Roll Day: Why Do Longer Lock Periods Cost More?


June Freddie and Fannie 30 year fixed MBS coupon have begun the
settlement process and it will soon look like MBS prices just plummeted.


Today is Class
A Notification Day
in the secondary mortgage market. 
“Notification” is part of the “allocations” process, in which pools are
delivered against TBA trades at settlement. Class A MBS coupons consist
of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac 30 year passthroughs.  (Class B is
comprised of all 15-year fixed pools; class C consists of 30-year Ginnie
Is and IIs.)  The MBS coupons that determine rate sheet pricing are
traded in the TBA MBS market.   Settlement days in each month are
determined by SIFMA.

TBA = To be Announced.
In the TBA market, at the time a
trade is made, buyers and sellers agree to a few specific terms like
what coupon, the issuing agency (Fannie, Freddie, Ginnie), size of
trade, and  the trade price….the actual pools of loans are NOT
allocated at the time of this commitment. Instead, the MBS buyer and the
seller make an agreement to complete the transaction at a later date.
In the MBS market this date is pre-determined; it is called SETTLEMENT
DAY .   These dates are also known as “good-day settlement”.

Agency TBA MBS trades typically settle once a
month.  Two
days before the pre-scheduled settlement date, the MBS seller
“notifies” the MBS buyer of the specific pools that they will deliver to
satisfy the previously agreed upon terms of the trade.

is Fannie Mae’s guidance
: “Forty-eight hours prior to
settlement, pool information must be communicated to the Capital Markets
Sales Desk’s back office by phone (            202-752-5384      ), facsimile
(202-752-3439), or via EPN transmission. Delivery of pool information
must take place by 3:00 p.m. eastern time. It is advisable that pool
information is communicated early as phone lines, fax machines, and the
EPN queues are extremely taxed as the 3:00 p.m. deadline approaches. If
the transmission does not occur by 3:00 p.m., one day’s fail will be
incurred, despite the fact the information is residing in queue.”

the MBS buyer reviews the pool information to ensure the seller has
delivered loans that meet the agreed upon terms.  48 hours later, after
being deemed to within “Good Delivery” guidelines, pool purchase funds
are wired and the trade is complete (it goes deeper…this is the


Pipeline hedgers are able to open MBS trades for multiple settlement
months. There is a front-month settlement coupon and a back-month
settlement coupon. Today the front month coupon
is for June loan delivery and the back month is for July loan delivery. Tomorrow,
because today is “notification day”,  front month delivery will be for
July and
back month will become August. (BACK MONTH COUPONS DICTATE LOAN PRICING

Prices don’t really “fall” like they would in a selloff though. The price
decline reflects the fact that  the front month is changing.  This is
because the front month coupon has just begun the settlement process and
the back month has about 30 more days until it settles.   The reason
that prices for the different months are different is because the
economics are different.  Buying for front-month settlement means that
the investor owns and receives the principal and interest cash flows for
that month.  Investors that buy for the back month forgo those net
benefits; therefore the back month price is generally lower.  (The
difference between the two months is called “the drop.”)  This is
discussed in more depth below.

is the current June settlement FNCL 4.0 MBS coupon. It’s bid at
101-02. Before the day is done we will roll to July delivery and the
price of the front-month coupon will seem to fall to 100-22.

Why 100-22? That’s where the July  delivery FNCL 4.0 is currently bid. This
is where prices will seem to have fallen in the chart above when the roll is initiated on trading screens. The July coupon has actually been trading for two-months.

 The main reason behind the price
“DROP” is the lost “time value of money”.

Interest rates can be
thought of in three ways..

  1. Required Rate of  Return: this is the minimum amount of
    return an investor is willing to receive when making an investment.
  2. Discount Rate: the rate used to determine the present value
    of future cash flows. When you loan someone money with the intention of
    being paid back in the future, you must place a value on how much of a
    premium you are losing by not spending that money right now. The
    discount rate is essentially how much you are charging to delay
    repayment until a future date.
  3. Opportunity Cost: the value an investor passes up when
    choosing an alternate investment. You must earn enough interest when you
    loan someone money to compensate for the loss of income that you could
    have been earning by investing elsewhere.

LET ME POSE A QUESTION: Would you rather have $1.00 today or
$1.00 tomorrow?

You would rather have $1.00 today! If you have
$1.00 today you can invest it today…the fact you are investing
today vs. tomorrow implies you are giving the asset more time to
appreciate, more time to accumulate interest earned (ACCRUE).

relate this concept to the MBS market—if you buy the June FNCL 4.0

coupon, then your returns will begin accruing on June 1. If you buy
the July coupon—your returns don’t start accruing until July 1.
That means
you would have to wait 21 days (from today) for your cash to begin
accruing interest.  Investing now, before the roll,  puts money to work
now, or in
today’s case, on June 1.

Starting tomorrow, because the June coupon has already entered into the
settlement process, MBS investors will have to wait until July 1 to see
their funds accrue interest. To compensate for the lost Time Value of
Money, investors demand higher MBS yields. This lost time value of money
is discounted via a lower back month coupon price (in this case the July delivery coupon).

Note: to be clear, the previous owner
rights to the income (accrued interest) earned from while they owned the
coupon. The price you pay to purchase the back month coupon includes
the income the current owner has accrued while they owned the coupon.
The buyer recovers the added premium when  the coupon payment is
deposited in their account. This is called the ‘clean price’…it’s the
same way Treasuries trade.

and Simple:
  If you own the June FNCL 4.0 MBS coupon, then you

are entitled to the coupon clips (income) paid in June. If you decided
buy the July MBS coupon…then you have to wait until July for
your investment to start accruing interest. To compensate for the lost
“time value of money”, investors demand higher yields, which is why
prices fall when delivery rolls from front month to back month. (not
including any profit earned from price movement)

explains why 60 and 90 day locks are more expensive. The longer the
lock commitment period, the more it costs the lender to hedge
interest-rate volatility and fall out risk.


You won’t notice the effects tomorrow. Lenders have been building
loan pricing based on the July coupon for several weeks now.  
Lenders must roll earlier because secondary desks are lower in the MBS
supply chain and need to deliver their closed loans to investors with
enough time to allow for post-closing/pre-purchase review. I’ll probably roll forward to the August delivery Class A MBS
coupon in the next few days.

Leave a Reply