Morning Report: Builder sentiment close to record highs

Vital Statistics:

 

Last Change
S&P futures 3377 16.6
Oil (WTI) 42.64 0.02
10 year government bond yield 0.69%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 2.95%

 

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

 

The MBA is pushing Congress to rescind the “adverse market refinance fee,” which is the 50 basis point increase announced by the GSEs last week.

Requiring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to charge a 0.5% fee on refinance mortgages they purchase will raise interest rates on families trying to make ends meet in these challenging times,” Killmer said. “This means the average consumer will be paying $1,400 more than they otherwise would have paid. Even worse, the September 1 effective date means that thousands of borrowers who did not lock in their rates could face unanticipated cost increases just days from closing.

As many have pointed out, the irony of the Fed pushing down mortgage rates by buying mortgage backed securities in the market versus FHFA trying to raise mortgage rates via the fee is striking.

 

There isn’t a lot of market-moving data this week, although we have a good amount of housing data with the NAHB Housing Market Index, Existing Homes Sales, and Housing starts.

 

Homebuilder Sentiment is close to record highs, according to the NAHB. The index rose to 78 in August from 72. 50 is considered neutral. Take a look at the chart below, it looks like we are pretty much at the record highs of the late 90s. Those highs were then followed by a 50% jump in housing starts.

NAHB HMI

 

Home prices are rising across the board, but rural properties are seeing the biggest increases, rising 11%.

We’ve been speculating about increasing interest in the suburbs and rural areas since the start of the pandemic,” said Redfin economist Taylor Marr. “Now we’re seeing concrete evidence that rural and suburban neighborhoods are more attractive to homebuyers than the city, partly because working from home means commute times are no longer a major factor for some people. And due to historically low mortgage rates, interest is turning into action. There will always be buyers who choose the city because their jobs don’t allow for remote work or they place a premium on cultural amenities like restaurants and bars—which will eventually come back—but right now the pendulum is swinging toward farther-flung places.

Redfin rural prices

 

New Home purchase applications are up 39% YOY, according to the MBA. That said, the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc with seasonal adjustments, so that number could be overstated.

Author: Brent Nyitray

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

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