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Have you checked out HSH's new Home Value Tracker? See what's happening with home values in more than 400 metro areas!

Have you checked out HSH's new Home Value Tracker? See what's happening with home values in more than 400 metro areas!

HSH in the news - 2021

November 18, 2021: "Want to buy a home? Making this move first can save you thousands of dollars: Mortgage expert" an article covering current mortgage-borrowing conditions by Kiersten Schmidt included a link to HSH's "How much house can I Afford?" calculator as well as expertise from HSH.com's vice president Keith Gumbinger:

If you want to buy a house but are worried about being able to afford one, don’t forget about an important tool that will help you get that dream home: a high credit score.
"If you really are interested in buying yourself a home, getting your credit rating as high as it can possibly be really does come into play," says Keith Gumbinger, vice president at mortgage research site HSH.com.
This is where your credit score comes into play.
"For the most part, a higher credit score means a lower mortgage rate, a lower rate means a lower monthly payment, and a lower monthly payment means your income can support a larger mortgage," says Gumbinger.
Let’s consider a potential homebuyer with an annual income of $80,000, $20,000 saved for a down payment, monthly debt obligations of $300, and an excellent credit score of 760. According to FICO, this homebuyer could qualify for a rate of 2.744% on a 30-year fixed loan. Based on those parameters, among others, HSH estimates that homebuyer could afford a $319,000 mortgage.

November 5, 2021: "Where We Stand!", a Real Estate Today podcast from the National Association of Realtors hosted by Stephen Gasque featured a review of mortgage rate and home financing conditions for the rest of 2021 and into 2022 provided by Keith Gumbinger, HSH.com's vice president.

October 22, 2021: "How much money is too much to spend on housing each month?" a Grow.Acorns/CNBC discussion and calculation tool by Kiersten Schmidt included comments and expertise from Keith Gumbinger, HSH.com's vice president:

Whether you’re renting or buying, Gumbinger says keeping housing costs to 25%-30% of your budget can be "just terribly unrealistic" for many people today. "That’s kind of the bad news," he says. Still, "spending as little as you possibly can on your housing is the ultimate goal."
Boost your credit score: "If you’re really interested in buying yourself a home, get your credit rating as high as it can possibly be," says Gumbinger.
Reduce other debts: Mortgage lenders look at required monthly payments, not total debt, Gumbinger says.
In the end, you may have to adjust your expectations to find a home in your budget. Consider extending your search area or buying a smaller home. Compromise is the key, Gumbinger says. "You really don’t have any control over what’s for sale in the marketplace. All you can buy is what there is at a price you can afford."
And if buying a home would put you in difficult financial straits, it might not be the best choice right now. Consider renting for a while longer, even if prices go up, Gumbinger says, so that you can get yourself into a better circumstance.
"You might see out there that it’s a great time to buy a home, and it can be, but it’s a challenging time to buy a home," he says

September 27, 2021: "An unexpected Costco member perk", an Acorns/CNBC look at a warehouse shopping club membership benefit by Gabriel Cortés featured comments and context from HSH.com vice president Keith Gumbinger:

In addition to the discounts it gives shoppers for buying in bulk, Costco offers its members an array of services, from travel planning to insurance quotes to kitchen remodeling. For many of those programs, Costco itself isn’t actually completing the service for the customer. It’s merely connecting its members to third-party vendors.
That’s the case for their mortgages and refinancing services, too. Costco serves as the platform where outside lenders can bid for customers; the store itself is not underwriting or lending, says Keith Gumbinger, vice president at HSH.com.
Even though Costco’s mortgage service will show you multiple lenders offering competitive rates, it’s still important you do your research, experts say, starting with an old-fashioned internet search.
Costco’s "marketplace may provide opportunities to work with lenders with no physical presence in a member’s area, so that might broaden search horizons a bit, if at the expense of any sit-down, face-to-face interaction with a loan officer," Gumbinger says, but "this opportunity would likely be best as part of a more comprehensive search of both local lenders and national brands."

September 24, 2021: "The Fall Market", a Real Estate Today podcast from the National Association of Realtors by Stephen Gasque included a purchase- and refinance-mortgage market review, commentary and analysis from Keith Gumbinger, HSH.com's vice president.

September 3, 2021: "Ten most/least expensive cities to buy a median-priced home", a The Real Deal extract of HSH data on housing costs by Holden Walter-Warner used data and calculations from HSH.com to review homebuying conditions across the country:

A study from HSH.com sought out the most and least expensive metro areas in the United States, based on mortgage payments for a median-priced home. HSH.com calculated the data using second-quarter data from the National Association of Realtors and mortgage rates from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
Using a standard 28 percent front-end debt ratio and 20 percent down payment, HSH.com discovered the most affordable of the 50 biggest metros in the United States is Pittsburgh. To qualify for a mortgage to buy a $175,000 home, one would need a salary of $38,274, resulting in a monthly payment of just over $893.
Ranking second in affordability is Oklahoma City ($41,739 income required), followed by Cleveland ($44,089), Louisville ($44,314) and Memphis ($47,272). The cities rounding out the 10 least expensive are Indianapolis, St. Louis, Buffalo, Birmingham and Cincinnati. None demand an income greater than $50,000 to afford a mortgage on a median-price home.

September 2, 2021: "Can You Still Afford a Mortgage?", a New York Times review of national and metro area home affordability by Michael Kolomatsky included a range of data and calculations from HSH.com:

With the quick escalation of home prices during the pandemic, it’s become increasingly difficult to qualify for a typical mortgage. This week we return to the quarterly report from HSH.com, which breaks down the annual income required to qualify for a mortgage in the country’s 50 largest metropolitan areas.

August 19, 2021: Data Dive: Income needed to buy a home in Sacramento reaches peak levels", a Sacramento Business Journal look at local homebuying costs by Renata Geraldo featured current and historical local affordability data from HSH:

Home prices in the Sacramento region are requiring ever-higher incomes to afford, even with interest rates near record lows.
With home prices recently posting the largest year-over-year increases since 2016, buyers need to earn at least $84,178.02 to comfortably afford a $465,000 home, the median price in Sacramento, according to mortgage analysis firm HSH.com. Last year, the income needed was $77,579.92 for Sacramento's median-priced home, according to data compiled by HSH.com and provided to the Business Journal.

July 19, 2021: "Why the Lowest Rates You See Aren't What You'll Get", a Time/NextAdvisor look at mortgage market pricing by Jason Stauffer included some context from Keith Gumbinger, HSH.com's vice president:

Take advertised rates with a grain of salt
Advertised rates are never guaranteed. "[Advertised rates] are generally going to be the best possible rates to the best possible candidates with the best possible credentials," says Keith Gumbinger, vice president of the mortgage information site HSH.com. This won't apply for most people, Gumbinger says. When you see rates listed publicly, there is usually fine print that lays out the type of borrower those rates could apply to, such as someone with a 740+ credit score, 20%+ down payment, who is purchasing a single-family primary residence.

July 16, 2021: "HSH Provides Insights on How Credit Can Help or Hinder the Homebuying Experience", a BadCredit.org long-form feature discussion with Adam West and HSH.com VP Keith Gumbinger on the importance of getting your credit in shape when buying a home or refinancing:

"Right now, the housing market is a challenging place," said Keith Gumbinger, Vice President at HSH, a mortgage research platform. "Interest rates are very favorable, but there’s a lot of demand out there and not a lot of supply, and home prices are rising appreciably."
All of this makes for an especially competitive housing market. Higher prices also mean that potential homebuyers must qualify for larger loans. And to do that, they need assets, income, and a strong credit score.
"Getting your credit organized is probably the key if you want to engage in the housing market," Gumbinger said. "If your credit is not good, it’s not easy to borrow money these days. Good credit borrowers are well served. But for those folks further on down the ladder, not only does it get more expensive, it gets harder to find any responses from lenders."

July 8, 2021: "Mortgage Rates Are Their Lowest in Months. Will They Stay This Way?", a Barron's market update on mortgage rates by Shaina Mishkin included a quip from HSH.com VP Keith Gumbinger:

Keith Gumbinger, vice president at mortgage website HSH.com, said mortgage rates could continue to fall in the immediate future, "but the fundamentals that support higher rates remain in place."

July 5, 2021: "5 Real Estate Experts Predict Where Mortgage Rates Are Heading Next", a Money a long-range forecast for mortgage rates by Brenda Richardson includes an outlook from HSH.com vice president Keith Gumbinger:

Keith Gumbinger
Who he is: Vice president of HSH.com, a mortgage information website
What he expects: Mortgage rates will firm somewhat - perhaps reaching 3.4% or so in the next three or four quarters - as the economy continues to grow smartly and inflation remains elevated for at least a while.
His reasoning: Upward movement for mortgage rates will be tempered by several factors. These include stabilizing price pressures over time and the effects of both uncertainty and potential economic drag from changing tax and regulatory policies. The Fed will likely follow its 2015-2018 blueprint for tapering purchases of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities, slowing and then halting the bond-buying program in gradual steps so as not to alarm financial markets.

July 1, 2021: "Mortgage Rates in the U.S. Slip, With 30-Year Loans at 2.98%", a Bloomberg News look at changing conditions for mortgage rates my Maria Heeter included some brief analysis from Keith Gumbinger, HSH.com's vice president:

"We're wandering in a very narrow range," said Keith Gumbinger, vice president at HSH.com. "Mortgage rates have been very stable, and surprisingly so, given that the economy is growing, given that there are inflation pressures that are evident out in the world."

June 30, 2021: "TBJ Plus: The salary you need to buy a home in Raleigh", a Triangle Business Journal review of homebuying costs and conditions by David Purtell utilized calculations for the market from HSH.com:

The Salary You Need To Buy A Home In Raleigh: So you want to buy a home in the Triangle's sizzling housing market where demand is soaring and supply is virtually non-existent? Well, here's how much you need to earn to make the plunge.
A new report from HSH.com, which provides data on mortgage rates, breaks down how much homebuyers in the nation's 50 largest metros need to make annually to afford the principal, interest, tax and insurance payments on a median-priced home. The report uses data for home prices from the first quarter this year.
For Raleigh, the annual salary for a $346,700 home is $61,972. That covers a 30-year fixed mortgage rate of 3.04 percent and a 20 percent down payment for a monthly payment of $1,446. At 10 percent down, the salary figure jumps to $72,500.
The $61K figure is a 6.5 percent increase year-over-year, according to HSH, while the area's home prices are up 1.79 percent since Q4 2020. Raleigh's salary is close to the national figure of $61,542. Charlotte's salary is $56,600 for a home priced at $320,000.

June 25, 2021: "Financial Crisis Scars Tie Up $8.1 Trillion in U.S. Home Equity", a Bloomberg News review of emerging home equity building and borrowing conditions by Max Reyes featured commentary by HSH.com vice president Keith Gumbinger:

But despite the roaring housing market and economic recovery, lenders are still keeping a tight grip on home equity lines of credit, or Helocs, a primary way borrowers can turn value stored in a home into cash. Chalk it up to lessons learned from the last real estate crash, and other options for homeowners that may be less costly given today’s historically low mortgage rates.
"Many banks are still wary of the risks of making home-equity lines of credit," said Keith Gumbinger, vice president at mortgage-information company HSH.com. "For both banks and borrowers, cash-out refinancing can offer a very viable alternative for accessing the growing equity in their homes."

June 11, 2021: "Secrets of the Pros", a Real Estate Today podcast from the National Association of Realtors by Stephen Gasque included expert level tips and tweaks when getting a mortgage from Keith Gumbinger, HSH.com's vice president.

May 12, 2021: "Your Money's Worth podcast" , a Kiplinger long-form discussion on growing and using home equity between David Muhlbam, Sandra Block and HSH.com VP Keith Gumbinger:

Keith Gumbinger: Well, that's definitely where the increase in home equity to that $7.3 trillion has come from, especially in the last couple of years. Home prices have just been skyrocketing. I think the NAR reported March to March existing homes were 17% more expensive this year than last year. And that was on top of a double-digit increase the year before. So if you bought a home within the last couple of years, your equity has been coming up very quickly, mostly due to that fast home price appreciation.
Sandy Block: Because of this big increase in home equity, some people have had concerns about a bubble. They've been talking about making comparisons to 2008, but it looks like that's really not the case now. Not so many people are underwater anymore. Is that right, Keith?
Keith Gumbinger: That's absolutely correct. In fact, from the last downturn in real estate, which is now almost 15 years ago, very few people that actually bought homes at the peak might be still technically underwater in terms of their home value.
Read the transcript or listen to the podcast on Audible.

May 12, 2021: " Reverse Mortgages Have Evolved into Much Better Loans", a Reverse Mortgage Daily market update by Chris Clow included some commentary from Keith Gumbinger, HSH.com vice president:

"For a lot of borrowers, [reverse mortgages] can provide a great level of comfort and flexibility," Gumbinger says. "If you are someone who is, and I wouldn’t say simply living on Social Security, but whose retirement assets are meager, and if you’re in an expensive part of the world, and certainly on the coasts, very expensive, those tax bills come up every year. Maintenance bills come up every year. Your fixed income may not go as far as you thought it might or would."
Reverse mortgages can now be "a very important part" of a well-structured retirement plan, he says, but suffered significantly in their early days due to confusion about how the loan would be repaid after the borrower died or left the home, he says.

April 12, 2021: "Mortgage Rates Finally Fell", a Time review of mortgage market conditions by Jason Stauffer featured some quotes from HSH.com VP Keith Gumbinger:

While this small decline doesn’t look to be part of a bigger overall trend, it’s a temporary reprieve from the climbing rates we’ve had this year. "We’re kind of at a plateau right now for rates - upward pressure doesn’t seem to be as evident as it was back in February or early March," says Keith Gumbinger, vice president of the mortgage information site HSH.com. But flat mortgage rates won’t last if there are new indications showing higher than expected economic growth or inflation, he said.
Mortgage rates don’t seem to be poised for a severe change this week. "I think they’ll probably be reasonably stable relative to this week, wandering one way or the other by a couple of basis points," Gumbinger says.
Thanks to rising mortgage rates, potential homebuyers are now paying more for the same home loan now then they would have three months ago. But don’t expect this to put an end to the hot real estate market, where bidding wars have become standard."Interest rates aren’t the problem in the home buying market, at least coming into this spring" Gumbinger says."Inventories are so thin in the marketplace and competition for homes so strong, interest rates don’t play into that."

April 11, 2021: "Why a Cash-Out Refinance May Still Work for You", a Barrons review of mortgage borrowing conditions by Shaina Mishkin included some context from HSH.com VP Keith Gumbinger:

At its core, a cash-out refinance is a mortgage. Like other home loans, the rate is linkedto movements in the 10-year Treasury yield and is often fixed. "Fixed-rate, fixed-payment stability peace-of-mind is always welcome,: says Keith Gumbinger, vice president of mortgage website HSH.com.
There’s good reason to evaluate all options before tapping into equity."Lots of folkswho emptied out their equity in the last boom ended up underwater when home pricesretreated from unsustainable levels," says Gumbinger, who adds that standards haveincreased since the housing crisis. But using equity today could mean it won’t be theretomorrow. "For many folks, the equity in their home is their largest asset when retirement time comes around."
Home equity "can take a painfully long time to accumulate," Gumbinger says."You should always treat the equity in your home seriously and guard it."

March 25, 2021: "Tap Home Equity for Extra Income", a Kiplinger.com look at tapping your home equity by Rivan V. Stinson included some context from Keith Gumbinger, HSH's vice president:

"If you run into periods when the market’s not returning what you hoped, a HELOC could tide you over so that you’re not selling your investments at a bad time, says Gumbinger. It’s kind of a temporary subsidy." But temporary is the key word here - eventually, you won’t be able to withdraw any more from your line of credit and will have to start paying it back.
Before you take out a reverse mortgage or any other product that taps your home equity, talk it over with your family, says Gumbinger. "No one wants to talk about their finances, but you are thinking about making changes that could affect your spouse or your kids in the future - especially in the case of taking out a reverse mortgage," he says. To start your number-crunching, go to www.hsh.com.

March 16, 2021: "Don't Waste Your Money on These 23 Things", a Reader's Digest look at ways to save your hard earned cash by Amanda Walker and Jody L. Rohlena included a money-saving tip from Keith Gumbinger, HSH.com's vice president:

Credit Repair Services
Don’t fall prey to sales pitches from companies that promise they can fix your credit score for you. "There are all kinds of services out there that claim to have ways to get negative information removed," Andrew Pizor, an attorney at the National Consumer Law Center, told Money magazine. But there are only a few legitimate repairs that can be done, such as updating old information or correcting errors on your credit reports - all things you can do yourself, for free.
To improve your score, you should also try to pay down any debt you’re carrying, such as credit card balances, and pay all your bills on time, says Keith Gumbinger, vice president of hsh.com, a mortgage information website. That will get you a better FICO credit score in a few months - and a better interest rate on a mortgage, a credit card, or any loan.
"Someone with a fair credit score of 640 might pay about a full percentage point more for a mortgage than someone with a very good credit score of 740 or more," says Gumbinger.

March 15, 2021: "Mortgage brokers choose sides in UWM vs Rocket Mortgage war", a Detroit News mortgage-business article by Breana Noble included some quotes from HSH.com's vice president Keith Gumbinger:

"I don't think there will be tremendous effect on consumers of this decision by UWM. While competition is of course a good thing overall -- and more competitors make for a spirited marketplace -- there are a range of players in the wholesale space both large and small, so this decision shouldn't create difficulty for consumers in either getting access to mortgage credit or finding competitively-priced loans."

March 4, 2021: "Mortgage Rates Are Back Above 3%. Here’s Where They’re Headed Next", a Barron's consumer advisory by Shaina Mishkin featured perspective from HSH.com vice president Keith Gumbinger:

Despite the increase, rates remain relatively low from a historical perspective. "Although rates have risen off their recent bottoms, it’s important to keep in mind that they are only about as high as last August," Keith Gumbinger, vice president of mortgage website HSH, told Barron’s.
Some buyers could be priced out as mortgage rates and home prices rise, Gumbinger said. But "there may not be all that much impact on homebuying overall, but more of a tempering effect," Gumbinger noted.

February 19, 2021: "Mortgages 2021", a Real Estate Today podcast from the National Association of Realtors by Stephen Gasque included a review of current mortgage market conditions from Keith Gumbinger, HSH.com's vice president.

January, 2021: "Mortgage Lenders More Generous With Points", a Bottom Line Personal review of mortgage market conditions contributed by HSH.com Vice President Keith Gumbinger.

January 20, 2021: "UWM poised for growth, Ishbia to become a billionaire as lender goes public", a Detroit News article covering happenings in the IPO market by Breana Noble included some quotes from Keith Gumbinger, HSH.com's vice president:

"Most lenders have or are posting record levels of volume over the last year, so many companies are highly profitable," said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of mortgage-resource website HSH.com in an email. "That can make them attractive to investors, increasing the chances of a successful conversion from private to public."

January 15, 2021: "The Best Year Ever to Buy", a Real Estate Today Radio interview of HSH.com VP Keith Gumbinger by Stephen Gasque covered a range of mortgage market related topics.

(Listen Now, Show 623 at the 30:00 mark).

January 14, 2021: "Get Ready for Higher Mortgage Rates. Here’s Why", a Barron's market update by Shaina Mishkin included some observations by Keith Gumbinger, HSH.com's vice president:

While increasing Treasury yields place more pressure on mortgage rates, it is not guaranteed that the two will move in lockstep, wrote Keith Gumbinger, vice president at mortgage website HSH.com, in an email to Barron’s. "Mortgage lenders are flush with profits and so may absorb some of the increase for a time in order to keep business flowing in." The Federal Reserve’s purchases of mortgage-backed securities, which help maintain liquidity in the market in times of crisis, also play a part, he said.

January 14, 2021: "U.S. Mortgage Rates Surge to Highest Level in Two Months", a Bloomberg.com look at changing mortgage market conditions by Donald Moore and Alex Wittenberg featured some analysis from HSH.com's vice president Keith Gumbinger:

Keith Gumbinger, vice president at mortgage-information company HSH.com, agreed that housing demand won’t take much of a hit from the latest rise in rates. He said the jump to 2.79% from a record-low 2.65% last week would translate to less than $15 a month more on a $200,000 loan.
The question now is if rates will continue to climb. As vaccines roll out there’s optimism about an economic recovery if social-distancing guidelines ease. That could keep rates from dipping to new record lows.
"It’s worth keeping in mind that the worst economic conditions bring the lowest mortgage rates," Gumbinger said. "Mortgage rates are more likely to be a little firmer over time, or at least have fewer reasons to continually revisit record-low levels."

January 7, 2021: "U.S. Mortgage Rates Hit New Record Low With 30-Year at 2.65%", a Bloomberg.com market bulletin by Donald Moore and Prashant Gopal included some commentary from HSH.com vice president Keith Gumbinger:

Low borrowing costs -- down more than a percentage point from a year earlier -- have fueled a pandemic housing boom that has pushed the country toward an affordability crisis as home prices rise swiftly and listings grow ever more scarce. Mortgage rates are poised to rise modestly this year, said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, potentially threatening the rally.
Home prices "have been on an unsustainable rise -- that’s not something you can repeat year after year because income’s not rising that quickly," Keith Gumbinger, vice president at mortgage-information company HSH.com, said in an interview.
For now, low rates are helping to offset higher prices, "but if rates have stopped falling, you’ve lost that offset, and that begins to crimp affordability," he said.

Back to HSH.com in the News — 2020

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