Stocks are higher this morning as a couple big mergers are announced. Bonds and MBS are up.
Mortgage Applications rose 11.8% last week, as purchases rose 16.4% and refis rose 8.8%.
Education opportunity: It is better for Millennials to buy than to rent. The catch: Millennials like the urban environment and in the hot markets like San Francisco and New York, they are priced out of the market. Not all urban areas are bad however: Here are the affordable places:
UBS is closing down its Manged High Yield Plus Fund. Is that a harbinger of bad things to come? The closing of a BNP Paribas fund in 2007 is credited with starting the financial crisis, though I remember the first tell being the inability of banks to sell the debt associated with the Alliance / Boots merger. High yield has been struggling lately as over-extended energy exploration companies are getting hammered by low oil prices. While we don’t have a residential real estate bubble anymore, it could still cause some ripples in the bond markets.
Freddie Mac is looking to expand its offering of low downpayment loans. The government is worried about people being shut out of the mortgage market, particularly low income borrowers and those with difficult to document income. Fannie Mae is looking to make income documentation easier. Note that the homeownership rate in the US has fallen to 63.4%, about where it was before the US began the Great Experiment In Expanding Home Ownership, which began with Bill Clinton’s HUD around 1994. The last time the homeownership rate was this low? 1967. This represents a lot of pent-up demand for purchase business and is an opportunity.
Filed under: Morning Report |