When Freddie Mac released its weekly mortgage survey on Thursday it did so with the heading: “Mortgage Rates Drop Below Three Percent Again.”
Which they are not now.
The problem lies with the methodology. Freddie Mac surveys lenders from Monday to Wednesday with the major weighting given to Monday’s rates. As I have explained in many postings over the years (see Mortgage Rates back to 3% – again as an example), the 30-year Fixed Rate Mortgage (FRM) is priced based upon a premium that investors, when they buy pools of mortgages, demand over the yield on the nearest-equivalent US Treasury – which is the 10-year Note (10T). Thus, if the yield on 10T increases from Monday to Thursday – as it did this week – by the time of Thursday’s announcement the FRM may have changed – as it did this week.
Mortgage News Daily had a great article this week and I am going to use their charts. I recommend signing up for their newsletter, a source of great information and opinion. (more…)
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will eliminate the Adverse Market Refinance Fee for loan deliveries effective August 1, 2021.
Lenders will no longer be required to pay Fannie and Freddie a 50-basis point fee when they deliver refinanced mortgages. The fee was designed to cover losses projected as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The success of FHFA and Fannie and Freddie’s COVID-19 policies reduced the impact of the pandemic and were effective enough to warrant an early conclusion of the Adverse Market Refinance Fee.” FHFA’s expectation is that those lenders who were charging borrowers the fee will pass cost savings back to borrowers.
“Santa Claus has come early for homeowners looking to refinance their mortgages,” said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate.com. “The fee had often resulted in an increase of one-eighth percentage point in rate.” (more…)
Applications for Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) increased 12.5% year-to-year for the week ending June 18, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), as the discount from the 30-year FRM has widened in recent weeks.
ARMs dropped in popularity after the 2008 financial crisis, but they are starting to reemerge as buyers contend with record high home prices. “The epic surge in home prices has people looking to save money on monthly payments anywhere they can,” says Matt Graham, chief of operations at Mortgage News Daily.
Former Federal Reserve Chair William McChesney Martin, Jr famously said: “The Federal Reserve…is in the position of the chaperone who has ordered the punch bowl removed just when the party was really warming up.”
This week, current Fed Chair Jerome Powell in effect said “party on, dude.” As the New York Times commented: “The official view of the central bank’s leaders now is that it has been an overly stingy host, taking away the punch bowl so quickly that parties were dreary, disappointing affairs.
The job now is to persuade the world that it really will leave the punch bowl out long enough, and spiked adequately — that it will be a party worth attending. They insist punch bowl removal will be based on actual realized inebriation of the guests, not on forecasts of potential future problematic levels of drunkenness.”
Chairman Powell’s comments
“We will continue to provide the economy the support that it needs for as long as it takes.” (more…)