Morning Report: Lenders are getting more cautious on easing credit 3/24/16

Stocks are under pressure this morning as commodities drop. Bonds and MBS are up small.

Initial Jobless Claims rose to 265k last week while the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index ticked up to 44.6

Durable Goods Orders fell 1.8% last month, slightly better than expectations, but when you strip out transportation, the number was a huge miss. Capital Goods orders (a proxy for business capital expenditures) fell 1.8% missing by a country mile.

In other economic data, the Markit PMI numbers were barely expansionary and the Kansas City Fed improved slightly, but is still negative.

Mel Watt is going to have a decision on principal mods for conforming loans held by the government within the next 30 days. The left has been pushing FHFA to do this for years. Why the (expected) change? Probably the FHFA House Price index, which has now recouped all of its losses from the bubble years. HARP may go away as well – FHFA is toying with the idea of a high-LTV refi.

Cash sales are at their lowest level in 7 years, according to CoreLogic. In 2015, they accounted for 34% of all sales. The peak was January 2011 when they hit 47%. Pre-crisis, that number was in the high 20s. Unsurprisingly, the states with the highest foreclosure pipeline and the lousiest real estate markets have the highest cash sales percentages.

Mortgage lenders are on net still easing credit standards, however they are doing it at a slower pace, according to the latest Fannie Mae Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey.Government loans actually were tightened.

23 Responses

  1. Like

    • Yeah, I’ve been spring breaking this week. Went to Nashville (not far away) but always enjoy the gigantic mall that the replaced Opryland with (apparently by cooking the books to make it look like Opryland was unprofitable, or something) and went to the science center and Cumberland Caverns. My birthday was a bust (what’s new?) but I did finally get to see Deadpool, which was awesome. Worth it for the opening credit alone.


  2. Hi Brent –

    On this:

    Why the (expected) change? Probably the FHFA House Price index, which has now recouped all of its losses from the bubble years. HARP may go away as well – FHFA is toying with the idea of a high-LTV refi.

    I guess I have forgotten all the details you have provided over the years. I apologize. Could you please quickly explain what the expected change is from and to? Is it the idea that because the asset has recovered value it is safer to allow low interest refis? There must be more to it then that. But if HARP is going away, what exactly will be the govt’s involvement except looser standards for FHA?


  3. Everybody should check out Drudge’s freaky picture of Hillary and her lizard eyes.


  4. If the Belgium authorities are to be believed in this story, are they acting nobley or stupidly?


    • I don’t understand the choices you offer, George. He is being extradited to France.

      The French are in a position to offer him something for cooperation, the Belgians not so much.

      If you are suggesting treating this like breaking a spy for intel, that is not going to happen in the public eye, anywhere, and if it happens in a room anywhere it will be in France, or under French supervision in a remote location. The French have more and better info and longer reach than do the Belgians, from what I have read. Considering the size and reps of the two intel services, that is a natural result. Regular intel investigations do not rely on extreme methods, but on psychology and time and having information that creates pressure points, like knowing about the spy’s family, within the ambit of French power.

      I don’t know the particulars of this case and am just posing the limits on Belgian criminal prosecutors prior to an extradition hearing. Apparently Belgium has learned some stuff, however:


  5. Cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame….and the Orange too! Go cinderellas.


    • Do you believe in miracles? Yes!

      Syracuse 68 UVA 62


      • All I can say is who are these Orangemen and when did they steal my Spartans’ bodies?



        • They go for long stretches looking like the 19-12 team they are, but those spurts of breaking out have been amazing. They scored more points in that 5 minute second half burst than they did in the entire first half.

          UNC, however, looked awesome vs ND. I thought ND actually looked pretty good, but UNC barely misses.


  6. @brentnyitray: Any more word on the possible move to the Left Coast?


  7. Worth a read:

    “Sorting out a new life back home
    After more than a decade as a civilian working in two war zones, uncertainty about what’s next”


Be kind, show respect, and all will be right with the world.

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