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Mortgage Rate Watch
  • NOW Mortgage Rates Are at 4-Year Highs

    Mortgage rates moved markedly higher today, officially leaving them at new 4-year highs.  The only other time they've earned that distinction this year was in February--NOT last week as all the major surveys claimed.  To be clear, they were certainly close last week, but the surveys didn't account for some of the worst individual days in February.  Does any of this really matter?  No, not so much.  Here's what matters:

    The average lender is quoting very well-qualified borrowers with huge downpayments something north of 4.5% on conventional 30yr fixed mortgages today.  Let's call it 4.625%.  Up until Friday, that number hadn't been over 4.5% except for on a few of those ill-fated February days. 

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  • Mortgage Rates Quickly Approaching 4-Year Highs

    Let's clear one thing up before we begin.  Freddie Mac, MBA, and Ellie Mae all noted new 4-year highs in mortgage rates this week.  They are all technically wrong.  This has to do with the way their data is collected and/or averaged.  And while I have no doubt that they are accurately conveying the results of their data collection efforts according to their methodology, there is a more accurate way to do things.  Specifically, we can track actual lenders' rate sheets every day. 

    Even if we take an average of that daily data, we still find that rates aren't quite back to 4-year highs just yet.  Depending on the lender, these occurred on one of the days near the end of February.  In fact, some lenders' rates from March 21st are still higher than today's.  Are we talking about very big differences between now and then?  Not at all!  But if we're going to talk about rates hitting 4-year highs, we might as well be precise about it.

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  • Mortgage Rates Jump to Highest Levels in About a Month

    Mortgage rates jumped higher today as bonds continued a move away from narrow Springtime range seen in March and early April.  Bonds dictate rate movement and yesterday saw the bond market make its first convincing attempt to break what had been a friendly, narrow range.  This of course coincided with a narrow range for rates in the past few months.  It was also "friendly" relative to the trajectory seen in the first part of the year.

    When these sorts of ranges become established, the boundaries take on a special significance.  As soon as the floor or the ceiling is definitively broken, there tends to be some additional momentum in the direction of the break.  That's why yesterday's headline mentioned that bonds were suggesting "more trouble ahead."  I'd hoped to be wrong about that, but...

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  • Mortgage Rates Inch Higher as Bonds Suggest More Trouble Ahead

    Mortgage rates moved higher today as bond markets continued a mildly weaker trend for the month of April.  Bonds (which underlie rates) are under pressure for a variety of reasons.  The most notable headwinds are longer-term and bigger-picture.  Rates responded to these headwinds in a fairly big way in Jan/Feb and have basically been "taking a break" since then.

    Rates have moved very little during this "break," with most borrowers being quoted the same NOTE rate on any given day in the past 2 months.  Upfront costs have been the only way the modulate the EFFECTIVE rate of the average lender's 30yr fixed quote.

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  • Modest Improvements For Mortgage Rates

    Mortgage rates had a calm day.  Lenders who had offered improved rate sheets yesterday afternoon didn't see much reason to drop rates any further today.  Lenders who took a more conservative route yesterday ended up being a little better off.  Although there were several economic reports this morning, bonds (which drive rates) did nothing to respond and have generally been uninspired so far this week. 

    In fact, in a broader sense, bonds haven't exhibited much inspiration for more than a month.  Although rates have descended modestly since late February, it's just as fair to label that movement as "flat" in the context of typical rate movement.  For example, most borrowers would still be quoted the same "note rate," with the only difference being slight changes in upfront fees/points.  

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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.