Morning Report: Loans in forbearance increases slightly

Vital Statistics:

 

Last Change
S&P futures 3200 -24.1
Oil (WTI) 38.94 -0.39
10 year government bond yield 0.82%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 3.32%

 

Stocks are lower this morning as we head into the Fed meeting. Bonds and MBS are flat.

 

The MBA reported that mortgage credit availability fell to a 6 year low. “Mortgage lenders in May responded accordingly to the increased risk and uncertainty in the economy,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Credit availability continued to decline, with MBA’s overall index now at its lowest level since June 2014. There was a reduction in supply across all loan types, driven by further pullback in investors’ appetites for loan programs with low credit scores and high LTVs. Credit tightening was observed at both ends of the market, with less availability of low down-payment programs designed for first-time homebuyers, as well as for conforming and non-conforming jumbo loans.” So basically low FICO FHA and jumbo, which means forbearance and securitization issues are driving the decrease.

 

The MBA also reported that the number of mortgages in forbearance increased slightly to 8.53%. “The overall share of loans in forbearance increased by only 7 basis points compared to the prior week,” said MBA Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni. “With the job market beginning to gradually improve, more homeowners are exiting forbearance, and we are seeing declines in forbearance volume among some servicers.”

 

FWIW, the Fed Funds futures are predicting a 15% chance of a 25 basis point rate hike at the June meeting. That seems to be the consensus going all the way out to March 2021. If the economy rebounds quickly the Fed will probably choose to unwind asset purchases first, so it could be a while before we see rate hikes.

 

The National Bureau of Economic Research says the US entered a recession in February, which seems strange given the COVID crisis didn’t start until late March and the economic numbers in February were decent. “In deciding whether to identify a recession, the committee weighs the depth of the contraction, its duration, and whether economic activity declined broadly across the economy. … The committee recognizes that the pandemic and the public health response have resulted in a downturn with different characteristics and dynamics than prior recessions,” the committee said in a statement. So in other words, it sounds like they are using some sort of qualitative assessment of the economy to come up with the idea that we entered a recession in February.

 

Fed funds futures

Author: Brent Nyitray

In the physical sciences, knowledge is cumulative. In the financial markets, it is cyclical

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