Tensions Escalate as DeMarco, Geithner Argue Merits of Principal Reduction

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Jul 31, 2012 3:30PM

Tensions Escalate as DeMarco, Geithner Argue Merits of Principal Reduction

Edward J. DeMarco , Acting Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency today again stated his opposition to allowing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to participate in the Principal Reduction Alternative (PRA) of the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). DeMarco’s agency which acts as conservator for the two government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) has opposed principal reduction on the part of the two companies despite growing pressure from Congress and the Department of the Treasury. In a letter…

Jul 31, 2012 4:08PM

Freddie To Align With Fannie On Lower LTV HARP Guidelines

Freddie Mac said today that it would be opening up refinance opportunities to borrowers who are not underwater on their existing Freddie Mac mortgages. Under the company’s Relief Refinance Mortgage Program which includes the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP 2.0) the requirements for refinancing mortgages with loan-to-value ratios at or under 80 percent will be brought in line with those with LTVs over 80 percent, the target audience for HARP 2.0 loans. The alignment will involve eliminating…

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3:40 PM:

Month End Tradeflows Buoy Bond Markets Into The Close

1:19 PM:

Flows Pick Up Moderately At 1pm, Leading TSYs Higher, MBS To Lows

12:44 PM:

Ebbs And Flows In LIght Volume. MBS Slightly Weaker, But Stabilizing

10:11 AM:

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ECON: Home Prices Continue to Rise in May 2012 -Case-Shiller

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Today’s Comments

Lydia Snow

“It seems to me that the SIFMA should use it’s clout to strong arm the banks into restructuring these loans with the homeowner who, apparently have…”

Edwin White

“Stop meddling. My retirement future is dependent on how well the bond and stock markets do. Please allow the housing market to reach its natural free market…”

Marty Sonke

“Seems to me that the above is a partial fix to the problem. We need to be doing a couple of different things. While I am in agreement with removing bad…”

Today’s Q&A

” wife and i need to pool our incomes to qualify for a mortgage. Can I deduct 100% of interest “

“What is private mortgage institutions? And their contributions towards housing development”

“I have FHA mortgage loan that was modified in 2007, is it possible to streamline that mortgage now”

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“VA Home Loan Advice, Please, VA IRRRL or? I have a VA home loan with a current balance of $130.889.57 with an interest rate of 6% I last refinanced in…”

Liz Maldonado

“Loan Scenario View All Post A Scenario Loan State: California Loan County: Los Angeles Loan Type: Purchase Loan Amount: $809,000 Property Value: $899,000…”

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[MBS Commentary] – MBS RECAP: What A Difference Two Days Make

MBS RECAP: What A Difference Two Days Make

Posted to: MBS Commentary
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 4:09 PM

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MBS Live: MBS Afternoon Market Summary
Last Thursday and Friday were bad for MBS.  The rest of the week up to that point was good.  In fact, Fannie 3.0 MBS traded above 104-00 the entirety of that 3-day period and found support on dips to the 104-00/104-02 area before getting brutalized over the next two days, winding up hitting lows of 103-10.  But what a difference two days make!  Fannie 3.0’s again broke over 104-00 today and are coasting out the door at 104-02 after getting a decent lift from month-end buying in relatively light volume.  Things could have gone either way for us over the past two days and they’ve serendipitously gone in a positive direction.  Real decisions are on the agenda in coming days with the FOMC, ECB, and NFP on tap.  Real volatility might make an appearance as a result.
MBS Pricing Snapshot

Pricing shown below is delayed, please note the timestamp at the bottom. Real time pricing is available via MBS Live.

FNMA 3.5
106-04 : +0-04
FNMA 4.0
107-08 : +0-02
FNMA 4.5
108-06 : +0-03
FNMA 5.0
108-32 : +0-01
GNMA 3.5
108-17 : +0-04
GNMA 4.0
109-27 : +0-03
GNMA 4.5
109-26 : +0-04
GNMA 5.0
110-21 : +0-01
FHLMC 3.5
105-29 : +0-04
FHLMC 4.0
106-31 : +0-02
FHLMC 4.5
107-19 : +0-02
FHLMC 5.0
108-11 : -0-01
Pricing as of 4:08 PM EST
Afternoon Reprice Alerts and Updates
Below is a recap of instant Reprice Alerts and updates issued via email and text alert to MBS Live subscribers this afternoon.

3:40PM  :  ALERT ISSUED: Month End Tradeflows Buoy Bond Markets Into The Close

Earlier this morning, we noted that month-end flows were generally a positive things for bond markets, all things being equal. As it happens, they’ve also just generally helped us avoid any further reprice risk as Treasury yields stomped decidedly lower into the 3pm close and beyond.

10s moved 3bps lower from 230pm to 3pm and have extended those gains about another bp in the after-hours session. MBS are mostly just passengers on that ride, not experiencing the same pace of reversal, but conversely, not having sold off quite as much as Treasuries earlier in the day. Fannie 3.0’s are back to 104-03, essentially in line with their highs of the day.

Whereas negative reprice risk was more of an issue earlier, now we’d lean toward positive reprice risk with the month-end storm weathered in Treasuries and prices continuing to hold steady. That said, we think NO reprice is more likely than a reprice in either direction–simply erring a bit on the positive side currently, vs negative previously.

1:19PM  :  ALERT ISSUED: Flows Pick Up Moderately At 1pm, Leading TSYs Higher, MBS To Lows

In the first 10 minutes of the 1pm hour, 10yr yields moved up a rather brisk 1.7bps to 1.50 and Fannie 3.0’s fell to 103-29. This is the level we just referenced as a sort of line in the sand to negative reprice risk. Even though they put in a decent bounce back up to 103-31, things look to be deteriorating yet again.

The risk is that we’ve simply entered a trend of weaker prices into the close. One could certainly get that impression based on the highs and lows in play since this morning. So we’d advocate keeping a close eye on on each instance of new lows for MBS. Every time we tick down to a new low, there’s more an more evidence of this negative trend persisting.

Negative reprices risk is already somewhat present at current levels, but if Fannie 3.0s don’t soon break back over 103-31 or 10yr yields below 1.495, risks could increase into the afternoon.

12:44PM  :  Ebbs And Flows In LIght Volume. MBS Slightly Weaker, But Stabilizing

It could be that the recent move in bond markets looks like it’s more significant than it actually is due to the docile trade that preceded it. 10yr yields rose just over 1 bp into the noon hour and Fannie 3.0s fell from 104-02 to 103-31+.

This is the sort of movement that we might not even note on another day, but we’re cognizant of the fact that higher prices prevailed into the rate sheet hours when 3.0s were around 104-04.

We’re not especially concerned about the prospect of negative reprices at the moment, but did want to let you know that markets were doing something besides completely flat-lining into the afternoon. Volume is low enough that the recent mini-spike could even be attributable to lunch-time in New York.

Whatever the case, it seems clear that there’s no major determination for big swings ahead of tomorrow’s FOMC and Thursday’s ECB announcements. We’d keep an eye on 103-29 in Fannie 3.0s as the most noticeable line in the sand for negative reprice risk.

Live Chat Featured Comments
A recap of the featured comments from the MBS Live Dashboard’s Live Chat feature, utilized by hundreds of industry professionals each day.

Gaius Rossini  :  “the 80 ltv cutoff thing is the harp rep&warrant boundary, http://freddiemac.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=12329&item=131055″
Gaius Rossini  :  “if you’re referring to PLS, then also no, PLS holders have no say, which is why the san bernardino thing has them in a bit of a frenzy”
Gaius Rossini  :  “principal reductions would not be up to the MBS holders, we assume that principal reductions are limited to delinquent loans that have already been bot out by the GSEs.”
Andy Pada  :  “what is the 80 ltv cutoff?”
Timothy Baron  :  “Wouldn’t any principal reductions ultimately be up to the MBS holders? “
Andrew Russell  :  “no answer then, good luck”
David Silvernail  :  “Actual Jumbo Andrew”
Andrew Russell  :  “David, high balance or actual jumbo?”
Mike Drews  :  “I was checking my Linkin updates and it told me to congratulate one of the people in my network on thier new job….it was one of my borrowers that I had an active loan with…good thing it was an FHA stream–no credit qualifying”
Jason Adams  :  “Bryan… I just had a a guy change jobs on Wed. and he tells me today as we are having a problem with VOE….”
Bryan LaFlamme  :  “Oh the old quitting your job the day before funding! Do the rest of you feel it necessary to remind your borrowers that they have to have a job to get a loan?!”
Brett Boyke  :  “David I’m seeing 75%, but not 80”
Justin Dudek  :  REPRICE: 3:00 PM – Everett Financial Better
David Silvernail  :  “Good Afternoon All, looking for an 80 ltv jumbo second home purchase product w/ loan amount $575K”
Andy Pada  :  “I don’t think this is an issue of federalism as a conventional loan is neither a right nor a federal law.”
Jason Zimmer  :  “need income”
Eric Franson  :  REPRICE: 2:53 PM – Wells Fargo Worse
Jason Zimmer  :  illinois doesn’t make an exception for FHA”
Andy Pada  :  “makes an exception for FHA, but not conventional”
Andy Pada  :  “Just received confirmation for PA Dept. of Banking that a no income HARP is not permissible under PA’s Ability to Repay requirement.”
Matthew Graham  :  “RTRS- GEITHNER SAYS REGULATOR’S OWN ANALYSIS SHOWS ALLOWING FANNIE, FREDDIE TO PARTICIPATE IN PRINCIPAL REDUCTION PLAN WOULD HELP UP TO HALF A MILLON HOMEOWNERS “
Matthew Graham  :  “RTRS – GEITHNER URGES HOUSING REGULATOR FOR FANNIE MAE, FREDDIE MAC TO “RECONSIDER” DECISION-LETTER “
Matthew Graham  :  “RTRS- TREASURY SECRETARY GEITHNER SAYS “CONCERNED” BY REGULATOR’S DECISION NOT TO USE BAILOUT FUNDS FOR PRINCIPAL REDUCTION-LETTER TO REGULATOR “
Matthew Graham  :  “RTRS – U.S. REGULATOR SAYS “ANTICIPATED BENEFITS” OF USING BAILOUT FUNDS FOR PRINCIPAL REDUCTION “DO NOT OUTWEIGH COSTS AND RISKS” “
Matthew Graham  :  “RTRS- FANNIE MAE, FREDDIE MAC REGULATOR SAYS WILL NOT USE BAILOUT FUNDS TO HELP UNDERWATER HOMEOWNERS REDUCE THEIR MORTGAGES “
Andy Pada  :  “change the date; enhance the AUS systems to meet the mission of HARP; allow for previously modified loans with increased upb that no longer fit conforming limits to be eligible for HARP.”
Andy Pada  :  “we don’t need doubles, triples, or homeruns right now. I’ll take a string of singles and walks to enhance HARP.”
Grant R. Menard  :  “But ill take the change in HARP date as well”
Andy Pada  :  “It is but if we are to wait for Congress to act, then we will be waiting a long time.”
Grant R. Menard  :  “Well Harp is for Freddie/ Fannie only , so i think tohe goal was to reach the others no?”
Andy Pada  :  “no congressional action necessary.”
Andy Pada  :  “The Administration does not have to wait for the Universal Refi to enhance HARP. They can simply change the dates on HARP eligible loans. Change the 5/31/09 date to 5/31/10.”
Timothy Baron  :  “Maybe I’m cynical, but I doubt anything will get passed before the election.”
Timothy Baron  :  “The bill was introduced in the Senate in May and hasn’t really gone anywhere yet.”
Andrew Russell  :  “that would be insane, depending on what the LLPAS would be for non serviced loans”
Andrew Russell  :  “so could FHA be refinanced, regardless of ltv, into fannie/freddie?”
Timothy Baron  :  “Same guidelines for serviced and non-serviced has been mentioned.”
Brett Boyke  :  “that would be huge – until it’s rolled out and it’s a dud again”
Andy Pada  :  “DU Refi Plus/Open Access 2.0″
Andy Pada  :  “non-agency loans eligible to be sold to Fannie/Freddie”
Andy Pada  :  “universal refinance”
Brett Boyke  :  “just like HARP 2.0”
Andrew Russell  :  “any speculation?”
Andrew Russell  :  “what would the difference be, guide wise, of 2.0 and 3.0?”
Brett Boyke  :  “it would probably help millions of homeowners take advantage of today’s historically low rates”
Andy Pada  :  “I recall a speech the President gave in Nov. that introduced HARP 2.0. Just wondering if this is HARP 3.0 on the campaign trail.”
Matthew Graham  :  “There’s an uptick in Treasuries as well, bit of a volume pop too. Doesn’t look MBS specific”
Brett Boyke  :  “MBS no like it”
Matthew Graham  :  “RTRS – OBAMA ADMIN REMAINS FOCUSED ON GETTING AID TO “UNDERWATER” HOMEOWNERS, FURTHER STEPS STILL NEEDED TO STIMULATE HOUSING MARKET – W.HOUSE “
Jason York  :  “she does actually only have 6 months left, thanks Peter, that was my thought Curt, I can’t use it for income purposes, but they will count it against me for eligibility”

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» Start a two week free trial of MBS Live.

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[Mortgage Rate Watch] – Mortgage Rates Continue Romp Back Toward All-Time Lows

Mortgage Rates Continue Romp Back Toward All-Time Lows

Posted to: Mortgage Rate Watch
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 4:07 PM

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Mortgage Rates continued their bounce back from abrupt weakness on Friday.  The two days of gains so far this week bring rates back within striking distance of all-time lows ahead of several key events in the coming days.  Markets have essentially shifted their focus to these events: the FOMC Announcement tomorrow and perhaps an even more important announcement from Europe’s Central Bank on Thursday, followed by the important Employment Situation Report on Friday.

With those events on the horizon, markets mostly drifted sideways during business hours today, but had improved enough in the overnight session (“improved” in this case, referring to lower interest rates in bond markets) to get that sideways slide started off in better territory.  Most lenders offered increased rebates or decreased closing costs for the prevailing Best-Execution rate of 3.5%.

(Read More:What is A Best-Execution Mortgage Rate?)

Tomorrow begins 3 days that could drastically change the state of mortgage rate environment.  As with any such event, we’d note that “COULD” is the operative word.  There’s never a guarantee that a big ticket event WILL necessarily do much of anything to interest rates.  So all we can do is make note of certain events that have a lot of POTENTIAL energy. 

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday see three such events.  Tomorrow brings the Fed Rate Decision (or FOMC Announcement).  Some market participants expect the text of the statement to change significantly and possible even to include mention of a different time frame than the recent “late 2014” verbiage.  Others think the Fed might announce additional stimulus efforts specifically targeted at the mortgage market, while a majority feel that they will hold off on drastic changes until at least the September meeting.

In short, the more the Fed says to directly target Mortgage-Backed-Securities (MBS), the better it could be for mortgage rates.  Even the skeptics who aren’t holding their breath for anything significant tomorrow are still assuming there will be some evolution of verbiage.  That sets up the risk that whatever verbiage arrives, might not be “enough” for bond markets, which could lead to afternoon weakness, but we’ll just have to evaluate those possibilities as they arise.   If mortgage rates are at risk of a mid-day price change following the FOMC announcement, it’s unlikely that you’d have time to coordinate a quick enough lock to beat the reprice unless you specifically coordinated this with your mortgage professional.  In that sense, it’s mostly a decision you’ll need to make before the event itself.

Long Term Guidance: We’d continue to advocate against trying to “get ahead” of current market movements due to the high degree of uncertainty.  In the past, we would have interpreted that advice as a suggestion to lock, but in the recently “low and sideways” environment, it’s probably better-read as a suggestion to go with the flow of gradually lower rates until we see the pattern definitively break.  It’s a reasonably safe assumption that European concerns will generally continue to apply downward pressure on rates although there are no guarantees that the right piece of news or economic event couldn’t mark “the turning point” at which rates bottom out.  On any given day, rates have been at or near all-time lows and in the grand scheme of things, unable to move lower as quickly as Treasuries for example.  So although there is potential gain from floating, it’s still a historically excellent time to lock if you’d prefer to take the risk off the table.  

Loan Originator Perspectives

Kent Mikkola, Mortgage Loan Originator, NMLS 353976

Remember to take into consideration the following points when considering to lock: 1. How long til you close – If you only have 15 days til you anticipate closing, there isn’t a lot of time to make up any potential losses that could occur. 2. Does the lender offer a float down/renegotiation of your locked rate – If you can float down a locked rate, you are protected from rate increases and significant rate decreases. Speak with your originator in regard to other facets to consider before locking in.

Victor Burek at Benchmark Mortgage

Most of the losses from Friday’s mini sell off have been recouped, but lender pricing is still lagging. As always, lenders take away much quicker than they pass along improvements. I favor floating all loans overnight, but be prepared to lock tomorrow. High risk events coming later this week.

Today’s BEST-EXECUTION Rates 

  • 30YR FIXED –  3.5%, Some Approaching 3.375%
  • FHA/VA – 3.25-3.5% (varies more between lenders than conventional 30yr Fixed)
  • 15 YEAR FIXED –  2.75 – 2.875%
  • 5 YEAR ARMS –  2.625-3. 25% depending on the lender

Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations 

  • Rates and costs continue to operate near all time best levels
  • Current levels have experienced increasing resistance in improving much from here
  • Rates could easily move higher or lower, but given the nearness to all time lows, there’s generally more risk than reward regarding floating
  • But that will always be the case when rates operate near all-time levels, and as 2011 showed us, it doesn’t always mean they’re done improving.
  • (As always, please keep in mind that our talk of Best-Execution always pertains to a completely ideal scenario.  There can be all sorts of reasons that your quoted rate would not be the same as our average rates, and in those cases, assuming you’re following along on a day to day basis, simply use the Best-Ex levels we quote as a baseline to track potential movement in your quoted rate).

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[MND NewsWire] – Freddie To Align With Fannie On Lower LTV HARP Guidelines

Freddie To Align With Fannie On Lower LTV HARP Guidelines

Posted to: MND NewsWire
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 3:52 PM

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Freddie Mac said today that it would be opening up refinance opportunities to borrowers who are not underwater on their existing Freddie Mac mortgages.  Under the company’s Relief Refinance Mortgage Program which includes the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP 2.0) the requirements for refinancing mortgages with loan-to-value ratios at or under 80 percent will be brought in line with those with LTVs over 80 percent, the target audience for HARP 2.0 loans.

The alignment will involve eliminating many of the representation and warranty requirements that exist on the mortgages being refinanced.  It is hoped this will act as an incentive to lenders to promote the loans.  Freddie Mac said it is further evaluating the Relief Refinance program, specifically looking at the Open Access offering to determine the best way to reach eligible borrowers and assist lenders in managing capacity.  Open Access is designed to promote competition so that borrowers can obtain Relief Refinance Mortgages including HARP 2.0 from lenders other the one associated with their existing servicer.  

Freddie Mac will announce details of the program changes by mid-September and they will go into effect for loans delivered after January 1, 2013.  The changes are based on lender feedback on HARP 2.0 which was rolled out starting last fall

Paul Mullings, Senior Vice President and Interim Head of Single Family at Freddie Mac said, “Once implemented the changes will give lenders a new measure of certainty and ease when they help borrowers with Freddie Mac owned- or guaranteed- mortgages take advantage of today’s historically low mortgage rates.  This will help us build on the success of the HARP 2.0 and Relief Refinance Mortgage programs of helping more than 1.3 million Freddie Mac borrowers.  Today’s announcement further underscores Freddie Mac’s vital role in making affordable mortgage financing available to America’s homeowners and future homebuyers.”

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[MND NewsWire] – Tensions Escalate as DeMarco, Geithner Argue Merits of Principal Reduction

Tensions Escalate as DeMarco, Geithner Argue Merits of Principal Reduction

Posted to: MND NewsWire
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 3:21 PM

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Edward J. DeMarco, Acting Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency today again stated his opposition to allowing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to participate in the Principal Reduction Alternative (PRA) of the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).  DeMarco’s agency which acts as conservator for the two government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) has opposed principal reduction on the part of the two companies despite growing pressure from Congress and the Department of the Treasury.

In a letter to the Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs DeMarco rebuffed an offer to use funds from the Toxic Asset Relief Program (TARP) to assist borrowers and said, “After much study, I have concluded the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s adoption of HAMP PRA would not make a meaningful improvement in reducing foreclosures in a cost effective way for taxpayers.”  He went on to say there are continued improvements that can be made to the GSEs loss mitigation and borrower assistance efforts, specifically naming the further streamlining of refinance opportunities, enhancing the short sale process, and reducing lender uncertainty that could inhibit new lending.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told DeMarco in a letter released to the media that he was concerned about the regulator’s continued opposition and urged the acting director to reconsider his decision.   The Secretary said “I do not believe it is the best decision for the country because, as we have discussed many times, the use of targeted principal reduction by the GSEs would provide much needed help to a significant number of troubled homeowners, help repair the nation’s housing market, and result in a net benefit to taxpayers.

Geithner called FHFA’s numbers “selective” and said that the agency’s own analysis which it had shared with Treasury “has shown that permitting the GSE’s to participate in the program could help up to half a million homeowners and save the GSEs $3.6 billion compared to standard loan modifications.  GSE participation, he said, would save taxpayers as much as $1 billion on a net basis. 

Geithner’s letter was accompanied by a five page memorandum in which Treasury staff lays out their case for principal reduction.

There has been increasing friction between the Obama Administration and DeMarco over his handling of the conservatorships.  DeMarco, a holdover from the Bush Administration, has been acting director since 2009 because the Senate refused to bring the current president’s nominee to the floor for a vote.  Administration insiders have blamed DeMarco for thwarting many of the president’s housing initiatives and there has been a spate of on-line petitions organized by progressive political groups calling for DeMarco’s resignation.

In his letter DeMarco restated his conviction that principal reduction would not support his agency’s prime obligation as conservator; to preserve the assets of the GSEs on behalf of taxpayers.  He said that the result of adopting the HAMP PRA for the GSEs could result in benefits that could be either positive or negative for taxpayers but any model-projected benefits could be offset by a number of costs and risks including the implementation costs for the GSEs and the servicers, opportunity costs, long term implications of weakening the reliability of the mortgage contract, and delayed resolution of ongoing modification negotiations.

Tomorrow we will take a detailed look at the justifications laid out by DeMarco and Geithner for their differing viewpoints and no doubt here reactions from the administration and members of Congress. 

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[MND NewsWire] – Multi-family Lending Increases but Lags other Commercial Activity

Multi-family Lending Increases but Lags other Commercial Activity

Posted to: MND NewsWire
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 11:29 AM

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Commercial and multi-family mortgage lending rose in the second quarter of 2012 due, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said, to low interest rates and continued stabilization and growth in the commercial real estate markets.  The volume of mortgage originations was up 39 percent from the first quarter of this year and 25 percent compared to lending one year earlier.

The MBA’s Quarterly Survey of Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Bankers Originations noted increased lending from every major investor group it surveys.  Commercial banks saw the largest annual increase at 58 percent while on a quarterly basis the index rose from 158 to 172.  Lending on the part of the two government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie May increased from 157 to 201 quarter to quarter; this was 50 percent above the lending one year earlier.   Conduit (Commercial mortgage-backed securities) lending nearly quadrupled from the first to the second quarter (23 to 94) but was up only 16 percent over the Q2 2011 figure.  The final investor group, life insurance companies, increased from an index of 220 in Q1 to 302 in Q2 but was up only 10 percent on an annual basis.

The quarter-over-quarter growth was driven by increases in lending for hotel and office properties, up 147 percent and 66 percent respectively.  Multifamily lending had the smallest quarterly increase, 21 percent.  There were also increases of 47 percent for industrial properties, 33 percent for health care facilities, and 29 percent for retail.  

Multifamily lending increased 19 percent year-over-year while retail lending was up 56 percent, hotels properties 22 percent, office properties 15 percent and health care properties 11 percent.  Loans for industrial properties fell five percent.

The average size of a multi-family loan in the second quarter of 2012 was $12.2 million compared to $14.2 million the previous quarter and $14.3 million in the second quarter of 2011.  The average size of a loan from the GSEs was $12.7 million compared to $14.2 million the previous quarter and $12.2 million in Q2 2011.

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[MBS Commentary] – MBS MID-DAY: Relentless Flat After Improving Overnight

MBS MID-DAY: Relentless Flat After Improving Overnight

Posted to: MBS Commentary
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 11:09 AM

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MBS Live: MBS Morning Market Summary
As has been the case many times in recent memory, the majority of today’s day-over-day change took place in the overnight session due to European considerations.  Even then, the overnight session was fairly tame, but it was tame AND bullish for bond markets–the best kind of “tame” we can think of.  Treasuries mostly followed German Bunds, themselves following the beat of their own drum as prospects of the European bailout fund (ESM) getting a banking license were further diminished according to comments from German officials overnight.  The domestic data this morning has had essentially no effect on bond markets, leaving 10yr yields between 1.47 and 1.48 while MBS have regained and are holding above their recent major psychological ledges at 104-00 in Fannie 3.0’s and 106-00 in Fannie 3.5’s.
MBS Pricing Snapshot

Pricing shown below is delayed, please note the timestamp at the bottom. Real time pricing is available via MBS Live.

FNMA 3.5
106-03 : +0-02
FNMA 4.0
107-06 : +0-01
FNMA 4.5
108-05 : +0-02
FNMA 5.0
109-00 : +0-01
GNMA 3.5
108-16 : +0-03
GNMA 4.0
109-25 : +0-01
GNMA 4.5
109-26 : +0-04
GNMA 5.0
110-21 : +0-01
FHLMC 3.5
105-28 : +0-03
FHLMC 4.0
106-30 : +0-01
FHLMC 4.5
107-19 : +0-02
FHLMC 5.0
108-13 : +0-01
Pricing as of 11:08 AM EST
Morning Reprice Alerts and Updates
Below is a recap of instant Reprice Alerts and updates issued via email and text alert to MBS Live subscribers this morning.

10:11AM  :  ALERT ISSUED: Bond Markets Continue Trading In Positive Territory After 1st Round of Data

The overnight session was largely uneventful for bond markets despite volatility in equities. This is very much in line with yesterday’s session where MBS and Treasuries marched to their own tune while stock markets chopped around in grander fashion. The conclusion is that bond markets are most focused on the central bank meetings in the days ahead rather than the slew of economic data out of the Euro zone overnight

The same theme continues to play out in the domestic session where 10yr yields have essentially held between 1.47 and 1.48 all morning despite S&P futures chopping between 1383 and 1378, not to mention the advancing Euro.

We can probably credit much of this resilient determination in bond markets to a simple game of follow-the-leader with German Bunds. As is the case most mornings, they’ve been tightly connected and Bunds are drawing additional strength on overnight news that an ESM Banking license isn’t even being considered. This was one of the possibilities for Thursday’s ECB announcement, and although we’d never assume that something is true in the Euro zone simply because one person/party/organization says it is, it’s still a net positive for bond markets.

The domestic economic data has just now passed without a trace in bond markets and the same theme of “choppier equities by comparison” is ongoing after S&Ps hit their lows of the morning following Consumer Confidence.

All of the above leaves MBS in great shape vs yesterday and arguably terrific shape vs the more disconcerting moments late last week. Fannie 3.0’s are up 4 ticks on the day and have made it back to the 104-00 handle, even if only just. Fannie 3.5’s are also back over 106-00, currently up 2 ticks at 106-02.

There’s no more significant scheduled economic data today though that’s no guarantee of calm movements. Markets have a lot to consider ahead of the impending central bank meetings/announcements, as well as Friday’s NFP. In addition, today is “month-end” which can create a fair amount of trading motivation in its own right. Thankfully, that motivation tends to err on the side of positivity for bond markets, all other things being equal.

10:03AM  :  ECON: Consumer Confidence Rises In July, Led By Expectations

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had declined in June, improved slightly in July. The Index now stands at 65.9 (1985=100), up from 62.7 in June. The Expectations Index improved to 79.1 from 73.4. The Present Situation Index, however, decreased slightly to 46.2 from 46.6 a month ago.

The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey®, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was July 19.

Says Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board: “Despite this month’s improvement in confidence, the overall Index remains at historically low levels. Consumers’ attitude regarding current conditions was little changed in July, but their short-term expectations, which had declined last month, bounced back. However, while consumers expressed greater optimism about short-term business and employment prospects, they have grown more pessimistic about their earnings. Given the current economic environment — in particular the weak labor market — consumer confidence is not likely to gain any significant momentum in the coming months.”

9:54AM  :  ECON: Chicago PMI Slightly Higher, But Employment Index Tumbles

– Chicago PMI 53.7 vs 52.5 consensus. 52.9 June
– Employment Component down to 53.3 vs 60.4 last time.
– Production Index 54.5 vs 57.0 last time
– most other components were close to or slightly better than the previous report

The Chicago Purchasing Managers reported the ]uly Chicago Business Barometer gained incrementally while the short- term trend of the Chicago Business Barometer fell for the fourth month. Gains in New Orders and Order Backlogs were offset by weakness in Production, Employment and Supplier Deliveries. The three month moving average on all Business Activity indexes fell in ]uly.

BUSINESS ACTIVITY!

– EMPLOYMENT Index continued to grow at a slow pace;
– NEW ORDERS recovered mildly from ]une’s 33 month low;
– ORDER BACKLOGS moved from contraction to expansion.

9:06AM  :  ECON: Home Prices Continue to Rise in May 2012 -Case-Shiller

Data through May 2012, released today by S&P Dow Jones Indices for its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, showed that average home prices increased by 2.2% in May over April for both the 10- and 20-City Composites.

With May’s data, we found that home prices fell annually by 1.0% for the 10-City Composite and by 0.7% for the 20-City Composite versus May 2011. Both Composites and 17 of the 20 MSAs saw increases in annual returns in May compared to April. Boston, Charlotte and Detroit were the three cities that saw their annual returns worsen in May, with annual rates of -0.1%, +0.9% and +0.6%, respectively. Atlanta continues to be the only city posting a double-digit negative annual return with -14.5%. However, this is an improvement over the -17.0% annual decline recorded in April 2012. All 20 cities and both Composites posted positive monthly returns. No cities posted new lows in May 2012.

“With May’s data, we saw a continuing trend of rising home prices for the spring,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “On a monthly basis, all 20 cities and both Composites posted positive returns and 17 of those cities saw those rates of change increase compared to what was observed for April. Seventeen of the 20 cities and both Composites also saw improved annual rates of return. We have observed two consecutive months of increasing home prices and overall improvements in monthly and annual returns; however, we need to remember that spring and early summer are seasonally strong buying months so this trend must continue throughout the summer and into the fall.

8:54AM  :  ECON: Spending Slower Than Expected Despite Higher Than Expected Income

* June Personal Spending +0.0 vs +0.1 Consensus
* Personal Income +0.5 pct vs +0.4 pct consensus
* Core PCE Price Index +0.2 pct, as expected.

Personal income increased $61.8 billion, or 0.5 percent, and disposable personal income (DPI) increased $52.4 billion, or 0.4 percent, in June, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) decreased $1.3 billion, or less than 0.1 percent. In May, personal income increased $39.0 billion, or 0.3 percent, DPI increased $31.7 billion, or 0.3 percent, and PCE decreased $13.3 billion, or 0.1 percent, based on revised estimates.

Real disposable income increased 0.3 percent in June, compared with an increase of 0.5 percent in May. Real PCE decreased 0.1 percent, in contrast to an increase of 0.1 percent.

Live Chat Featured Comments
A recap of the featured comments from the MBS Live Dashboard’s Live Chat feature, utilized by hundreds of industry professionals each day.

Matthew Graham  :  “German Bunds are bushing down to their lowest yields of the day into their close at 11am eastern. It’s a net postitive for TSYs and MBS, but Bunds are so bullish that we’re obviously not getting the full effect.”
Matthew Graham  :  “especially in the future!”
Michael Gannon  :  “so the numbers dont show growth but everyone has a good attitude…..????”
Matthew Graham  :  “RTRS – EXPECTATIONS INDEX HIGHEST SINCE APRIL “
Matthew Graham  :  “RTRS – EXPECTATIONS INDEX 79.1 IN JULY VS JUNE REVISED 73.4 (PREVIOUS 72.3) – CONFERENCE BOARD “
Matthew Graham  :  “RTRS – PRESENT SITUATION INDEX IN JULY 46.2 VS JUNE 46.6 “
Matthew Graham  :  “RTRS- US CONSUMER CONFIDENCE INDEX MEDIAN FORECAST FROM REUTERS POLL FOR JULY WAS 61.5 “
Matthew Graham  :  “RTRS- US JULY CONSUMER CONFIDENCE INDEX 65.9 VS JUNE REVISED 62.7 (PREVIOUS 62.0) – CONFERENCE BOARD “
Matthew Graham  :  “RTRS- CHICAGO PURCHASING MANAGEMENT EMPLOYMENT INDEX LOWEST SINCE JULY 2011 “
Matthew Graham  :  “Employment figure looks to be the biggest miss in the report, building anecdotal evidence on the downside for NFP”
Matthew Graham  :  “RTRS – CHICAGO PURCHASING MGMT NEW ORDERS INDEX 52.9 IN JULY VS 51.9 IN JUNE “
Matthew Graham  :  “RTRS – CHICAGO PMI EMPLOYMENT INDEX 53.3 IN JULY VS 60.4 IN JUNE”
Matthew Graham  :  “RTRS – CHICAGO PURCHASING MANAGEMENT INDEX 53.7 IN JULY (CONSENSUS 52.5) VS 52.9 IN JUNE “
Matthew Graham  :  “equities bouncing up from futures indications in the first few minutes. loooks like some pull on bonds”
Matthew Graham  :  “RTRS- US MAY 20-METRO AREA HOME PRICES +2.2 PCT (CONSENSUS +1.5 PCT) VS +1.3 PCT IN APRIL-S&P/CASE-SHILLER “
Matthew Graham  :  “RTRS- US MAY HOME PRICES IN 20 METRO AREAS +0.9 PCT SEASONALLY ADJ (CONSENSUS +0.5 PCT) VS +0.7 PCT IN APRIL- S&P/CASE-SHILLER “
Andy Pada  :  “MG, just want to say that I am really enjoying the revamped news stream.”

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