Fed Inferno? Mortgage Purchase Applications Rise 1.87% From Previous Week, But Down 10% From Same Week Last Year

Yes, the super-heated housing market is showing signs of slowing down.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), mortgage purchase applications rose 1.87% from the previous week. However, purchase applications are down 10% from the same week last year.

Refinancing applications dropped -.48% from the previous week as the 30-year mortgage contract rate rose from 3.14% to 3.18%. Refi apps are up 6% from the same week last year.

As rates begin to rise, mortgage refi applications will decline.

With the Atlanta Fed GDP tracker showing GDP growth slowing to 0.5%, we are starting to see the beginning of a Fed inferno.

Here is Biden’s Press Secretary Jen Psaki!

US Housing Starts Drop 1.58% In September (Permits Drop 7.67%) As Interest Rate Increases And Inflation Loom

US housing starts slowed in September to at a -1.58% MoM rate. Permits dropped 7.67% MoM.

Now that interest rates are expected to rise … in late 2022, we may be a slowing in the housing market.

Here are the numbers.

The US Treasury 10Y-3M slope is rising as inflation rises (that inflation curve looks like the ARCTAN function from prepayment modeling!)

Victory? US Real Average Hourly Earnings “Rise” To -0.8% YoY (Too Bad Real Home Prices Are Rising At 14.34% YoY Clip)

Good news on the wage front. Sort of .

US REAL average hourly earnings rose in September to -0.8% YoY.

Too bad that REAL home prices are growing at a 14.4% YoY clip.

The Federal Reserve’s new motto: making home unaffordable! With help from the US Treasury.

Just 194K Jobs Added In September Versus 500K Expected, Unemployment Rate Falls, Wages Rise (Mighty Biden Strikes Out)


Like the poem, Casey At The Bat, the US economy struck out with a shockingly bad jobs report for September.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville USA—mighty Casey Biden has struck out.

The U.S. economy added fewer jobs than forecast for a second straight month in September. Nonfarm payrolls increased by just 194,000 last month after an upwardly revised 366,000 gain in August, Labor Department figures showed Friday. 500K was expected.

The U-3 unemployment rate declined to 4.8% (meaning that the labor force shrank due to people dropping out of the labor force). In fact, 338,000 people dropped out of the labor force.

Average hourly earnings YoY rose to 4.6%. While that is an improvement, but it is lower than the inflation rate of 5.25% YoY and house price inflation of 20% YoY.

This miserable jobs report is a victory for Fed doves that don’t want to raise rates or slow down the balance sheet growth.

Where were the jobs created? Leisure and hospitality, as usual, leads in job gains.

Mighty Biden’s economic policies have struck out. Good night, Irene.

Stimulypto! US GDP Q3 Tracker Slumps To 2.3% Despite Massive Monetary Stimulus (Down From 13.7% On May 5th, 2021 Despite MORE Stimulus)

Can you say “All the king’s horses and all the king’s men ..” Or “All The Fed’s stimulus and all of Biden’s jobs bills ..”

Yes, the Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow Q3 tracker slumped to 2.3% despite the massive stimulus coming from The Federal Reserve and the Biden Administration. Down from 13.7% GDP growth as of 5/5/2021.

Fed Chair Powell calls inflation ‘frustrating’ (consumers call it ‘devastating’)

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell calls inflation ‘frustrating.”

Only a multi-millionaire like Powell would call it frustrating. Most US consumers would call it “devastating.”

Look at home prices, natural gas, gasoline and food prices since The Fed turned on the money pump to combat the Covid shutdown by government. Well, at least food price growth has slowed, but that is more that offset by natural gas (heating) costs skyrocketing.

Rent? That too has zoomed upwards, although Powell likely isn’t worried about his rent rising by 11.5%.

I wonder if Powell is frustrated by banks parking their money at the Fed’s reverse repo facility? Ninety-two participants on Thursday placed a total of $1.605 trillion at the Federal Reserve’s overnight reverse repurchase agreement facility, in which counterparties like money-market funds can place cash with the central bank. The previous record, set the day before, was $1.416 trillion. Thursday’s leap was the biggest one-day increase in usage since mid-June.

Biden blames “greed” for rising prices, Powell is “frustrated” by bottlenecks. But why pump trillions into the economy when you know there are bottlenecks? Or meatpacking firms are “greedy”?

Stimulypto! U.S. Rents Are Increasing at ‘Shocking’ Rates of More Than 11.5% (Newly-signed Leases Rose 17%)

So much for the transitory inflation that The Federal Reserve keeps spouting on about.

(Bloomberg) — The pace of rent increases is heating up in the U.S.

Rent data for the past two months show no sign yet of the usual seasonal dip at this time of year, following peaks early in the summer, when many lease renewals come due.

A Zillow Group Inc. index based on the mean of listed rents rose 11.5% in August from a year earlier, with some cities in Florida, Georgia and Washington state seeing increases of more than 25%. 

Since the start of the pandemic, the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment has soared 13.1% to $1,663, Zumper data show

But rent on newly-signed leases rose 17% from the previous tenant’s lease.

For the New York market, landlords are raising rent prices as much as 70% now that people are flooding back into the city as offices and entertainment venues open up. In July, the median asking rent in New York City surged to $3,000, compared with the pandemic low of $2,750 in January 2021, data from StreetEasy showed.

Of course, rent surge is not surprising given that home prices have surged since Covid given limited inventory and massive Fed stimulus.

Perhaps if The Fed and Federales (Federal government) start reducing their apocalyptic-level stimulus, THEN we will see inflation as transitory.

Mortgage Lender Offering 105% LTV Loan With $500 Down And Downpayment Assistance, FICO Down From 660 To 620 (Into The Storm!)

I call this “lending into the storm.”

A national mortgage lender has just introduced a 105 Loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loan and a lowering of FICO scores from 660 to 620.

Now, the loan still requires 97% LTV with downpayment assistance and gift funds permitted to boost CLTV to 105%.

With The Fed helping to raise home prices at a whopping 20% YoY, …

lenders are trying to find loan products for lower-income households so they can get in on the bubble! Hence, a 105% CLTV mortgage product with reduced credit requirements and increased Debt-to-income requirement rising from 43% to 45%. Also, borrowers can avoid the 3% downpayment requirement and put down only $500.

This is lending into the storm: softening of underwriting requirements as the house price bubble surges. Sound like 2005. This was not supposed to happen. After the housing bubble burst and the financial crisis, The Fed was supposed to encourage counter-cyclical lending (tighten credit standards as a housing bubble worsens). Instead, lenders are lowering credit standards, feeding the house price bubble.

If this was just one lender, I would have barely noticed. But this mortgage is being offered by most banks. And then sold to our GSEs: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Government mortgage giant Fannie Mae purchases these mortgages in their 3% down programs.

Eligibility and Terms

  • Desktop Underwriter® (DU®) underwriting required
  • 1-unit principal residence, including eligible condos, co-ops, PUDs, and MH Advantage® (Standard manufactured housing: max. 95% LTV/CLTV)
  • Fixed-rate mortgages with a maximum term of 30 years and ARMs are eligible (restrictions apply)
  • Reserves (if required per DU) may be gifted
  • Combined LTV up to 105% provided subordinate lien is an eligible Community Seconds® loan
  • Downpayment assistance found here.

Speaking of lending into a storm, as part of the raft of new legislation designed to spur first-time homeownership in America, a remarkable bill has joined the fray: its sponsors propose creating a new subsdizied 20-year-fixed-rate mortgage program through Ginnie Mae, HousingWire reports.

According to the bill, Ginnie Mae in tandem with the Department of the Treasury would subsidize the interest rate and origination fees associated with these 20-year mortgages, so that the monthly payment would be in line with a new 30-year FHA-insured mortgage. The move – which is an explicit subsidy of one share of the population by another – could, in theory, “allow qualified homebuyers to build equity-and wealth- at twice the rate of a conventional 30-year mortgage.” Instead, what it will do is lead to is an even bigger housing bubble.

As I said, lending into a storm.

US Home Price Growth Hits 20%! While Fed’s Inflation Target Is 2% (Phoenix AZ Growing At Whopping 32.4% YoY!)

The Federal Reserve is dominating the news today as two Fed regional Presidents have resigned (Rosengren [Boston] and Kaplan [Dallas]) for trading irregularities.

Speaking of The Fed, their target rate for inflation is 2%. Yet the Case-Shiller 20 metro home price index just rose to 20% YoY for July. Yes, house price growth is 10 times The Fed’s target rate!!

Now, it is September 28, so this is a report of happenings two months ago. Well, now you know why The Fed ignores housing despite being the largest asset is most household’s portfolio.

A measure of prices in 20 U.S. cities gained 19.9% in July. Phoenix led the way with a 32.4% surge. New York (17.8%), Boston (18.7%), Dallas (23.7%), Seattle (25.5%) and Denver (21.3%) were among the cities that posted record year-over-year increases.

The housing market is over, under, sideways, down thanks to The Fed pumping trillions into a market with limited available inventory.

The Fed is not talking about housing. Or the fact that home prices are growing at 10 times the rate of The Fed’s inflation target.

10-Year Yields Rise Above 1.5% as Central Banks Turn “Hawkish” (FAANG Stocks Trail S&P 500 As Rates Rise)

Central banks are turning “hawkish” in the face of inflation.

(Bloomberg) — Treasuries fell, sending 10-year yields to a three-month high, as traders braced for a testing week of heavy bond auctions and continued to digest the prospect that central banks in the U.S. and Europe will step up the pace of policy tightening.

The yield on 10-year Treasuries reached 1.51%, the highest since June, before settling at 1.48%. The yield has climbed 16 basis points over the past week as the Federal Reserve signaled it may start reducing its asset purchases in November and raising rates as soon as next year. Yields on two- and five-year Treasuries hit their highest levels since early 2020, with a combined $121 billion of the securities set to be sold Monday. A seven-year auction is due Tuesday. 

While Treasuries briefly extended the selloff after a report showed durable goods orders exceeded economists’ forecasts, they started to pare losses after U.S. equity futures soured. 

Bond yields increased across the globe last week as central banks move to reduce pandemic stimulus. The Bank of England surprised markets by raising the prospect of increasing rates as soon as November, and Norway delivered the first post-crisis hike among Group-of-10 countries. In the U.S., traders pulled forward wagers on an interest-rate increase to the end of 2022 following last week’s Fed meeting. 

On the equity side, FAANG stocks trail the S&P 500 as 10-year Treasury yield climb.

We have the 10-year Treasury yield climbing above the S&P 500 dividend yield.

Here are The Fed and The ECB turning “hawkish.”