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Home mortgage rates and real estate news - CNNMoney.com

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Mortgage News Daily

Housing Permits Soften, Starts Plummet

Posted To: MND NewsWire

All three measures of residential construction activity performed poorly in June , and the two most closely watched numbers, construction permits and housing starts, fell short of their June 2017 numbers. Despite the monthly and year-over-year declines, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development report that activity in the first half of 2018 is still ahead of the same period last year. The worst numbers were for privately authorized housing starts. They failed to hold on to their gain in May, dropping 12.3 percent to 1,173,000 units. May's estimate of 1,337,000 units was revised down from the original 1,350,000. The June estimate fell below the June 2017 pace by 4.2 percent. The results didn't come close to meeting expectations. Analysts polled by Econoday had...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: Bonds Increasingly Threatened by Momentum Shift; Powell Part 2

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Fed Chair Powell will deliver round 2 of his congressional testimony today, this time at the House FSOC (yesterday was with the Senate Banking Committee). There's no reason to expect today's House session to be any more of a market mover than yesterday's Senate version. In fact, the 2nd day of testimony almost always tends to be ignored relative to the 1st day, though there are a few exceptions. Perhaps more interesting for bonds right now is the fact that momentum is at risk of shifting negatively in the event of any additional weakness. As seen in the following chart, yields have backed up to their middle bollinger band (a technical study with a 21-day moving average as the middle line with outer lines that are 2 standard deviations higher and lower). Breaking above the middle...(read more)

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Pricing, Efficiency, and Operations Products; California DRE Changes

Posted To: Pipeline Press

“Your loan officer should be given the opportunity to succeed elsewhere.” Ever heard a CEO recommend that to a branch manager regarding a poorly performing LO? Here in San Francisco, at the Western Secondary Conference, the talk is focused on secondary marketing and Fannie’s lower estimate of 2018’s volumes ($1.69 trillion). But LO performance and compensation creep into the conversation any time you have owners and CEOs in one room. Recently I wrote , “No one wants to be ‘the first penguin in the water’ when it comes to making LO compensation changes. But done the right way, these changes can have a very positive impact on an independent’s bottom line and chances of survival.” Lenders are heading toward taking LO comp monies and putting...(read more)

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Mortgage Applications: Decline in Purchases Offset by Refinance Gains.

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Refinancing made a tiny bit of a comeback during the week ended July 13. Both the Refinancing Index, a component of the Mortgage Bankers Associations (MBAs) Market Composite Index, and the share of applications that were for refinancing regained some ground after retreating during the previous three weeks. The overall Composite Index, a measure of mortgage volume, declined by 2.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, giving back all of its gains from the prior week . On an unadjusted basis the index was up 22 percent from the week ended July 6 due to the adjustments made by MBA to account for the Independence Day holiday. The Refinance Index increased 2 percent from the previous week and 36.5 percent of applications received were for refinancing. The prior week refinancing had a 34.8 percent...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Limited Reaction to Powell Testimony; Stocks

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Fed Chair Powell fielded questions from the Senate Banking Committee today as a part of the 2-day semi-annual congressional testimony often referred to as the Humphrey Hawkins address. These testimonies have plenty of street cred based on past examples where they've caused big market movements. The difference between then and now is that markets don't have much to learn from the Fed. In other words, there's not much room for off-the-radar surprises. Today's market reaction bore that out. A few bond bulls were positioned for Powell to say something dovish. When he didn't, there was a quick, shallow, negative reaction, followed by a sideways grind that kept longer-term bond near unchanged levels. Shorter-term bonds continued to lose ground, because that's what shorter...(read more)

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Same Old Story For Mortgage Rates

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates were generally unchanged today, prolonging an exceptionally flat trend. Over the past 3 weeks, the average mortgage seeker will not have seen a change in the interest rate attached to their loan. Changes have come instead from the upfront costs associated with any given rate, which can move in smaller increments than rates themselves (mortgage lenders tend to break up rates by eighths of a percentage point). The lack of movement isn't for a lack of potential movement in underlying bond markets. That said, "potential" is the operative word, and it went unfulfilled by today's data and events. Given that today's biggest calendar event was Fed Chair Powell's congressional testimony, there's little reason to assume tomorrow's installment (with the House instead of the Senate) will...(read more)

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Builder Confidence: Strong but Unchanged, Material Costs Rising

Posted To: MND NewsWire

As analysts had expected, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) remained at 68 this month. The reading still indicates a strong level of builder confidence in the new home market, but the HMI has been relatively static for months, moving within a two-point range, 68 to 70, since March. NAHB surveys its new home building members monthly on their attitude toward the market. They are asked to grade their perceptions of the current market and the market they expect over the next six months as "good," "fair" or "poor." The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as "high to very high," "average" or "low to very low." Scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates...(read more)

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Builders Heeding Advice to Go West. Or South

Posted To: MND NewsWire

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has plucked more information from the Census Bureau's Survey of Construction (SOC), this time to paint a portrait of the state of residential permitting nationwide. Danushka Nanayakkara-Skillington writes in NAHB's Eye on Housing blog that permits for single-family construction issued during the first five months of the year were up by 8 percent over the same period in 2017. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) says the nationwide total for the period is 363,327 compared to 336,410 for the year-to-date (YTD) through May 2017. The activity however, was skewed toward the West and the South. Permits were issued at a similar seasonally adjusted annual rate in May of 363,700, an 8.6 percent year-over-year increase. The Bureau will issue...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: 2018 Rate Hike Odds Provide Backdrop For Powell Testimony

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Fed Chair Powell begins 2 days of semi annual congressional testimony today with the Senate Banking Committee at 10am. In recent years, this testimony has devolved into laughable political theater, mostly. That said, today's has a few redeeming qualities. First off, the Senate session tends to be slightly less theatrical than the House version coming up tomorrow. Beyond that, we know from Powell's previous congressional appearances that he tends to navigate the political posturing with more grace than Yellen--something that tends to help move the legislative blowhards through their grandstanding more quickly. Finally, despite all the theater, the fact remains that this is a venue for the Fed Chair to answer unscripted questions. Therefore, there will always be big market movement potential...(read more)

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Sales and Broker Products; Freddie and Fannie Updates

Posted To: Pipeline Press

“What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.” While you ruminate on that one, there continues to be evidence and reminders that potential home buyers are having trouble coming up with “skin in the game,” aka, a down payment. It would take an average of 36 years for someone earning the median income in D.C. to save for a 20% down payment on a median-priced house, according to a recent report from U.S. Mortgage Insurers. Still, try being a teacher in San Francisco earning $70k/year saving up for a median-priced $1.6 million home. Capital Markets Rates? Every day, a little up, a little down , although many days borrowers wouldn’t notice the difference on rate sheets. Yesterday they went up a little bit as bond prices dropped (there’s...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Slightly More Active Than a Typical Summertime Monday

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Summertime Mondays are notorious for light volume and seemingly random trading. Today was a slightly more active than normal in that regard, largely due to the presence of top tier data (Retail Sales) and a geopolitical event in the form of the Trump/Putin summit. The latter was never expected to offer any major revelations, but the former is always capable of delivering some bond market momentum. Bonds were just slightly weaker heading into the Retail Sales numbers. The weakness continued after the report came out stronger than expected. But wait! It was 0.5 vs 0.5, so how was it stronger than expected? The key difference was in the revision to last month's report (previously 0.8 but now 1.3%). The "core" sales reading was also revised higher. Additionally, several GDP estimates...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Edge Higher

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates fell to their lowest levels since late May as of last Friday. Today, then, would be the 2nd best day since late May. Rates edged slightly higher to begin the new week as bond markets (which underlie rates) came under modest pressure for several relatively inconsequential reasons. The net effect was a small adjustment in the upfront costs associated with prevailing rates. In other words, the actual interest rate governing your monthly mortgage payment hasn't changed in weeks, but the upfront costs tied to that rate are slightly higher for lenders today compared to last Friday. Loan Originator Perspective My clients and i continue to favor locking in once within 30 days of closing. Only loans i would consider floating would be those that can lock on a shorter time tomorrow or if...(read more)

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MBS Week Ahead: Another Week, Another Chance to Run Same Old Play

Posted To: MBS Commentary

This is the off-season for bonds, but they still have to show up for the game every day. The coaching staff (aka the traders turning the cogs of the underlying bond market) have been running the same play every day since June 27th . It's a play that's been working on both offense and defense, thus providing an easy button for the entire team (even if it's also a "boring button"). No one gets hurt, and no one has a ridiculously good time--typical off season. So what's the play in question? Simply put, bond market players have been tasked each day with playing harder and harder defense whenever yields rise toward 2.88. On offense, they only push hard enough to get yields to 2.825, as seen on the following chart with numerous bounces on the lower teal line. I included...(read more)

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Broker Products; Blockchain Transaction; Input on DACA Loans

Posted To: Pipeline Press

When Costco rolled out its mortgage option to members, many lenders were very concerned. But despite great potential, Costco/First Choice has not become the #1 lender in America. I heard something interesting last week: Costco doesn’t make much money selling products, it makes all profits from membership fees . Despite Bank of America’s great quarterly results this morning, lots of lenders aren’t making much money selling their products either, unfortunately, and the number of residential lenders who haven’t adjusted their headcount, compensation plans, or business models in reaction is dwindling . (The latest example is job cuts at State Farm .) If a branch or channel hasn’t been profitable for a while, ask what’s going to happen, if anything, to reverse...(read more)

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Permit to Completion - Builder Timeline Depends on Where and Why

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Despite complaints about labor, lot, and material shortages, builders needed no more time to build a home last year than they did in 2016. The time did increase compared to 2015 by about two weeks. Using data from the Census Bureau's Survey of Construction (SOC), the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) concludes that the average time to build a single-family house was 7.5 months. The actual building time was about 6.5 months following a typical delay of around 30 days after the permit was authorized. Data from the 2015 survey showed the time from permit to completion at 7 months. The range however is wide, from less than a month to more than 6 years. Much depends on who is building the house, for what purpose, and where. , writing in NAHB's Eye on Housing Blog, says that houses built...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Bonds Gain Despite Data Surprise and Stock Rally

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Before any discussion about market movement in July, we have to set the stage with some disclaimer about "slow summertime trading." That was the subject of this morning's commentary ( read it here , if you like). With that out of the way, we're equipped to pay the appropriate amount of attention to today's seemingly interesting events. First up, we had a reasonably strong move in European bonds overnight help set a mildly positive tone for the start of domestic trading. The biggest volume spike of the early morning came at 8:30am in response to the Import Price data, which came in much lower than expected. Bond yields/prices, themselves, only moved a bit, however--a fact that likely reflects the nearness of yields to the lower end of their prevailing range. The other notable...(read more)

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Lowest Rates Since May, But There's a Catch

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates fell by an observable amount today-- one of the few times they've done so in recent weeks. Technically, today's average lender is offering the best we've seen since May 31st. That sounds pretty great, right?! Unfortunately, there's a fairly big catch. While today's rates are indeed the best in a month and a half, the range during that time has been so excruciatingly narrow that most prospective mortgage borrowers will find the distinction fairly meaningless. In almost all cases, the actual NOTE rate at the top of your loan quote will be the same as it has been for weeks. The only change in lenders' rate sheets is in the upfront cost associated with that rate. In other words, if you'd seen a quote of 4.75% with 0 points yesterday, today's quote would be more like 4.75% with a...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: Get Used to Coconuts, Probably

Posted To: MBS Commentary

I know I made a Looney Tunes reference last week, but another one is in order. For those that aren't familiar, Yosemite Sam is stranded on a desert island and sits down to a smorgasbord of coconuts, prepared in various ways: "tossed coconut salad, fresh coconut milk, New England boiled coconut," he says, feigning excitement just before breaking down and proclaiming "oooh I hate coconuts!!!!" Yosemite Sam's coconut menu plan is akin to trying to find a way to make something new and interesting out of summertime bond market movement. The fact is that at some point in June or July, almost every year, bonds end up either pausing or reversing, and volumes generally begin declining in July, finally bottoming out in September, almost like clockwork. In the chart above,...(read more)

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Construction, Warehouse Products; Free LO Comp Webinar; Shifting UW Criteria

Posted To: Pipeline Press

Events and Training Don't miss out on the Lenders One 2018 Summer Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, August 5-8, at The Grand America. In an age of disruption, it's never been more important to learn from peers and industry leaders. Keynote speakers Alison Levine and David Robertson will share ways to get ahead in a tough market, and attendees will be able to select from 16 curated education sessions led by industry experts. Topics include: improving margins, generating business through MarTech, rethinking your compliance strategy and five Secondary Market panels. Touted as the most valuable part of conference, Lenders One has expanded networking opportunities for members to connect with peers and explore best practices. Reserve your spot by this Friday, July 13, or contact Lauren Ketchum...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Still Can't Find Inspiration

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates stood a very decent chance to experience the highest volatility of the week today thanks to the most important economic data of the week being released this morning. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is the most widely-followed inflation metric in the U.S. and inflation is a big deal for the bonds that underlie rates (including mortgages). On numerous occasions over the past 2 years, we've witnessed clear connections between variations in CPI data and subsequent volatility in rates. But not today... The biggest issue today was that CPI ended up being pretty boring. In other words, the actual numbers were very close to the forecast. Bonds (and thus, interest rates) didn't have much of a reaction. Even then, we may well wonder how big of a reaction we would have seen if the data was...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Bonds Hold Steady Despite Big Ticket Events

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Welcome to summertime in the bond market, where each day is narrower than the last! The same can be said for the past 2 weeks and the past several months, for that matter. By a wide margin, the 3-day trading range surrounding the apex of the Italian political drama easily contains every minute of trading since then. To put that in perspective, that 3-day range was 2.78-3.01% in 10yr yields. Today's range was 2.84-2.87%. The only interesting thing that can be said for bonds during that time is that they've generally moved lower in yield and generally been willing to remain near those lows. Today didn't do anything to change the summertime tone. We even had the week's most anticipated economic data (at least for the bond market) in the form of CPI. Unfortunately for those hoping...(read more)

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Inflation Data Shows Deceleration in Housing Costs

Posted To: MND NewsWire

While the Labor Department's Employment Situation Report for June showed wages plodding along at a 2.7 percent annual increase, unchanged from May, it is still being outstripped by rising costs, especially for housing. Today's Consumer Price Index (CPI) report shows consumer costs overall were up 2.9 percent with the shelter portion rising 3.4 percent over the last 12 months. Shelter is one of the categories in the CPI's "market basket," the goods and services that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) considers necessary for day-to-day living. The CPI does not include housing units which it views as capital or investment rather than consumption items. Shelter is viewed as a "service" provided by that investment and is thus a consumption item. The cost of shelter is broken down into two components...(read more)

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New Home Sales Need More Trees and Contractors

Posted To: MND NewsWire

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) is projecting a decline in new home sales for June, putting them significantly behind those in June 2017. MBA's Builder Applications Survey (BAS) shows mortgage applications for the purchase of newly constructed homes were down 12 percent from May and 8.8 percent year-over-year. The survey's results are not adjusted to reflect seasonal patterns. "Applications for new home purchases fell in June, both compared to last year at this time and relative to May, which fits the seasonal pattern. So far this year, new home applications are up 2.5 percent relative to the first 6 months of 2017. Our sense is that builders remain constrained by the tight job market for construction labor and rising input costs, particularly lumber costs ," said Mike Fratantoni, MBA...(read more)

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Full Radio Interview With Fed Chair Powell

Posted To: MBS Commentary

In a fairly rare turn of events, Fed Chair Powell gave a rather lengthy radio interview with Marketplace's Kai Ryssdal. Here's a rather lengthy transcript. Note: This is far from "required reading" given that there's been essentially no market reaction, but it is nonetheless useful insight for those who like to dissect every communication from the Fed Chair (not a bad habit for anyone who cares about big picture market themes. Dissecting all of Bernanke's communications helped us get ahead of what was happening during the taper tantrum, for instance). Here's the interview: Kai Ryssdal : So this is a weird way to start this interview. But the thing is that Fed chairmen don't do a whole lot of interviews. And this is, I think your first broadcast interview, right...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: Stocks and Bonds Telling Different Stories

Posted To: MBS Commentary

This morning's key data release is already out and it's already proven to be a dud (MBS Live members can read the update HERE ). So we'll head to higher altitude to check in with bigger picture trends to see what might be on markets' minds. The stock vs bond relationship has been interesting lately--more interesting than it had been a few months ago when bonds were much more willing to react to Italian drama (thus making for sporadic correlations). Now it's summertime! That means, all things being equal, that bond traders are more willing than normal to look elsewhere for cues. And one of the biggest 'elsewheres' is the stock market. With that in mind, we can see ample correlation between the two in the top section of the following chart. In the lower section, we...(read more)

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