Prepay Commentary

April 2020 MBS Prepayment Speeds

April factors were recently released (reflecting activity in March), and prepayment speeds increased markedly from February. If you are wondering how prepayments could have increased, given everything that is going on, below is a table summarizing the timing of prepayments.

Last month I wrote that I’d expect prepayments to increase/remain elevated for the next couple months (April and May) as mortgage rates were overall lower. So far that has played out in April, and if we consider the table above, I think there is a compelling case to be made for speeds at least remaining elevated in May as well.

I called Covid-19 a wild-card last month in terms of future activity. It now seems a foregone conclusion that, in June, we are going to see prepayments slower than we would normally expect. Decreased housing turnover, social distancing, job losses, qualifying for a mortgage, forbearance, all these things should pressure prepayments down.

Fed Starts Purchasing MBS

Also, since our last publication, the Fed has instituted several asset purchase programs designed to provide liquidity to markets. One of which, is the Agency MBS market as spreads careened out of control.

No doubt, Fed purchases have caused prices to increase and spreads to tighten. Here are a couple examples.

Food for Thought

I mentioned forbearances earlier, without a doubt, this is the single most-talked-about topic in the mortgage market today. Currently, there is still much unknown, other than forbearances are being granted, to know exactly how this will play out. This will put stress on servicers (especially non-bank servicers), though how much remains to be seen. Essentially, the issue boils down to timing. Servicers may have to forward more payments than their liquidity position can handle, even if they will be reimbursed. I want to focus on investors in Fannie and Freddie MBS and what we know.

Mortgage Rates – Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey

What We’re Reading

Housing Wire: Broad coalition of mortgage industry and housing associations call for liquidity facility for servicers

“Fifteen financial industry trade associations and affordable housing advocate groups issued a joint statement on Saturday calling on the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Federal Reserve and the Department of the Treasury to establish a liquidity facility for servicers as a follow up to the mortgage forbearance provided by the CARES Act.”

Bloomberg: U.S. Holds Off on Extending Virus Aid to Mortgage Servicers

“But members of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, a panel of regulators led by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, have discussed holding off on setting up such a program to see if other policies put in place recently effectively ease liquidity shortfalls, said the people who requested anonymity because the talks are private.”

Vining Sparks: Prepayment Models: Whey They matter | Best Practices | What We Provide

This is a short presentation looking at the use of prepayment models and how they have evolved over time. A good prepayment model should help you better understand the risks of an investment. No prepayment model is perfect; after all, they are trying to predict the future. However, some are more robust than others and will take pool specific attributes into account such as, geographies, loan balances, and even who the servicer is.

Prepayment Speeds

Notables – Excludes vintages of marginal size

UMBS Speeds by Vintage Year

FGLMC Speeds by Vintage Year

GNMA Speeds by Vintage Year

Kevin A. Smith, CFA

SVP, Director Investment Product Strategies

Vining Sparks

Adam Hofer

Analyst, Investment Product Strategies

Vining Sparks

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