MBS Investors

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to MBS Investors.

January 23, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

Low Rates, High Demand Power VA’s 3Q14 Surge

Production of loans with a VA guaranty was moderately strong in the third quarter of 2014, thanks to lower rates and increased demand for the no-downpayment loans, according to Inside FHA Lending’s analysis of the latest agency data. A 14.1 percent quarter-to-quarter surge helped the industry end last year’s first nine months with a total of $76.3 billion in VA loans, mostly purchase home mortgages taken out by a younger generation of war veterans. VA streamline refinancing also accounted for a substantial chunk of originations, 19.2 percent. Volume jumped from $19.5 billion in the first quarter of 2014 to $26.5 billion the following quarter. Lenders closed out the third quarter with $30.2 billion. Stanley Middleman, chief executive officer of Freedom Mortgage, said VA lending is on the upswing, driven by low interest rates. He thinks the VA home loan guaranty program has been ... [ 1 chart ]


January 23, 2015 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

REITs Pick Apart FHFA’s FHLBank Proposal

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s proposal to prohibit captive insurers from joining the Federal Home Loan Bank system included generalizations and inaccuracies, and it overstepped rulemaking boundaries, according to real estate investment trusts. The FHFA issued a proposed rule in September that would prohibit captive insurance companies from joining the FHLBank system. At least seven REITs have used captive insurers to gain access to ...


January 23, 2015 - Inside MBS & ABS

Residential Mortgage REIT Profitability Rebounded in 2014. But Is the Party Over?

Real estate investment trusts focused on the residential mortgage market had a stellar year in 2014, returning 19.4 percent to investors, a nice comeback from the year before when performance was measured at negative 12.7 percent. According to figures compiled by the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, commercial financing REITs fared a bit worse, returning 14.5 percent compared to a mouth-watering yield of 41.8 percent in 2013. But now both sectors face...


January 22, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

With Mortgage IPOs on Hold, Subordinated Debt Issues and Other Instruments May Bloom

Investment banking firms that arrange subordinated debt offerings for mortgage originators are expecting a strong year in 2015, thanks in part to the dismal outlook for initial public offerings. “Sub debt is a good way to grow your business without it being dilutive to your company,” said Bill Dallas, CEO and founder of Skyline Lending, a lender that recently completed a $20 million deal with Ellington Financial, a publicly traded mortgage real estate investment trust. “It allows...


January 15, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

REITs Push Back Against Proposal to Exclude Captive Insurers from FHLBank Membership

The Federal Housing Finance Agency overstepped its authority when it proposed excluding captive insurers from obtaining membership in the Federal Home Loan Bank System, according to captive insurance companies. Real estate investment trusts – including Redwood Trust and Two Harbors Investment – have used captive insurance companies to gain access to FHLBank financing. “The proposed membership regulations would needlessly exclude an entire category of statutorily permitted members that can further the FHLBank System’s mission as the mortgage finance market continually evolves,” Redwood Trust said in a comment letter to the FHFA. The FHFA issued...


January 9, 2015 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

Prepayment Penalties Could Help Non-Agency MBS

More investors would be willing to buy new non-agency mortgage-backed securities if loans in the deals had prepayment penalties, according to an industry analyst. The penalties offer investors protection, but their use has been limited by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s ability-to-repay rule, among other factors. Lawrence White, a professor and deputy chair in economics at the New York University Stern School of Business, suggested that the non-agency MBS market would see increased demand from investors, particularly insurance companies, if loans in non-agency MBS included prepayment penalties. “These institutions have largely stayed...


January 9, 2015 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

Jumbo MBS Issuance Increases Toward End Of 2014, Falls Well Short of Peak Seen in 2013

The strong growth in issuance of jumbo mortgage-backed securities seen since 2010 stumbled in 2014, according to a new ranking and analysis by Inside Nonconforming Markets. Some $9.79 billion in jumbo MBS were issued last year, down 25.4 percent from activity in 2013. Issuance has been constrained by bank portfolio demand for jumbo mortgages. The spike in interest rates in 2013 led to nine months of very low issuance. Rates have since fallen and a number of new jumbo MBS issuers have entered the market, but quarterly volume has struggled to reach the levels seen in early 2013. Those looking for a silver lining could...[Includes one data chart]


January 9, 2015 - Inside MBS & ABS

Ambac Whacks BofA With a New MBS Lawsuit, Credit Suisse’s and Wells Fargo’s MBS Woes Mount

Bank of America’s never-ending litigation woes spilled into 2015 as Ambac Assurance hit the bank with a new lawsuit related to toxic mortgages. Credit Suisse and Wells Fargo also welcomed the new year facing MBS lawsuits. According to analysts at Stone Fox Capital, an investment advisory firm, Ambac is claiming $600 million in losses, which arose from insuring approximately $1.7 billion in MBS transactions from 2005 to 2007. The MBS were issued by Countrywide Financial, which BofA acquired in 2008 and has been the principal cause of its legal headaches ever since. Ambac emerged...


January 9, 2015 - Inside MBS & ABS

Basel Committee Suggests Reduced Reliance on Credit Ratings for Bank Capital Requirements

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision recently proposed replacing credit ratings with loan-characteristic metrics for determining capital requirements on bank holdings of residential MBS and commercial MBS. Federal regulators in the U.S. note that the proposal is preliminary and any changes to U.S. capital requirements will go through a notice and comment process separate from the BCBS’ activity. The current standardized approach established by Basel for determining capital requirement riskweights prescribes the use of external credit ratings for residential MBS and commercial MBS, among other holdings by banks subject to capital requirements. “While acknowledging that credit rating agencies play an important role in financial markets and that external credit assessments provide valuable information that may assist in the analysis of credit risk exposures, the hard-wiring of external credit assessments into standards, laws and regulations may often lead...


January 9, 2015 - Inside MBS & ABS

Investors Continue to Bid Up the Price of Agency MBS; 105-Plus for a Fannie 3.5 Percent MBS

MBS investors this week continued to bid up the price of agency product in the wake of rock-bottom oil prices and economic fears about Asia, Europe and any oil-producing nation that relies too heavily on the energy sector. According to figures compiled by MBS Quoteline, at one point this week investors were paying 105.10 for Fannie Mae MBS with a coupon of 3.5 percent. Back in October the bid on the Fannie 3.5 was a mere 101.83. “Who would pay 105...


December 19, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Ocwen Reports FHA Buyouts from Ginnie II Pools

Ocwen Financial’s dry spell of acquiring nonperforming FHA loans out of Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities pools ended in early December with the nonbank servicing giant buying $253.1 million of delinquent product. Speculation, however, is mounting that Ocwen may not be long for the Ginnie Mae business, at least as a servicer. Ocwen’s disclosure of the “early” FHA buyouts came 11 days after it sold to an undisclosed buyer. In the first quarter, the company engaged in $646 million of early buyouts (EBO) and followed up with a $490 million EBO deal in the second quarter. However, EBO volume fell to zero in the third quarter. The December acquisition came in one fell swoop raising cautious, short-term expectations at Ocwen. “We expect to execute more such purchases in the next few months, as long as market conditions are favorable,” said Chief Investment Officer John Britti. As fast as it had ...


December 19, 2014 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

Field of Jumbo MBS Issuers Growing, Attracting Investors Still a Problem

The number of issuers offering jumbo mortgage-backed securities will increase in 2015, according to analysts at various rating services, but total issuance volume isn’t expected to grow by much compared with this year. Attracting investors willing to purchase AAA tranches of jumbo MBS remains a key obstacle. Some $5.4 billion in jumbo MBS were issued during the first three quarters in 2014, according to Inside Nonconforming Markets, including $3.1 billion in the third quarter ...


December 19, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Bankruptcy Court Refuses to Raise Lehman’s Legacy Reserves, Hearing on JPM’s $4.5B Settlement Begins

A federal bankruptcy judge last week ruled against increasing Lehman Brothers’ reserves for residential MBS claims. The ruling by Judge Shelley Chapman of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York was a setback for investors and trustees who asked the court in August to increase Lehman’s current reserves of $5 billion to $12.1 billion in a bid to force the defunct investment bank to repurchase legacy MBS., according to a Barclay’s Research report. The lawsuit against Lehman alleges...


December 19, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

REITs that Focused on Residential MBS See Promise in Commercial MBS Market

Two real estate investment trusts that have focused their efforts on residential MBS recently announced plans to enter the commercial MBS market. The moves come as issuance of residential MBS has been subdued since the financial crisis while issuance of commercial MBS activity has been soaring in recent years. PennyMac Financial Services announced this month that it formed PennyMac Commercial Real Estate Finance. The business will focus on loans that finance multifamily and other commercial real estate with a typical value of under $10 million. PennyMac said it plans for its REIT, PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust, to acquire and securitize the commercial mortgages. “The opportunity in this market is...


December 19, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Global Coalition of Securities Regulators Proposes Standards for Simple, Transparent Securities

A coalition of global securities-market regulators proposed criteria late last week to assist the financial industry’s development of “simple, transparent and comparable” securitization structures. The proposed criteria from the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and the International Organization of Securities Commissions would apply to many types of MBS and ABS. The extent of involvement by the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding the proposed criteria is unclear. The SEC declined to comment on the proposal and the Bank for International Settlements wouldn’t reveal the members of the taskforce that worked to develop it. However, the SEC is a member of IOSCO and the agency noted that standards issued by IOSCO become the benchmark against which an IOSCO member’s regulatory practices are assessed. The BCBS and IOSCO said...


December 19, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

MBS Prices Hit Highs for the Year as Gas Plummets; Time to Get Out of the Market?

Defying the expectations of most industry analysts, investors have bid up the price of agency MBS over the past two weeks, pushing values into nosebleed territory. According to figures compiled by MBS Quoteline, the price of the Fannie Mae 3.50 percent bond recently reached 104.4. “This week and last week we saw new highs,” said Joe Farr, director of sales and marketing for the company. And that has made...


December 19, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Fed Reinvestment into Agency MBS Continues As Attention Shifts to Eventual Rise in Rates

The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee held its last meeting of the year this week, keeping the federal funds target rate steady and continuing to reinvest principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and MBS into agency MBS and rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction. Most of the pre-meeting buzz among investors was whether the FOMC would tweak or replace its boilerplate language about waiting “a considerable time” before moving to end its zero interest rate policy and begin “normalizing” rates. It did...


December 19, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

In a Stalled MBS Market, Most of the Heavy Hitters Increased Their Holdings in 3Q14

The outstanding supply of agency single-family MBS continued to grow at a subdued pace during the third quarter of 2014, and the biggest investor classes did most of the heavy lifting funding the market, according to a new Inside MBS & ABS analysis. On the supply side, there were $5.632 trillion of single-family MBS guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae outstanding at the end of September. That was up just 0.4 percent from the previous quarter but had enough growth rings to show a 1.2 percent gain from a year ago. As has been the case for the past few years, the Ginnie MBS market grew...[Includes two data chart]


December 18, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Mortgage Financing for Home Purchases Gaining Share from Cash Financing on a Yearly Basis

As the share of investors purchasing homes declines, mortgage financing continues to take market share from cash financing for home purchases, according to the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey. Non-cash financing was used on 72.4 percent of home purchases in November, based on a three-month moving average. That’s up from a 70.7 percent share in November 2013 and a share as low as 66.9 percent in March 2012. Prior to the housing crisis, the non-cash share of total home sales averaged...


December 18, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

CBO Projects Lenders Will Shift Some of Their Business Away from the GSEs in Coming Years

Lenders are likely to shift some of their business away from the government-sponsored enterprises and into the non-agency market in the coming years, regardless of GSE reform efforts, according to a report released this week by the Congressional Budget Office. “With house prices expected to trend upward, the balance sheets of lenders and investors should improve, as should borrowers’ financial positions,” the nonpartisan provider of analysis for Congress said. “Consequently, CBO projects that private companies will become more willing to make new loans and demand lower fees to compensate for the credit risks they take, which will reduce Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s pricing advantage over their private competitors.” If the private sector bears more mortgage credit risk, the CBO said...


December 18, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Subservicing Volumes Stay Relatively Flat, But Big Drops for BofA, Nationstar, Ocwen

The nation’s subservicers, as a whole, reported a modest decline in their business volume during the third quarter, though some firms experienced large declines compared to a year ago, according to exclusive survey figures from Inside Mortgage Finance. The biggest year-over-year decline came at Bank of America, which had just $5 billion in subservicing contracts at Sept. 30, a 78.3 percent drop compared to the same period last year. BofA’s decline in the subservicing sector is...[Includes one data chart]


Poll

The FHA is cutting its annual premium by 50 basis points. How much of a difference will this cut make in your FHA business?

Not much at all—maybe 10 percent at best.
Modestly. We expect a 10 percent to 25 percent gain in applications.
This is a real game changer, 25 percent or better.
Hard to say. This cut may just steal business away from the new Fannie/Freddie 97 LTV effort.

vote to see results
Housing Pulse