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Mortgage Rate Watch
  • Mortgage Rates Only Slightly Lower Despite Strong Bond Market

    Mortgage rates are most directly affected by the day to day movement in the bond market.  It's interesting to consider that bonds improved quite a bit today, even though mortgage rates were only modestly higher.  In fact, some lenders continued showing rates that were roughly similar to yesterday's.  What gives?!

    Part of the problem is that yesterday saw bond markets fall (which implies higher rates) throughout the day, but not enough for many lenders to go to the trouble of changing their rate sheet offerings.  As such, they were left to raise rates this morning, assuming the bond market stayed at yesterday afternoon's levels.  But because bonds improved today, lenders didn't have to catch their rate sheets up to yesterday's bond market weakness.

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  • Mortgage Rates Slightly Higher Today

    Mortgage rates may be close to their lowest levels in more than a year, but they were slightly higher versus yesterday.  Yesterday's rates were close enough to 1-year lows that no one would take exception with the claim.  That said, rates on January 31st were slightly lower for most lenders.  

    Why all the fuss?  No fuss, per se.  It's just that many mainstream news outlets are running stories today about the "lowest rates in more than a year" due to Freddie Mac's weekly mortgage rates survey.  Indeed, if we're just comparing the Monday/Tuesday 30yr fixed rate averages (which is essentially what Freddie's survey does), this week definitely qualifies as having the lowest rates in a year.  As is always the case with delayed data, by the time you read about it, the story has often changed.

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  • Mortgage Rates Near Long-Term Lows After Fed Minutes

    Mortgage rates finally broke from their recent "back-and-forth" pattern of the past 7 business days and moved lower for the 2nd day in a row.  Although today's big-ticket event for financial markets was the 2pm release of the Fed's most recent meeting minutes (or was it Samsung's foldable phone announcement?), rates were already lower well in advance of the Fed.  This feat was accomplished simply because the bond market didn't change much from yesterday, and the fact that mortgage lenders didn't fully adjust rates to reflect bond market levels yesterday.

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  • Mortgage Rates Sticking Close to Long-Term Lows

    Mortgage rates fell modestly today, making it the 7th straight business day where they've moved in the opposite direction from the previous day.  This see-saw pattern is commonly seen during periods of consolidation in the bond market (which serves as the foundation for mortgages and most other interest rates).  And a consolidation is often seen during times of indecision just before markets embark on their next big move higher or lower.

    With many uncertainties set to be resolved by mid-March, there's a good enough chance that the recent sideways momentum in rates will give way to a bigger move.  There's no way to know whether that move will be toward higher or lower rates (it will likely depend on the economic data, fiscal headlines, and Fed policy updates that have yet to be announced).  For now, however, rates are closer to the lower boundary of the recent range.  That means they're relatively close to the lowest levels in more than a year.  

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  • Mortgage Rates in a Holding Pattern

    Mortgage rates were slightly higher today, marking the 6th day in a row where they've reversed course versus the previous day.  This is the sort of behavior we see when underlying financial markets are having a hard time making up their mind (or are simply waiting for something before committing to the next big move).

    In the case of mortgage rates, the underlying financial market is the bond market.  There are specific bonds that most directly affect mortgage rates, but they are almost always moving in the same direction as other bonds anyway.  That allows us to use something like the 10yr Treasury yield to keep an eye on interest rate momentum.  There we see yields locked in an increasingly narrow range since the beginning of the year.

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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.