Category Archives for "Mortgage Industry News"

“Exploring Future Market Predictions and Key Economic Factors Impacting Mortgage Industry”

A fellow loan officer contacted me recently, relaying a conversation she had with her hairstylist. They discussed the stability differences between occupations, such as the consistent income stream a hairstylist receives versus the volatility in our mortgage industry. Looking ahead to 2024, everyone in our sector is hoping for a decent year.

The topic of consistent back-and-forth in income brought up an interesting point; while folks may not need mortgages frequently, they certainly need frequent haircuts. As for our industry, lending institutions are diligently working to secure at least some profitability. Industry moves are often collective, influenced by rate changes, regulatory stipulations, or volume shifts.

Despite seeing an increase in loan agreements in November – leading to solid December earnings for many – companies have reverted to evaluating overhead costs, tech investments, investor demographics, and lead generations. As for lead generation, BankingBridge shared its list of the best mortgage lead providers for 2024, which includes Bankrate, BestMoney, Credit Karma, LendingTree, Money, Movoto, NerdWallet, Own Up, and Zillow, without advocating for or against any of them.

Currently, the lending industry is exploring verification platforms like Truework, which consolidates all verification processes. Such solutions aim to minimize disruptions, optimize the borrower experience, and curb the financial implications of income verifications. Check out this week’s podcast for more insights.

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“Understanding the Unusual but Welcome Stability in Mortgage Bonds: A Recap of Market Movements on January 11, 2024”

Despite the build-up, the release of today’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) was fairly unremarkable. The core month-by-month statistics were as predicted, albeit with slightly higher unrounded numbers and a few factors that raised concerns about steady, moderate inflation. The initial response was unsurprisingly negative, although there was some recovery in the bond market, particularly at the shorter end of the yield curve, given the forthcoming auction for long-term bonds. After the auction and following some potential support from Federal Reserve remarks, international news headlines, and a sizable trade at the CME, the longer-term bonds made some progress. Still, 10-year bonds continued to hover within the week’s typical range, signaling an overall mundane end to the day known for CPI release.

Regarding key economic data:

The month-on-month core CPI was at 0.3, which matched the forecasted and last month’s figure. The year-on-year core CPI was 3.9, higher than the expected 3.8, but less than the previous data which was at 4.0. Unemployment claims were lesser than expected at 202,000 compared to 210,000 predicted and the previous figure of 203,000.

Here’s a brief reiteration of the market fluctuations:

At 8:41 AM, markets weakened following CPI, with the 10yr rising by 1bp at 4.042 and the MBS down by 7 ticks (0.23).
By 11:35 AM, there was a satisfactory recovery from the initial weakness, with MBS going up with 3 ticks and the 10yr hovering at 4.043.
At 1:41 PM, the Treasury auction did not cause much disturbance to the market.
By 2:33 PM, a gigantic block trade of 5s ignited a boost bringing the 10yr down to 3.99 and the MBS up 9 ticks.
As of 4:10 PM, the market maintained its gains, with the 10-year at 3.985.

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“Exploring the Future of Mortgage Rates: Insights from 2024 Market Updates”

Mortgage rates can be influenced significantly by two primary monthly economic assessments. The first being the employment status report, released last week, while the second pertains to the most recent consumer price index. Friday’s employment report had no significant bearing on mortgage rates, hence, there was an anticipatory momentum towards today’s consumer price index feedback. The latest data results were abundantly clear compared to previously ambiguous results, causing the bond market to react in two ways initially. However, it soon stabilized, with mortgage-specific bonds standing firm. This allowed mortgage lenders to maintain rates similar to those from yesterday or improve on them slightly.

As the day unfolded, the bond market enjoyed further gains due to other factors coming into play. This enabled numerous mortgage lenders to issue revised, slightly lower rates. As a result, the best lenders are now offering prime conventional 30-year fixed rates at their lowest since the previous Wednesday. Though not a monumental shift due to the tight range in operation since then, it’s nonetheless a favored direction.

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“Understanding the Shift in Mortgage Trends: A Review of the January 11, 2024 Market Insights”

The response to this morning’s CPI data has been rather ambivalent, displaying initial fragility but subsequently exhibiting some robustness. Underperformance in Treasuries is partially attributed to the steepening of the yield curve, which sees long-term yields climbing relative to short-term yields, and partly due to anticipation of future supply. Whether considering Treasuries or MBS, neither has moved significantly from their standing rates despite significant anticipation leading up to this data.

Despite this, there is no need to feel letdown by the fact that bonds have managed to retain 80% of the rally that occurred since October.

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“Exploring the Evolution of Real Estate: A Deep Dive into Housing Policies and Trends”

While the Federal Reserve doesn’t have the power to influence global happenings such as a ship being trapped in the Suez Canal, global political upheavals, or fluctuations in international commodity prices, these events do indirectly affect its actions. This is because such uncontrollable factors can drastically influence consumer and producer prices which, in turn, impact things like mortgage rates and inflation – all central to the Federal Reserve’s operations.

One significant measure, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), offers a comprehensive overlook of the price changes in products and services bought by US consumers. This helps indicate inflation trends, an economic indicator being widely discussed in recent years.

The CPI includes a variety of components, the largest of which is housing at 45 percent. Transportation follows at 17 percent, then food and beverages at 14 percent. Medical care constitutes 8 percent, while education and communication are at 6 percent. Recreation holds 5 percent, other goods and services make up 3 percent, and apparel comes in at 2.6 percent.

Technology and advancements are also driving the change in these sectors. Truework, for example, integrates all borrower income verification methods into a single platform, assisting lenders in minimizing process disruptions, maintaining a positive borrower experience, and lowering the associated costs.

Moreover, Optimal Blue will be attending the MBA Independent Mortgage Bankers Conference, happening from January 22 to 24 in New Orleans. The technology partner aims to talk about how to increase profitability and efficiency with attendees and explain the benefits of their end-to-end capital market platform. If interested, attendees can visit them at IMB24 or reach out directly.

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“Deep Dive: Understanding the Effects of Federal Reserve’s MBS Purchase Program on Mortgage Rates”

The past week in the financial realm has been notably unexciting, providing little of interest to market watchers. It is not unusual for the market to reach a stagnant phase as investors evaluate their next move after a period of rate fluctuations, particularly before a significant news release. The Treasury auctions occurring this week were anticipated to stir some interest ahead of the much-publicized Thursday Consumer Price Index (CPI) announcement, but disappointingly, they influenced little to no market response during today’s 10-year auction. Despite an initially strong market opening, intraday momentum dwindled while slow-paced selling persisted, embellishing the repetitive narrative of “stalemate and consolidation before the CPI.”

Market Activity Summary

At 09:33 AM, modest improvements were noted overnight with European yields reaching an upper limit. 10yr yields decreased by 2.6 basis points while MBS increased by 5 ticks (.16).

By 10:47 AM, the market had dropped significantly from its highs due to consistent selling since 9:30 am. MBS remained up by 3 ticks (0.09) but had fallen an eighth from its peak. The 10yr yield saw a decrease of 0.4 basis points, sitting at 4.011.

As of 03:20 PM, the market was weaker during mid-day but was now stabilizing. MBS dropped 2 ticks (0.06). Meanwhile, 10yr yield rose 1.7 basis points to 4.032.

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“Decoding 2024’s Mortgage Rate Market: An In-depth Analysis”

The recent trend in mortgage rates has seen relatively steady levels over the past several weeks, compared to fluctuations in earlier periods. The term “4 week highs” might sound alarming, but it merely mirrors the current reality. However, it’s important to note that the modest dips observed today still happen within a narrow scale, with minor variations from day to day. This suggests that the average mortgage holder might not notice any significant changes to their rates from the previous week.

The potential for change, however, becomes more prominent tomorrow. This is due to major scheduled occurrences that could prompt larger shifts in either direction. The main event of focus is the announcement of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for December, which is a critical gauge of inflation and a consistent predictor of market movement. Experts and investors dedicate considerable effort to reaching a consensus on the expected figures from the report. As a result, it’s quite a challenge to anticipate if the upcoming data will favor or disadvantage rates without the ability to forecast the future with certitude.

Moreover, it’s worth mentioning that even though this report can trigger substantial shifts in rates, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will. The magnitude of the impact is usually related to how much the actual figures deviate from the predicted consensus. For instance, the most important figure—the Core month over month CPI—is forecasted to report a 0.3% rise. Should the actual figure be 0.1%, this significant discrepancy would likely cause a substantial decrease in rates. On the other hand, a figure of 0.5% could cause an accelerated increase in rates.

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“Unraveling the Intricacies of Mortgage Bonds Performance: A Closer Look at January 10 Market Highlights”

The previous week concluded with significant data releases including the jobs report and ISM, creating anticipation for the upcoming CPI set to be released at 8:30 am ET this week. Since then, the rate trend has been showing a gradual, sideways narrowing pattern.

The only potential disruption that might disrupt the calm comes from the Treasury auction cycle. Since the final auction is scheduled to occur post the CPI announcement, and the first auction has already been concluded, the 10-year auction slated for today remains the only significant event before the unveiling of this week’s most anticipated news.

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“Exploring the Evolution of the Housing and Mortgage Industry: Insights and Trends for 2024”

I’ve been feeling exasperated by the premature focus of mainstream media on the 2024 elections, which are still quite some time away. It’s disheartening to note the scarcity of younger candidates for presidency in a country whose average citizen is around 38 years old. Our options should be devoid of party affiliations, just as it happened in France where Gabriel Attal was named prime minister at a mere 34 years old. As an interesting side note, France’s inflation rate currently stands at 3.7%, highlighting the connection between inflation, central banking activities and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – the mention of which immediately puts my cat, Myrtle, aloof off boredom! A recent announcement indicated that CFPB’s annual adjustments for inflation in civil penalties were done in accordance with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act, and would take effect starting January 15, 2024. Looking ahead, we’ll be reviewing the Consumer Price Index to assess price fluctuations tomorrow. In other news, Truework has emerged as a key sponsor for this week’s podcast, aiming to help lenders avoid interruptions, enhance borrower experiences and mitigate the financial risk associated with income verification. From a more business-focused angle, the past couple of years have seen Jonathan Spinetto, the COO & Co-founder of Nyfty Door, lead his firm from having no loan origination to projecting a whopping 3000 loans a month by 2024, thanks to his collaboration with TRUV. Boosting conversion rates by over 60% and enabling savings of 60-80%, the partnership with TRUV has been largely beneficial, particularly in the areas of employment, income, insurance and asset verifications.

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“Understanding the Surge in Mortgage Application Volumes: A 2024 Perspective”

The week ending on January 5 experienced a substantial surge in mortgage activities, although it initially began from a lower threshold. The number of loan applications were compensated for the New Year’s holiday that started the week and compared to the Christmas Week’s four days. The Market Composite Index from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) – a gauge of mortgage loan application volume – escalated 9.9 percent, seasonally adjusted, relative to the last week. It even exhibited a 45 percent escalation when left unadjusted.

The Refinance Index, adjusted for the holiday, saw a 19 percent hike from the preceding week and a 53 percent increase on an unadjusted level. Both versions reflected a 30 percent and 17 percent year-over-year increment respectively. The total applications saw a rise in refinancing, which constituted 38.3 percent compared to 36.3 percent a week ago.

Regarding the Purchase Index, the seasonally adjusted number rose by 6 percent over the week and correspondingly, went up by 40 percent on an unadjusted level. Nonetheless, the activity still trailed by 16 percent relative to the corresponding week in 2023.

Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist, noted an increase in applications, despite a hike in mortgage rates to commence 2024, following the holiday adjustment. The rise in purchase and refinance loan applications, encompassing conventional and government loans, marks a bright beginning of the year but it’s likely linked to the rebound in activities after the holiday break and year-end dips in rates. However, the volatility in mortgage rates and applications continues with the overall activity remaining low.

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