Morning Report: Freddie Mac introduces new forecasts

Vital Statistics:

S&P futures4,14224.4
Oil (WTI)62.74-0.44
10 year government bond yield 1.60%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 3.20%

Stocks are higher this morning after a strong retail sales number. Bonds and MBS are up.

Freddie Mac released its quarterly forecast yesterday. Freddie sees the 30 year fixed rate will average 3.2% in 2021, while rising throughout the year. It sees a 3.4% fixed rate in the fourth quarter of 2021, and it hitting 3.8% in the fourth quarter of 2022. This will drive refi volumes to $1.8 trillion in 2021 and $800 billion in 2022.

Freddie sees home price appreciation to decrease in 2021, falling to 6.6% from 11% in 2020.

March was the hottest month in housing history, according to Redfin. The median house price rose 17% YOY to $353,000. Housing inventory fell 29% and homes sold in 25 days, with 42% trading above list. I suspect all of the housing data for the next few months should have an asterisk next to it since we are comparing to lockdown months. Still, the rise in prices is undeniable.

Retail Sales rose 9.8% in March, driven by stimulus payments and an easy comparison to February which had a lot of bad weather.

Initial Jobless Claims fell to 576k last week. Nice to see a drop, but we need to get back below 300k to have some semblance of normalcy.

Wells reported first quarter earnings yesterday. Mortgage originations were $51.8 billion, which was up 8% YOY and down about 4% compared to the fourth quarter. Retail originations were 65% of total volumes as Wells seemed to be pulling back from correspondent. That said, revenues did increase on a MOM and YOY basis, driven by higher gain on sale margins and a heavier retail mix.

New Home purchase applications rose 7% MOM and 12% YOY, according to the MBA. That said, new home sales are estimated to fall in March, driven by exceptionally low inventory and higher price / borrowing costs.

Industrial Production rose 1.4% in March, while manufacturing production rose 2.7%. Capacity Utilization increased to 74.4%. These numbers were all below expectations.

13 Responses

  1. Latest from the new Substack:

    “Where once the focus was on limiting and breaking up concentrated power, what we’re seeing now among liberal elites is an illiberal turn toward wanting to wield that power instead, in a fusion of state, party, and corporate interest. It seems that after four years of dire warnings about the threat of authoritarianism and even fascism, those who warned us of those threats now prefer to make good on them.”


    • The left’s talk about fascism were always gaslighting, IMO.

      The current state of affairs was the goal all along.



      • I don’t think most of the (at least mostly) sincere left have solid definitions of words like fascism. Or white supremacy. Or whiteness. Or much of anything.

        They are opposed to fascism because fascism is defined as “right-wingers who are bad getting what they want” or “me not getting what I want all the time”. So of course they are opposed to “fascism”.

        If getting what they want comes at the price of oppressive laws, enforced by a police state, that’s not “fascism”–that just what’s necessary. It’s grown-ups making hard decisions. Yada yada.

        A lot of times it is the instinctual gaslighting of pathological narcissism but sometimes I think it’s just because words don’t mean the same things to them.


  2. Worth scrolling through:


    • There is some consistency on the Conservative, Inc. “not a fan of Trump” side of the conservative aisle, at least. They didn’t like it when Trump did it and they don’t like it now that Biden is doing it. They make a good argument for keep troops in Afghanistan but I think most people are sick of a lack of clarity and the “endless war” footing.

      If it was reframed as an American base in a critical strategic area (given China, Pakistan, India, etc) I think that would work better. Most of what I’ve seen from the pundit class (outside of Conservative, Inc. podcasts) has been about how we’ve got to keep helping Afghanistan and the war is never over. That’s not compelling.


  3. Yep, it was always bullshit:

    “U.S. Intel Walks Back Claim Russians Put Bounties on American Troops”


  4. James O’Keefe & Project Veritas got permanently banned from Twitter for exposing CNN.


    • That was seriously only a matter of time. Surprised it took this long.

      Twitter is well on its way to being a complete and utter bubble. There’s a tipping point there in which active users will abruptly fall off a cliff.

      Certain forums like Facebook have a lot of momentum and can probably endure a huge amount of censorship without sinking themselves. Twitter will have a harder time, I think–they will be seeing these little dips in users month-over-month where it’s .01% less active users, 0.5% less active users, and then abruptly they are going to be seeing dips of 15% and 20%.

      Eh, good luck to ’em.


      • The funny thing is TWTR stock has almost tripled over the past year. I can’t imagine they are doing 3x better today than a year ago, but….


        • My layperson conspiracy theory is that they are getting propped up. That enough people with a lot of money are continuing to pump up the stock because Twitter is “doing the right thing” and rigorously signaling virtue.

          It seems likely if Twitter was suffering in its stock performance it would be less eager to risk alienating customers with outright censorship. But if the stock keeps going up . . . what? Who do you think we need to ban? And you’re buying how much more stock? DONE.


    • jnc:

      James O’Keefe & Project Veritas got permanently banned from Twitter for exposing CNN.

      And this is why I am not on Twitter. I want to see it destroyed as a business.


      • I am also not on Twitter, but primarily because I know it has nothing of value to offer me. The more of a bubble it becomes, the more true that is going to be for more and more people.


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