Morning Report: Home Purchase sentiment is dour

Vital Statistics:

 LastChange
S&P futures4,03428.75
Oil (WTI)86.242.69
10 year government bond yield 3.26%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 5.94%

Stocks are higher this morning on no real news. Bonds and MBS are up small.

The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index fell in August as rising home prices and mortgage rates combined to make buyers reluctant to purchase. “The share of consumers expecting home prices to go down over the next year increased substantially in August. Accompanying this, HPSI respondents reported a significant decrease in home-selling sentiment,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist.  “We also observed a large decline in consumers reporting high home prices as the primary reason for it being a good time to sell a home, suggesting that expectations of slowing or declining home prices have begun to negatively affect selling sentiment. Conversely, lower home prices would obviously be welcome news for potential first-time homebuyers, who are likely feeling the combined affordability constraints of the high home price and high mortgage rate environment. In fact, the survey’s ‘ease of getting a mortgage’ component dropped to an all-time low among this typically younger demographic (i.e., 18- to 34-year-olds). With home prices expected to moderate over the forecast horizon and economic uncertainty heightened, both homebuyers and home-sellers may be incentivized to remain on the sidelines – homebuyers anticipating home price declines and potential home-sellers not keen to give up their lower, fixed mortgage rate – contributing to a further cooling in home sales through the end of the year.”

Foreclosure starts are back at pre-pandemic levels, according to data from ATTOM. Foreclosure starts hit 34,501, which was up 118% compared to a year ago. Lenders started the process on 23,592 properties which was up 187% YOY. “Two years after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and after massive government intervention and mortgage industry efforts to prevent defaults, foreclosure starts have almost returned to 2019 levels,” said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of market intelligence at ATTOM. “August foreclosure starts were at 86 percent of the number of foreclosure starts in August 2019, but it’s important to remember that even then, foreclosure activity was relatively low compared to historical averages.”

In September, the Fed is upping the number of mortgage backed securities it will allow to run off, from $17.5 billion to $35 billion. This should (at least in theory) reduce the demand from the Fed and theoretically cause mortgage backed security spreads to widen. However, because prepayment speeds are slowing at a rapid clip it looks like the Fed won’t even get to $35 billion in maturing MBS. In other words, the Fed won’t be re-investing any maturing principal, and the runoff will be slower than permitted (since the Fed can’t control who pays their mortgage off).

It will be more important to watch what happens in Treasury re-investments. The last time the Fed tried to reduce its Treasury holdings, repo rates spiked, which forced them to suspend roll-offs. We’ll see if they have fixed the issue this time around.

22 Responses

  1. Worth noting:

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  2. Worth noting:

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    • as Kevin pointed out, democrats have zero issues with fascism as long as they get to be in charge.

      the left’s blind spot is they think fascism = racism, and since in their minds only the other guy is racist, they cannot be fascist.

      Which is why they will never recognize their own authoritarianism.

      Like

    • I like Greenwald but can’t agree that the college should not have put put a statement saying they disagreed. I think they should have and would have said something similar myself. And have no problem with both speaking their mind.

      Both (and others) having their say is the whole idea. Twitter deleting the post is an entirely different category. It’s about in a sense no one having their say—if someone at Twitter says so.

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  3. Game, set and match.

    Orange Man Bad is going down!

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  4. I’ll take common ground where we can find it!

    The President of the United States is 79 years old.

    The speaker of the House is 82 years old.

    The Senate majority leader is 71 years old.

    The average age of a US senator at the start of 2021 was 64.3 – the oldest in American history.

    While the American public doesn’t agree on much, they do agree on this: Our politicians are simply too old.

    A new CBS News poll shows that almost three in four Americans (73%) think there should be some sort of maximum age limit placed on elected officials. Support for such an age limit is consistent across party lines. Seven in ten Democrats (71%) are on board, as are three quarters of Republicans and independents. Support is also remarkably consistent among age groups. Interestingly, the youngest group in the survey – those ages 18-29 – are least in favor of maximum age limits (68%), while three quarters of all other age cohorts back them.

    What should the age cutoff be to serve in office? The most common answer among the choices presented in the CBS poll was 70 years old, with 4 in 10 Americans picking that option. One in 4 (26%) said 60 should be the oldest someone can be to hold elected office, while 18% said 80 should be the limit.

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    • I’m okay with 70 being the limit to be elected. So you could get a senator as old as 76 but they can’t run again at that point. Same if you’re a congressperson at 72.

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      • Here’s my question: If it was really true that the vast majority of people do not want someone who is over 70 to be president, how is it that both parties ended up with nominees who were each 70+? After all, both parties had younger alternatives.

        All other things being equal, I would want a younger person to be President. But, of course, all other things are never equal. I would rather have a 72 year old Reagan than a 45 year old Obama. Indeed, I would rather have a 72 year old Reagan than a 50 year old GWB. And it is for exactly that reason that I would oppose a change in the law that puts a cap on the age of a president. If I think someone is too old, I can always vote for someone else.

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    • I’m pretty sure this would have to be a constitutional amendment, as the requirements for Senators and Representatives are set out there.

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