MBS Weekly Market Commentary Week Ending 11/13/2020

The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 0 .98% to begin last week, following the announcement of Biden’s victory. However, uncertainty continues to plague markets due to the absence of a standard concession and continued accusations of fraudulent voting. The uncertainty caused the 10-year to retreat to 0.89% by Friday. The spread between the 10-year Treasury to the 5/10-year blend has tightened 3bps to +72.

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Mortgage applications decreased 0.5 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the MBA Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending November 6, 2020. The Refinance Index increased 1 percent from the previous week and was 67 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 3 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 5 percent compared with the previous week and was 16 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage application activity was mixed last week, despite the 30-year fixed rate decreasing to 2.98 percent – an all-time MBA survey low. The refinance index climbed to its highest level since August, led by a 1.5 percent increase in conventional refinances,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “The purchase market continued its recent slump, with the index decreasing for the sixth time in seven weeks to its lowest level since May 2020. Homebuyer demand is still strong overall, and activity was up 16.5 percent from a year ago. However, inadequate housing supply is putting upward pressure on home prices and is impacting affordability – especially for first-time buyers and lower-income buyers. The trend in larger average loan application sizes and growth in loan amounts points to the continued rise in home prices, as well as the strength in the upper end of the market.” The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances decreased to a survey low of 2.98 percent from 3.01 percent, with points decreasing to 0.35 from  0.38 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.

The Mortgage Credit Availability index rose 2.3% in October, just its second monthly increase this year, the Mortgage Bankers Association said in a statement. September saw the index drop to its lowest in over six years. The index is down 34% compared with the same time in 2019. Click to enlarge Cumulative weekly performance of MBS – relative to Treasuries – was thoroughly mixed last week. Lower-coupon Fannie 30-years underperformed by 6 ticks while higher coupons beat by 2-5 ticks. Lower-coupon Ginnies outperformed by 5-7 ticks and higher coupons were relatively flat. Fannie 15s were flat on the lower coupons and 6-10 ticks better than the 5-year Treasury on the higher coupons.
The Federal Reserve will target up to $65.4b MBS from Nov. 16 to Nov. 30. Last cycle saw it target
$61.2b. The Fed’s aggregate mortgage buying Friday was $4.2b, compared with the previous session’s $5.3b, according to New York Fed data. The most heavily purchased was the 30-year UMBS 2%, for December settle, with $1.9b.

Additionally, the FHFA said in a statement that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will extend several loan origination flexibilities relative to Covid-19 by a month to December 31st. The flexibilities include alternative appraisals on purchase and rate term refinance loans, and alternative methods for documenting income and verifying employment before loan closing Key events this week:

  • NAHB housing market index, Class C
  • Wednesday: MBA mortgage applications, building permits, housing starts
  • Friday: Existing home sales

10-Year Treasury Yield Curve

Compare this chart with the mortgage rates chart to see how the 10-year treasury and mortgage rates are correlated. Read more below to learn how mortgage rates are tied to the 10 year treasury yield. View raw data on U.S. Department of the Treasury website.


Mortgage Rates Today

The current MBS daily rates are shown below in this chart for 5/1 Yr ARM, Jumbo 30 Yr, FHA 30 Yr, 15 Yr Fixed, 30 Yr Fixed. Sign up for our MBS Market Commentary to receive daily mortgage news in your inbox.

About the Author

Robbie Chrisman, Head of Content, MCT

Robbie started his mortgage industry career with internships during high school and college at Peoples National Bank in Colorado, and RPM & Bay Equity in the San Francisco Bay Area. After graduating from The University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Finance in 2014, he went to work at SoFi, where he rose to Director, Capital Markets assisting in the creation of SoFi’s residential mortgage division before leaving to work for TMS in Austin, Texas. From there, he went to work for FinTech startup Riivos in San Francisco and now is the Head of Content at Mortgage Capital Trading (MCT) in San Diego.

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Previous Weekly Market Reviews by Mortgage Capital Trading (MCT)

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MBS Weekly Market Commentary Week Ending 9/23/22

The phrase “Don’t fight the Fed” was first introduced in the 70’s (a lovely time for inflation lovers) and for most of the last few decades, the phrase meant that the Fed has the market’s back and investors are rewarded for keeping their feet on the gas pedal as the Fed injects liquidity, dampens volatility, and drives outsized returns. But fighting the Fed cuts both ways, and Fed officials are now intent on taming prices, even though the economy is already in a technical recession. Investors have been forced to consider their positions accordingly.

MBS Weekly Market Commentary Week Ending 9/16/22

There are the unfortunate costs of reducing inflation (higher interest rates, slower growth, and softer labor market conditions) that will bring some pain to households and businesses, but a failure to restore price stability would mean far greater economic pain. Markets have interpreted recent Fed comments as: “We are going to raise rates higher and keep them there longer than the market is anticipating. People now understand the seriousness of our commitment to getting inflation back down to 2%. If we have a hard landing and cause a recession, so be it.”

MBS Weekly Market Commentary Week Ending 9/9/22

This year’s run up the coupon stack has led to the destruction of both purchase supply and refinance demand, which has drastically reduced prepayment activity. The Fed’s QE4 created a refinance bonanza in 2020 and 2021, but with the Fed leaving the MBS purchase space next week for the foreseeable future, that party is over. The MCT Review this week examines August prepayment speeds that were released yesterday and what to expect for the remainder of the year.

MBS Weekly Market Commentary Week Ending 9/2/22

In addition to raising the overnight Fed funds rate, the Fed is exiting the MBS and security purchase space as it wraps up QE4. The Fed will reduce its asset holdings by not reinvesting the funds received from maturing securities into new securities as it has been doing over the past two years. The MCT Review this week examines the Fed’s plans and the ultimate impact on a volatile bond market.

MBS Weekly Market Commentary Week Ending 8/26/22

This week’s commentary discusses market preparation and reaction to Fed Chairman Powell’s speech in Jackson Hole. As the Fed puts the brakes on the economy, the central bank is willing to let unemployment go up as a trade for getting inflation under control. Rate hikes are expected to continue as the Fed prioritizes driving down inflation rather than economic growth. Read the rest of this week’s market commentary for more information on the Fed and the MBS market.

MBS Weekly Market Commentary Week Ending 8/19/22

Every week the mortgage industry has new headlines. This week saw talk of Wells Fargo scaling back its mortgage division (possibly greatly exaggerated), MBA mortgage applications dropping to a 22-year low, and U.S. retail sales resiliently remaining flat despite a drop in gasoline prices, though the biggest story was Ginnie Mae and FHFA releasing jointly updated seller/servicer requirements.