CMO Market Update
April 4, 2022
Last week brought the end of March and the conclusion of Q1 2022. Yields on short- to intermediate-maturity Treasury bonds continued moving up aggressively last month. The 3-5 year part of the curve is a sweet spot for most of our customers active in the CMO space, and buyers have been taking advantage of higher yields.
Projected yields on customer purchases rose above 2.50% last month, a new high since 2020. This came with some extension out on the curve, but still well within historical norms. The biggest change in customer buying patterns has been continued migration up the coupon stack. Most customer activity in this sector is taking place in the 2.50% – 3.00% coupon range, with still a decent amount of trades in 2.00% – 2.25% coupon bonds. This is in stark contrast to activity seen in 2020 and most of 2021, when 1.00% coupons and lower were in high demand as investors took a defensive stance towards prepayment risk.
March was yet another month in which fixed-rate coupons dominated CMO activity. However, the trade desk saw floating-rate activity increase for the second consecutive month, up to 12%. In terms of structure, Sequentials outpaced PACs, accounting for over 70% of trades.
While multifamily collateral is not included in the data below, it is still noteworthy that there was strong customer demand for CMBS product last month, particularly Freddie Ks and Fannie Mae Aces. For market data and analytics on sectors and product types, please see our weekly Investment Alternatives Matrix.
Travis Nauert, CFA
Analyst, Investment Strategies