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Mortgage Rate Watch
  • Rates Stay Higher After Jobs Report and Shutdown Bill

    Mortgage rates moved modestly higher today, although some lenders were right in line with yesterday's levels (especially those who raised rates in response to market weakness yesterday afternoon).  Either way, today's rates are pretty darn close to yesterday's and very much inside the recent range.

    The Labor Department announced that 228k new jobs were created in November, stronger than the median forecast of 200k.  These so-called "nonfarm payrolls" add up to the most widely followed metric on the health of the labor market in the US.  On most other occasions, the report would create a more meaningful response in rates (which tend to rise when jobs growth is strong).  In the current case, market participants are more interested to see how various legislative efforts develop--especially the tax bill.  

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  • Rates Only Slightly Higher Despite Bond Market Weakness

    Mortgage rates were best described as "unchanged" today, although that may not be the case tomorrow.  The afternoon hours saw bond markets (which dictate rate movement) come under some pressure.  In the grand scheme of things, that pressure reinforces the narrow range we've been watching over the past few months.  In the context of today's rate sheets, it was enough weakness for a few lenders to issue "reprices" (mid day rate changes--in this case, higher).

    Most lenders didn't raise rates today because bond markets didn't weaken enough to justify it.  That said, the weakness still occurred, and unless things improve overnight, lenders will need to account for it in tomorrow morning's rates sheets.  In other words, we start tomorrow with a bit of handicap, all other things being equal.

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  • Mortgage Rates Very Close to 1-Month Lows

    Mortgage rates moved noticeably lower today as bond market improved for the 2nd day in a row--the first time that's happened since early November (when it comes to the bonds that relate to mortgage rates) his was the first time since early November.  That was reassuring enough that lenders finally adjusted their rate sheets to more than match the market.  They haven't been able to do that recently due to the volatility and the general trend toward slightly higher rates over the past 2 months.  The average lender continues quoting conventional 30yr fixed rates at 4.0% for top tier scenarios.  While that rate hasn't changed for more than 2 months, we have seen the upfront costs move higher and lower.

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  • Mortgage Rates Steady to Lower

    Mortgage rates were more intuitive today with most lenders keeping things unchanged at first.  This matched the movement in underlying bond markets, where today's trading levels in the morning (when most lenders put out the first rate sheet) were roughly in line with yesterday's.  

    As the day progressed, however, bonds began to improve steadily.  This improvement was enough for many lenders to issue positive reprices in the afternoon (i.e. new, lower rates for the day).  While every little bit helps, we're only talking about a token change in most cases.  The average borrower will see the improvement in the form of slightly lower upfront costs, with no change in the actual note rate.

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  • Mortgage Rates Steady to Higher, Depending on Lender

    Mortgage rates were distinctly mixed today, with some lenders clearly moving higher while others were effectively unchanged.  The deciding factor is both simple and obvious.  It has to do with Friday's wild action in the bond market (following the Flynn/Russia news in the morning).  That market movement resulted in a handful of lenders reissuing lower rates on Friday afternoon.  Those lenders had to move rates back up today because underlying bond markets weren't able to maintain the improvements that resulted in the better rate sheets.  Lenders who didn't adjust rates on Friday ended up being in fairly ideal territory for today's bond trading range and thus didn't need to make noticeable adjustments.

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Housing Wire

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  • 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.