Category Archives for "Mortgage Industry News"

Mortgage Applications Decline Amidst Rising Interest Rates and Market Uncertainty

Last week saw a decline in mortgage application volume due to rising interest rates. Although purchase activity is falling compared to the same period last year, refinancing activity is showing steady improvement from last year. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that its Market Composite Index, which tracks application volume, dropped by 2.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous week but increased by 8.0 percent when unadjusted. The Refinance Index decreased by 2.0 percent from the week ending June 20 but was up 29.0 percent compared to the same week in 2023. The refinance share of total mortgage applications rose to 35.7 percent from 35.1 percent the preceding week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index fell by 3.0 percent from the previous week, while the unadjusted Purchase Index increased by 7.0 percent, though it was still 12.0 percent lower than the same week one year ago. Mortgage rates surpassed 7 percent last week, despite ongoing market speculation about a potential Federal Reserve rate cut later this year. Purchase applications decreased in the final full week of June, even with new and existing housing inventories on the rise. Refinance activity remains low, with a

Continue reading

Potential Interest Rate Hike Looms as Mortgage Rates Stabilize

Tuesday delivered a day relatively free from drama, contrary to recent bond market trends that saw counterintuitive sell-offs. While political factors and the intricacies of monthly bond positioning may have contributed to recent volatility, such concerns were less pronounced today, as modest improvements were noted. Fed Chair Powell’s appearance at SINTRA elicited little market reaction, which could be viewed positively. Bonds gradually strengthened during his speech, although they pulled back slightly after the release of the JOLTS data showing higher-than-expected job openings. Despite this, buyers remained active, holding the gains through the close of the trading session. Some interpret this as evidence that the presidential debate had minimal impact on risk repricing, while others believe it underscores the limited significance of the event. Attention now shifts to upcoming high-impact economic data expected in the next two days.

Economic Data/Events

Job Openings (lower numbers are favorable for interest rates)

8.14 million vs 7.91 million forecast, 7.919 million previous

Job Quits (lower numbers are favorable for interest rates)

3.459 million vs 3.452 million previous

Market Activity Summary

09:46 AM Saw modest overnight gains extended in early trading. MBS up over an eighth,

Continue reading

Navigating the Latest Trends in Mortgage Rates: Insights for July 2024

Modern internet headlines frequently exaggerate the situation, and this instance is no exception. Given that the last significant “ceiling” in mortgage rates occurred less than a month ago, and the previous short-term peak was just a week ago, describing the current development with words like “finally” feels premature. The term “ceiling” itself is used loosely here due to the lack of a specific term to define “a day when mortgage rates dipped slightly after a period of noticeable increases.” In essence, this is what transpired today. It’s a relief whenever rates stabilize after a sudden rise lasts for more than a day. Currently, the past two days appear to be slight extensions of a gradual upward trend in rates that started in mid-June. Moving forward, economic data will be crucial, with significant reports scheduled for the remaining two mornings of this week (Thursday is a holiday for Independence Day). Among these, Friday’s jobs report is likely to cause the most market volatility.

Continue reading

Navigating Market Volatility: Insights and Strategies for July 2024

The bond market has experienced a volatile few days, marked by a sharp increase in yields that has left analysts speculating about the causes. Some attribute the sell-off to month-end trading activities, while others point to political factors, such as the perceived higher probability of a Republican sweep following recent debates.

Unlike typical reactions to significant economic data or Federal Reserve announcements, the current bond market weakness didn’t stem from a single event or headline. However, today’s session showed signs of recovery. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s remarks at the SINTRA conference were unremarkable, which helped bonds rally overnight as the market welcomed the lack of hawkish commentary. Meanwhile, the JOLTS report closely matched expectations, maintaining yields within the morning range despite early heavy trading volume.

Continue reading

Navigating the Summer Dip: Strategies for Thriving in a Slowing Mortgage Market

Cracker Jacks, Quaker Oats, Ferris Wheels, and the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair share a common historical thread. Financial difficulties have led to the decline of such world expositions over time. Much has evolved financially since those days, including the founding of Equifax in 1899. The modern credit card, designed for use at multiple merchants, emerged in the 1950s. During this era, the Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) was established in 1956. Recently, FICO announced that Encompass Lending Group and Equity Resources, Inc. have adopted the FICO® Score 10 T.

Meanwhile, the Mortgage Bankers Association and other organizations have highlighted that credit-related price increases have burdened lenders and consumers with significant costs. FICO’s executives receive substantial compensation, with the company’s stock priced around $1,500 per share and a price-earnings ratio of approximately 77, compared to the S&P 500 average of around 25. However, mortgage credit scores remain the company’s primary area of revenue growth, while other product lines remain stagnant.

Financial experts believe Fair Isaac faces a critical decision: continually increase the pricing of mortgage credit scores or risk a sharp decline in its stock value

Continue reading

Navigating July Mortgage Rate Shifts: Key Insights from Market Movements

Adapting the narrative to align with market movements:

Typically, one can analyze the fundamental factors of any trading day to reasonably predict how the bond market will react. Usually, there’s a basic level of causality that often follows predictable patterns. For instance, if the ISM Manufacturing report indicates a broad decline, it would be logical to anticipate a drop in bond yields, assuming no other significant influences. This scenario did play out today but only for a brief period of about 70 seconds before bond yields reversed course and climbed to their highest levels in over a month. This unexpected shift often leads analysts to search for explanations that fit the observed market behavior. In this case, the familiar patterns of month-end/new-month trading and political factors seem to be at play. The latter is particularly complex due to the numerous assumptions and conditions necessary to create a coherent narrative.

Economic Data / Events

ISM Manufacturing PMI

48.5 vs 49.1 forecast, 48.7 previous

Market Movement Recap

9:06 AM Slightly weaker overnight with further selling at the 8:20 AM CME open. Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS) down an eighth, and the 10-year Treasury yield up 4.9 basis points (

Continue reading

Understanding Recent Shifts in Mortgage Rates: What Borrowers Need to Know

Today, mortgage rates continued their frustrating and somewhat confusing upward trend, nearing the highest levels since late May. Rising rates are always a challenge for the housing and mortgage markets, as well as for potential borrowers, yet volatile movements in rates are a normal aspect of the market. Typically, we can link any rate fluctuations to specific economic factors.

However, in the past two days, economic data has hinted at downward pressure on rates, which is puzzling since rates have, in fact, been increasing. This situation is notable for two reasons: economic data generally provides reliable guidance, and the recent trend defies this expectation. Various explanations have been suggested, with some attributing the counterintuitive trend to political influences following the recent presidential debate.

Understanding how these political factors impact market movements involves complex analysis and several assumptions, making it difficult to predict with certainty. While this political influence might be contributing to the unusual rate behavior, upcoming major economic reports are likely to have a more significant impact. For now, it’s essential to keep an eye on these reports to better understand future rate trends.

Continue reading

Navigating Mortgage Markets: Insights and Trends for Early July 2024

Friday’s trading session was unexpectedly muted in response to economic data that typically would have benefited bonds. Initially, there was a positive reaction, but the mood soured as the day went on. Investors were left to weigh the impact of political factors and month-end or quarter-end trading activities. As a new week, month, and quarter begin, the pattern persists. Despite disappointing ISM data that would normally support bond prices, the market is heading toward the weakest levels observed in several weeks. This time, it isn’t easy to attribute the market’s behavior solely to calendar-driven trading. Instead, bonds appear jittery over the possibility of a GOP sweep, as any one-party dominance, regardless of whether it’s Republican or Democrat, tends to have negative implications for Treasury supply.

Continue reading

Essential Considerations for Mortgage Professionals Amid Regulatory Changes and Market Shifts

Have you ever encountered someone in a “situationship”? This term describes a romantic or sexual relationship that hasn’t been clearly defined. Today, individuals in various stages of romantic involvement are purchasing homes together, and leveraging multiple incomes has become increasingly crucial. It’s easy to see why. Many people carry student loans, car loans, credit card debt, or even all three. Add in the current 7 percent interest rates, potentially high homeowner’s insurance costs, utility bills, property taxes, maintenance expenses, mortgage insurance, and more—it all adds up. Home affordability has been declining consistently for several months due to these factors, especially high mortgage rates, which are preventing many prospective buyers from stepping into the housing market. Even the Federal Reserve has noted the issue in its Beige Book, observing that tight credit standards and high interest rates continue to limit lending growth. While there has been a modest rise in housing demand and an increase in single-family home construction, rising rates are still affecting sales activity.

Continue reading

Navigating the Current Trends in Mortgage Rates: What Homebuyers Need to Know This June

The week started calmly with stable interest rates, but by Friday, the landscape shifted noticeably compared to the unusually quiet previous week. In a broader context, this week saw short-term volatility due to a surprising rate increase on Friday. Interestingly, since this rate hike happened at the week’s end, Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage rate index didn’t capture the change. However, more current daily data indicates that average mortgage rates have trended slightly upward this week.

The most closely watched data was the May PCE price index, an inflation measure similar to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) from two weeks prior. Core PCE, excluding volatile food and energy prices, provided a more optimistic view for inflation. Although the chart suggests that inflation is nearing its target, success is defined by year-over-year numbers reaching 2%. The Federal Reserve has stated it would consider rate cuts once confident about achieving this 2% benchmark—a milestone we’re approaching but haven’t yet reached.

Friday afternoon experienced an abrupt reversal in rates, attributed to mandatory trading common at the end of months and quarters (as Friday marked both). This end-of-period trading can unpredictably affect rates, either positively or negatively. This time, the impact was negative.

Continue reading