortgage insurance premium if required. It is also assumed that the purchase will be financed with a vanilla 30-year mortgage at the prevailing rate advertised by lenders on the site. A score of one or higher generally suggests a market where homes for sale are more affordable to households...(read more)

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New Lender Products; Freddie and Fannie Updates; Rates Moving Higher

Posted To: Pipeline Press

Rumors continue to swirl about practically every lender out there, and exaggeration is rampant. A company eliminates low producing LOs in Arizona and suddenly the jungle drums are saying it is closing its Southwest division. A middle layer of management is cut, and word on the street has the company shuttering a whole channel. On the flip side, some companies effectively eliminate an entire channel but leave a few personnel in the headquarters for appearance or to close out the pipeline and eventually be jettisoned – to avoid making a formal announcement. Fannie and Freddie Continue to Modify Requirements Remember that the FHFA has a dual role as both regulator and conservator of the GSEs, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and is also regulator of the Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLBanks). The...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: More Warning Shots From Bonds

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Today was a more serious version of the same sort of warning shots seen at the end of last week. At that time, bond yields rose to challenge an intermediate ceiling at 2.835%, but didn't go out of their way to break it. This week began with higher yields on Monday morning, but a nice recovery throughout the day. When yesterday's gains added to that recovery, it was tempting to hit the snooze button and go back to sleep. Today's trading sounded the alarm, at least to some extent. It might not be loud enough to wake the deeper sleepers out there, but it's important to note that yields have quickly moved back up to the highest levels since before the trade war rally (Fed Day, March 21st). There weren't any big, overt motivations for the weakness. As discussed in the Huddle...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Inch Higher as Bonds Suggest More Trouble Ahead

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates moved higher today as bond markets continued a mildly weaker trend for the month of April. Bonds (which underlie rates) are under pressure for a variety of reasons. The most notable headwinds are longer-term and bigger-picture. Rates responded to these headwinds in a fairly big way in Jan/Feb and have basically been "taking a break" since then. Rates have moved very little during this "break," with most borrowers being quoted the same NOTE rate on any given day in the past 2 months. Upfront costs have been the only way the modulate the EFFECTIVE rate of the average lender's 30yr fixed quote. Today's move in bonds brings 10yr Treasury yields to their highest levels since March 21st. While this, in and of itself, doesn't rekindle the same sort of drama seen in the first 2 months...(read more)

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UI Says Underwriters Should Consider Rent History

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Access to credit remains tight and the Urban Institute (UI) blames in part that lenders are not measuring the credit risk of borrowers appropriately. Laurie Goodman and Jun Zhu, writing in UI's Urban Wire blog say that paying rent is the most significant financial commitment of most renters. Yet, while credit reports often ding renters for missing rent payments, the performance of good tenants doesn't enter into their credit scores. Considering a borrower's rental pay history , this could be done via bank statements, to the mortgage qualification process, they say, would make assessing renters' credit risk easier. It could also expand access to homeownership among a significant portion of the nation's population. The authors analyzed rental payment histories to see how they might impact mortgage...(read more)

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