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Mortgage Rate Watch
  • More 2017 Lows for Rates; More Trump Drama

    Mortgage rates moved lower again.  Drama surrounding the Trump administration was also present.  But this time around, the political theater wasn't responsible for the move lower in rates.  In fact, it resulted in multiple lenders adjusting rate sheets higher in the middle of the day.  Fortunately, rates fell enough in the morning that the net result was still positive.  The average lender is at new lows for 2017 (lowest since just after the November 2016 election, in fact).  

    3.875% is now the most prevalently-quoted conventional 30yr fixed rate for top tier scenarios, although quite a few lenders remain at 4.00%.

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  • Trump Administration Drama Pushing Rates Even Lower

    Mortgage rates fell yesterday in response to a tweet about Trump disbanding his councils of CEOs.  Twitter was in play again today.  This time around it was Gary Cohn, Trump's economic advisor.  Rather, it was rumors of Cohn's departure that sent financial markets into a tail-spin.  Terror attacks in Spain may have played a supporting role.  The net effect was heavy losses for stocks and solid gains for bonds.  When bonds improve, rates fall.

    Mortgage lenders continue to be slow to pass along the gains in bond markets in general, but they're certainly passing them along. 

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  • Mortgage Rates Back to 2017 Lows on Trump Tweet

    Mortgage rates dropped today after news broke (first rumors, then confirmation via Twitter) that President Trump was disbanding his councils of CEOs.  The move apparently came in response to attrition among several CEOs following Trump's press conference on recent events in Charlottesville, VA.  In not so many words, Trump disbanded the councils before any more CEOs had a chance to quit.  

    Political turmoil--especially that which appears "anti-business" in any way--always runs the risk of hurting stocks and helping bonds.  That's exactly what happened today.  "Helping bonds" in this context means higher demand for bonds among investors.  Excess demand for bonds pushes rates lower.  

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  • Rates Rising as North Korea Talks Baseball

    Mortgage rates continued higher today as markets reacted to news that North Korea would tactically abstain from launching nuclear weapons at Guam because it was having such a good time watching the "foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees."  Perhaps Kim Jong Un is a Sox fan?  Someone should tell him that series is over and that the Mets might not put up as much of a fight.  

    Or perhaps "Yankees" referred to America in general.  Either way, markets took solace in the absence of global nuclear war by buying stocks and selling bonds.  Net selling pressure in bonds pushes rates higher.  Strong economic data in the morning only added to bond market weakness.

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  • Mortgage Rates Up Slightly From Long-Term Lows

    Mortgage rates rose moderately today as weekend news headlines suggested some measure of de-escalation of nuclear tensions between the US and North Korea.  To be sure, the news wasn't resoundingly conciliatory, but investors took solace in it nonetheless.  

    In general, when headlines suggest the world is less likely to end by Monday, investors will be slightly more risk tolerant.  One expression of risk tolerant trading in financial markets is to favor something like stocks as opposed to bonds.  If there is net selling pressure on bonds, it creates net upward pressure on interest rates.  This was the case this morning.

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Housing Wire

News feed
  • Judge: Wells Fargo $142 million fake account settlement may not be enough
    Wells Fargo's proposed $142 million settlement in the class action lawsuit brought on behalf of the bank's customers who had a fake account opened in their name is moving closer to being finalized, but the judge overseeing the settlement cautioned the bank that $142 million may not be enough money to compensate all the affected customers.
  • Pro Teck: These 7 housing markets close mortgages faster than anywhere else
    Out of all 200 metros Pro Teck analyzed, only seven metros are selling in 50 days or less. “These numbers represent the average for the entire metro,” said Tom O’Grady, CEO of Pro Teck Valuation Services. “This doesn’t take into account the hot micro-markets inside of these metros, some of which have sold days on market as low as 30.”
  • Second estimate revises 1Q GDP higher
    The second estimate revised the real gross domestic product higher, increasing the annual rate from the original 0.7% estimate. This estimate is based on a more complete source data than what was available for the advance estimate issued last month. But even though there was a sluggish start to the year, it doesn’t reflect how the rest of the year will perform.
  • CBC offers new LexisNexis FCRA report for lien and judgment data
    Starting July 1, the three national credit reporting agencies will stop collecting and reporting information on lien and judgement data obtained from public records, leaving lenders with a significant hole in their assessment of a borrower’s creditworthiness. To fill that information gap, two subsidiaries of CBC Companies — CBCInnovis and Factual Data — are offering the LexisNexis RiskView Liens & Judgments Report.
  • Grassroots military organizations ask Congress to save the CFPB
    As the Financial CHOICE Act winds its way through the House of Representatives, two grassroots organizations that represent current and former members of the military are asking the members of Congress to leave the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau alone and allow the bureau to continue functioning as it does now.