Mortgage Rates Holding Near November Lows

Mortgage rates ended their recent winning streak yesterday, but they have yet to try to get a losing streak started! In other words, rates bottomed out after a week and a half of improvement on Wednesday and they haven’t really budged since then. This leaves them at the lowest levels of November–certainly well under 4% for top tier scenarios–but certainly higher than 2019’s lowest levels seen in early September. Underlying market movement is conveying plenty of uncertainty right now. While that certainly has something to do with the patterns typically seen heading into the Thanksgiving holiday, it has even more to do with the fact that there are legitimate reasons for investors to be uncertain. Chief among these are the wide spectrums of outcomes for the US/China trade deal (and timeline
Mortgage Rates Holding Near November Lows
Mortgage Rates Holding Near November Lows

Mortgage Rates Steady Despite Bond Market Weakness

Mortgage rates spent a 2nd day with the average lender holding relatively steady . This follows a decent winning streak over the previous week and a half with the net effect being at least an eighth of a percent (.125%) improvement on the average conventional 30yr fixed quote. Holding steady was a bit anticlimactic yesterday because the broader bond market (specifically, the benchmark US 10yr Treasury yield) indicated more improvement than we actually saw. That had a lot to do with the underperformance of bonds that specifically underlie mortgages (MBS or “mortgage-backed securities). But whereas MBS lagged Treasuries yesterday, they outperformed today, thus allowing lenders to keep rates unchanged even as 10yr yields moved moderately higher. Day-to-day volatility aside, the bigger picture
Mortgage Rates Steady Despite Bond Market Weakness
Mortgage Rates Steady Despite Bond Market Weakness

Rates Hold Near Lows, But Things Could Change Tomorrow

Mortgage rates moved microscopically higher today, depending on the lender. In terms of underlying movement in the bond market, however, rates should have risen a bit more than they did. This has to do with the timing of the bond market weakness and the amount of movement lenders typically want to see before changing their mortgage rate offerings for the day. Simply put, weaker bonds suggest higher rates, but bonds didn’t weaken fast enough for most lenders to see their “re-price” threshold. All of the above means that most lenders continued to offer rates that were very close to the lowest levels in more than a year. Only a handful of days have been any better, and all of them have occurred in the past 2 months. Much of the credit for the recent drop in rates goes to the well-publicized trade
Rates Hold Near Lows, But Things Could Change Tomorrow
Rates Hold Near Lows, But Things Could Change Tomorrow

9 things to give up if you want to be happy

9 Things to give up if you want to be happy!

  1. Complaining
  2. Limiting Beliefs
  3. Negative Self-talk
  4. Dwelling on the past
  5. Resistance to change
  6. The need to impress others
  7. The need to always be right
  8. The need for other’s approval

Thought of the Day

Authenticity is more than speaking. Authenticity is also about doing. Every decision we make says something about who we are

Thought of the Day

Tranquility can’t be grasped except by those who have reached an unwavering and firm power of judgement-the rest constantly fall and rise in their decisions, wavering in a state of alternately rejecting and accepting things.  What is the cause of this back and forth?  Its because nothing is clear and they rely on the most uncertain guide- common opinion

  • Marcus Aurelius

A Breath of Fresh Air

 

Eighteen months ago, HUD issued a final regulation requiring every public housing agency (PHA) across the country to provide a smoke-free environment for their residents.  Today, that rule goes into effect.

As a former pediatric neurosurgeon, I know the damaging health effects that secondhand smoke can have on infants and children, such as severe asthma and ear and respiratory infections.  Smoking is also the leading cause of fire-related deaths in multi-family apartment buildings. 

HUD’s smoke-free rule will protect the health of families who live in public housing, visitors to public housing and those who work in public housing.  This rule will also save significant amounts of money for public housing authorities. Turning over a smoker’s unit can cost more than a thousand dollars more than a non-smoker’s unit because of the additional labor and materials required. By eliminating smoking from public housing, the cost of property management and the medical costs for residents will be reduced.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates our smoke-free policies will save public housing agencies $153 million every year in repairs and preventable fires, including $94 million in secondhand smoke-related health care, $43 million in renovation of smoking-permitted units, and $16 million in smoking-related fire losses. 

To help PHAs implement the rule and facilitate access to smoking cessation resources, HUD is working with federal and private sector partners who are assisting these housing agencies in providing assistance for residents who choose to quit.  Our partner organizations include, but are not limited to:  the CDC, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, American Lung Association, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, National Quitline Consortium, and the American Cancer Society.

This new smoke-free rule taking full effect today will improve health and safety conditions in public housing.  And it will lower costs.  Now that’s a win-win-win!

A Breath of Fresh Air
A Breath of Fresh Air

2 Paradoxes For Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates were microscopically higher today, which is paradoxical on two levels. The first paradox has to do with today’s bond market improvements. Bonds underlie rates and bond market improvements coincide with rates moving lower–usually! In some cases, the day-to-day change in the bonds that underlie mortgage rates can be quite a bit smaller than the change in US Treasuries (the core of the US bond market). That was part of the problem today. The other part had to do with weakness yesterday afternoon. That weakness meant today’s improvements merely got mortgage-backed bonds back to yesterday morning’s levels despite being in stronger territory compared to yesterday afternoon’s latest levels. The second paradox has to do with the most prevalent mortgage rate headline out in the world
2 Paradoxes For Mortgage Rates
2 Paradoxes For Mortgage Rates

A Day in the Life: Atlanta Regional Office, Office of Field Policy and Management

Photo: Dexter Brandon.

Welcome to another edition of our series, A Day in the Life, which will introduce you to HUD employees and highlight the important work they do.

 Today, we meet Dexter Brandon, a Customer Service Representative in the Office of Field Policy and Management in the Atlanta Regional Office.

 What is your typical day like?

A typical day starts with checking voicemails complaints, emails on the Georgia Webmail and interacting with customers on behalf of the organization. I provide them with information or guidance to solving their problems.

What is the overarching task of your position?

To listen and respond to customers’ needs. Every call is not the same, so it’s imperative that I provide them with the correct information. Also, transferring the customer to the proper program areas, internally and externally, is essential too. The key is to prevent people from going around in circles. Another one of my tasks is to assist with promptly processing Freedom of Information Act request and inquiries.

How long have you been in your current role? 

My career started at HUD in June 2014, as a Student Trainee (Office Support) Intern. Upon completion of my internship, I volunteered for three months and was eventually able to obtain a position as a Customer Service Representative in January 2015.

What is the most exciting part of your job? 

Providing customers with information that may change their lives for the better; it’s gratifying for me. I enjoy helping people, so when a person says, “you‘ve saved my life” or “thank you for the information,” that motivates me throughout the day.

Where did you work prior to your position at HUD?

I worked at a company as a Power Plant Technical Writer, Contractor, in Atlanta. My job consisted of generating technical documentation for power generation, petrochemical, and other heavy industrial applications, that included organizing and producing professional technical documents used in the field to build or repair equipment and systems for industrial power plants.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check back for a new edition of A Day in the Life!

Joe Phillips is a Public Affairs Officer in HUD’s Atlanta Regional office.

A Day in the Life: Atlanta Regional Office, Office of Field Policy and Management
A Day in the Life: Atlanta Regional Office, Office of Field Policy and Management

Mortgage Rates Uninspired by Fed or Economic Data

Mortgage rates were flat to slightly higher today, depending on the lender. The average lender was quoting the same rates as yesterday, but with slightly higher upfront costs (or a lower credit, depending on your scenario). That said, if you could only choose one word to describe the movement, it would be “flat.” The flat trajectory has been intact for 3 straight days, even though today’s events had enough street cred to cause a shift in momentum. The morning hours brought and important economic report and an even more important update on the Treasury’s borrowing needs. Rates care about Treasury issuance because it’s the foundation of the “supply” side of the supply/demand equation for bonds (and bonds dictate rates). Rates care about economic data because a stronger economy can generally support
Mortgage Rates Uninspired by Fed or Economic Data
Mortgage Rates Uninspired by Fed or Economic Data