In the past few months, recent-vintage FNMA Major pools have shown significant acceleration in prepay speeds, significantly impacting TBA prices and dollar rolls. In our August report, we showed a progression of ever faster WALA ramps on FNMA Major pools1. In this installment, we update that behavior using data from Edge, the online prepayment graphing tool.

We start with a population of recent FNMA Majors and generate WALA ramps at loan level, to capture the precise behavior of the WALA ramp. In the first chart, we show loans from Majors that are 75-125bp in the money, approximately TBA 4s, over three different time periods:

  1. August 2018 to July 2019 (“baseline”)
  2. August-September 2019
  3. October 2019

In October, aggregate speeds on Majors hit a new high of 60 CPR for loans in the 9-10 WALA range. More troubling: the tail of the WALA ramp moved higher by roughly 5 CPR. This acceleration impacts carry in the 12mo+ seasoning range and is a potential negative for valuations in the TBA sector.

Graph: Speeds on loans from FN Major pools, holding refi incentive 75-125bp over three different periods.

In the next graph, we use Edge to isolate loans in Major pools that are 25-75bp in the money (approximately 3.5s). Similar to 4s, the progression in the aging curve shows the same story: a faster tail for loans 10+ months seasoned.

WALA Curve and Prepayment Speeds Graph

Graph: Speeds on loans from FN Major pools, holding refinancing incentive 25-75bp over three different periods.

We next look at the change in prepayment speeds from the Aug-Sep period to October and attribute that change to the origination channel. On average, FNMA Major pools are 50:50 Retail origination versus TPO, and we break down the speed contribution into these two groups. In the analysis below, we look at the speed change in each WALA bucket.

For Major 3.5s, the TPO loans accelerated more than the Retail origination loans. But in Major 4.0s, the speeds increased almost equally across each bucket.


In summary, the WALA ramp for TPO is more sensitive than Retail loans when refinancing incentive is small. But when loans are far enough in the money the increase in the WALA ramps are evenly distributed across origination channel.

We continue to monitor the ever-accelerating speeds on FNMA Majors and Freddie Giants, but the trend is clear – the fastest, cheapest to deliver TBA continues to be faster for longer. This makes the ongoing analysis of prepays, whether specified pools or non-spec deliverables, more important that it has been in previous rate cycles.

If you interested in seeing variations on this theme, contact us. Using Edge, we can examine any loan characteristic and generate a S-curve, WALA ramp, or time series.

1See RiskSpan for a similar analysis on newer WALA multi-lender Giants