December 30, 2010 — “Kiss 4% mortgage rates goodbye,” a CNNMoney article by Les Christie, quoting HSH.com:

Keith Gumbinger of HSH Associates, a provider of mortgage information said that the market reached a new plateau.

“I don’t think we’re going back to a 50-year low anytime soon without an economic collapse,” he said. “Rates will probably never revisit those levels.”

December 30, 2010 — “5 Risky Mortgage Types To Avoid,” an Investopedia article appearing in the San Francisco Chronicle by Amy Fontinelle, quoting HSH.com:

Keith T. Gumbinger, Vice President of HSH Associates, agrees, saying, “believe it or not, the products available [around 2009] weren’t especially risky, for the right audience.”

December 27, 2010 — “Year in Review: The Return of Easy Credit,” a SmartMoney.com article by AnnaMaria Andriotis, quoting HSH.com:

Banks have also tiptoed back into mortgage lending, originating more mortgages and reentering the jumbo mortgage space — albeit without risking much of their own money. Many have sold the jumbo loans they originated to the quasi-government agencies, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, guaranteeing the bank will be paid back if a borrower defaults, says Keith Gumbinger, a vice president at HSH.com, a mortgage-data firm.

Next year, consumers can expect a bit more “loosening around the margins,” says Gumbinger.

December 27, 2010 — “Mortgage rates ease after upward climb,” a Baltimore Sun article by Jamie Smith Hopkins, quoting HSH.com:

Financial publisher HSH Associates is seeing the same trend with its survey, which tracks not only the conforming market but also jumbo mortgages. (It put the average at 5.15 percent last week.)

“Warmer economic growth has been largely to blame for the increase in rates during the fall, but this increase has been exacerbated to a degree by the Federal Reserve’s stimulus program, some post-election improvement in moods and a tax compromise which lends some certainty (and a little boost) to the outlook as we roll into 2011,” HSH said in a market-trends analysis.

It’s not expecting additional big increases: “While the economy is moving forward at a measured clip, there are few signals that it is powering ahead so forcefully that interest rates should rise much further than they already have, and they may have even overshot the mark, which is typical.”

December 27, 2010 — “Low 30 Year Fixed Mortgage Rates Questioned by the Bankrate.com Financial Experts,” a Staho.com article by Daniel Martin, quoting HSH.com:

A survey conducted by financial publisher HSH Associates shows the same trend, and in addition to the conforming market trends, HSH also tracks the jumbo mortgages. Last week, the trend analysis put the average at 5.15 percent.

According to an HSH market trends analysis, the warmer economic growth has been mostly responsible for the hike in rates during the fall, however this mortgage interest rates increase has also been exacerbated at some extent by the Fed’s stimulus program, some improvement in moods after the elections as well as a tax compromise which slightly boosts the outlook ahead of the new year.

The financial analysts at HSH are not expecting additional big increases, pointing to “a few signals” that indicate that the economy is powering ahead strongly, therefore interest rates should increase much more than they already have, and “they may even overshot the mark”. Moreover, Greg McBride, senior financial analyst at Bankrate.com, confirmed such expectations, saying that further significant increases or a big reversal are unlikely.

December 16, 2010 — “Mortgage Rates Spike, With 30-Year at 4.83%,” a Wall Street Journal article by Mark Gongloff, mentioning HSH.com:

Freddie Mac’s survey rates tend to lag moves in Treasurys. Other measures, such as those from data tracker HSH Associates, have rates already approaching 5%.

December 14, 2010 — “CitiMortgage Offers Assistance to Troubled Borrowers by Hosting Call-A-Thon,” a WalletPop.com article by Jean Chatzky, quoting HSH.com:

Will it work? Maybe a little, says Keith Gumbinger, vice president at HSH Associates, if they’re able to unearth a few people who haven’t yet explored their loan modification options. But he doesn’t expect that other servicers will follow CitiMortgage’s lead, and he’s skeptical that loan modifications, in general, will solve the housing market’s problems. “It’s going to help some people for a time, but the only solution for the market is to finally let it fail. I’m on the side of the coin that says let’s get it done with so we can move forward. We’ve slowed the failure, but the fact is, we are still on a failing path.”

December 09, 2010 — “Mortgage rates jump to six-month highs,” a MarketWatch article by Amy Hoak, quoting HSH.com:

General improvement in the economy over the last couple of weeks has also had an influence on the rise in rates, said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH Associates, in an email. HSH is a publisher of consumer loan information.

Plus, after the election, political uncertainty has passed. With the latest agreement in Washington, some of the tax-rate uncertainty is removed from the equation, he said.

“With some greater certainty comes greater clarity and confidence about the durability of the recovery, and investors seem to be shifting at least some holdings out of ‘safe haven’ spots in favor of other opportunities,” Gumbinger said.

December 09, 2010 — “Freddie Mac reports fourth week of rising mortgage rates,” a LA Times article by E. Scott Reckard, quoting HSH.com:

Would-be buyers and refinancers can run their own payment scenarios using online amortization calculators like the ones at Bankrate.com, HSH.com or other data suppliers.

December 09, 2010 — “Mortgage Rates for U.S. Loans Jump to Five-Month High,” a Bloomberg/San Francisco Chronicle article, quoting HSH.com

Rates have also climbed on signs of a strengthening economy, said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com, a publisher of consumer loan information in Pompton Plains, New Jersey.

“The economy is slowly healing,” he said. “The extension of tax cuts removes some uncertainty and that has a role.”

December 08, 2010 — “US mortgage refinance activity declines,” a Financial Times article by Suzanne Kapner, quoting HSH.com:

 The average rate on 30-year fixed mortgages has reached 4.7 per cent, well above its low of 4.33 per cent in October, according to HSH Associates, a mortgage analyst.

November 20, 2010 — “Rates for big loans tumble,” a Boston Globe article by Jenifer B. McKim, quoting HSH.com:

Now rates for jumbo loans are lower as private lenders have decided such lending is a better investment risk than commercial or consumer loans, said Keith T. Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com, a company that publishes mortgage and consumer loan information.

That change is narrowing the gap between rates on jumbo and conventional loans. This week, the difference between a 30-year, fixed-rate traditional mortgage and a jumbo loan was about 0.7 percentage points — about half of what it was two years ago, according to HSH.com.

November 15, 2010 — “Make Money in 2011: Your Home,” a Money Magazine article by Amanda Gengler, quoting HSH.com:

One word: refinance — even if you just did it a few years ago, urges Keith Gumbinger of HSH.com, a mortgage information publisher.

November 11, 2010 — “Is it time to refinance,” a SmartMoney article by AnnaMaria Andriotis, also appearing on MSN Real Estate, quoting HSH.com:

One option is to show proof of unemployment -insurance checks, which lenders may count as income for refinancing, says Keith Gumbinger, a vice president at HSH.com, based in Pompton Plains, N.J.

November 11, 2010 — “What Fed’s bond buy means for mortgage rates,” a Market Watch article by Amy Hoak, quoting HSH.com:

Because the market was waiting to know the size and scope of the Fed’s program, it would have been impossible for mortgage rates to fully factor in the implications of the Fed’s move prior to the announcement, said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH Associates, a publisher of consumer loan information. Even now, people are still waiting to see how the move will affect rates over time.

“Borrowers also need to be aware that the Fed is trying lift the economy, which tends to help interest rates to firm, and also to cause some inflation, which tends to push interest rates up, and these factors may overwhelm any investor-caused downdraft in rates over time,” Gumbinger wrote in HSH.com’s MarketTrends newsletter last week.

November 11, 2010 — “Bank of America sues mortgage insurance provider,” a Charlotte Observer article by Christina Rexrode, quoting HSH.com:

“This is just the next phase of the crisis,” said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of mortgage analysis firm HSH Associates.

He said he hadn’t heard of any similar lawsuits but expects more to appear as banks try to offset their losses on mortgages, which could spiral as the banks are forced to buy back soured loans from investors. “With all the losses in the past couple of years, everybody’s trying to recover their money any way they can.”

November 10, 2010 — “Mortgage Lenders Set Back in Courts,” a Wall Street Journal article by Ruth Simon, Robin Sidel and Nick Timiraos, quoting HSH.com:

Borrowers typically pay about 2% of the loan amount in closing costs, according to HSH Associates in Pompton Plains, N.J.

November 10, 2010 — “Home Loan Blues: Refinancing Isn’t So Easy,” a NPR article by Wendy Kaufman, quoting HSH.com:

Rates can change quickly. If you’re quoted a great rate, then lock it in that day. This requires filling out an application, which can be done online. Your lender can help you calculate how much you’ll save by refinancing. HSH.com and Bankrate.com have lists of lenders nationwide and online calculators for determining how much money refinancing could save you. 

November 10, 2010 — “HSH.com Debuts Tri-Refi Calculator to Help Consumers Simplify Refinance Decision,” a new press release appearing in the San Francisco Chronicle:

With mortgage rates at their lowest point in history, many homeowners are contemplating refinancing their home loans, until they face the head-scratching process of trying to determine which refinancing option is best suited for their needs. HSH.com has created a new and unique tool, the Tri-Refi Refinance calculator, to help homeowners determine the best approach for their individual situation.

November 08, 2010 — “On Jumbo Mortgages, Government Muscles Out Banks,” a Wall Street Journal article by M.P. McQueen, quoting HSH.com:

For one thing, they allow borrowers to pay interest rates of, on average, a percentage point less than they’d otherwise pay for a jumbo mortgage loan. As of Friday, Nov. 8, 2010 the spread was .75 points, according to HSH.com, a mortgage data provider, with interest rates for jumbos averaging 5.10 nationally vs. 4.35% for conforming loans. There was a 118 basis points difference at the end of 2008.

November 07, 2010 — “Trouble at the top for Hudson City Savings Bank,” a Asbury Park Press article by Michael Diamond, quoting HSH.com:

Normally, that would simply add another competitor for Hudson City. But Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can attract capital less expensively than Hudson City and turn around and make more affordable loans, said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH Associates, a Pompton Plains company that tracks mortgage rates.

November 06, 2010 — “The Jumbo-Mortgage Comeback,” a Wall Street Journal article by M.P. McQueen, quoting HSH.com:

The banks credit greater borrower demand elsewhere on falling interest rates, which recently reached historic lows. The average jumbo rate through the week ended Oct. 29 was 5.11%, down from about 6.14% on Jan. 1, 2010, according to financial publishers HSH.com. And the spread between jumbo and ordinary loans, which had reached as much as 1.8 percentage points in December 2008, is now just 0.74 point.

November 03, 2010 — “A new tool to help you take advantage of current mortgage rates,” a MoneyRates article written by Richard Barrington, quoting HSH.com:

A new refinancing calculator from HSH.com helps you weigh all three refinancing options. While refinancing calculators are plentiful on the Internet, what’s special about this HSH.com calculator is that it allows you to list the outcomes of all three types of refinancing options side by side. Appropriately enough, HSH.com is calling this the “Tri-Refi” Refinance Calculator.

November 02, 2010 – “3 ways low mortgage rates can work for you,” a MONEY Magazine article written by Sarah Max, quoting HSH.com:

Given that few new mortgages carry prepayment penalties anymore, kicking in extra money shouldn’t be a problem, says Keith Gumbinger, vice president of mortgage data tracker HSH Associates.

November 02, 2010 – “Election Outcome Will Shape Future for Housing,” an article appearing in The Street, also appearing is Newsweek, written by Lauren Tara LaCapra, quoting HSH.com:

“Will the pace of GSE reform speed up or slow down, depending upon the results of November 2?” asks HSH Associates, a mortgage-data firm, in a recent blog post. “Our guess is neither; even then, once they do, our suspicion is that only minor reforms will come, with substantial reform possibly kicked past the 2012 presidential election.”

When asked what the mortgage industry wants out of Tuesday’s election, HSH Vice President Keith Gumbinger offered a common refrain: Clarity.

November 02, 2010 — “Mortgage loans: Refinance your adjustable rate mortgage, or not?” a Rebuild.org article by Karen Lawson, quoting HSH.com:

In a blog for HSH Associates, Tim Manni observes that deciding when or if to refinance depends on individual circumstances in addition to current mortgage rates.

October 30, 2010 — “Lenders loosen grip, but your credit history matters more than before crunch,” a Kiplingers Personal Finance article, also appearing in the Washington Post, by Jessica L. Anderson, Pat Mertz Esswein and Joan Goldwasser, quoting HSH.com:

In mid-September, the average interest rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate conforming loan – a mortgage of $417,000 or less – was 4.5 percent, according to HSH Associates, a mortgage-tracking firm.

October 29, 2010 — “Ask the Readers: s It Okay to Refinance a Mortgage to get Cash for Other Goals?” a Get Rich Slowly article by J.D. Roth, quoting HSH.com:

I used mortgage rates from HSH and other sites to run what-if scenarios.

For a more in-depth look at refinancing, check out the HSH.com article “Refinance: Is It Right for You?” You also can see different lenders’ lowest mortgage rates or request mortgage quotes from reputable lenders via GRS.

October 19, 2010 — “Credit Scores: How 720 Became the New 680,” a SmartMoney.com article written by AnnaMaria Andriotis, quoting HSH.com:

When Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were backing mortgages after the crash, they settled on the 720 threshold for the best pricing, says Keith Gumbinger, a vice president at HSH Associates, a mortgage-data tracking firm.

October 15, 2010 — “Smart ways to come up with down-payment cash,” a U.S. News & World Report article (also appearing in the Chicago Tribune) by Luke Mullins, quoting HSH.com:

Gifting cash: If you don’t have enough cash on hand, a good first step is to see if anyone close to you does, said Keith Gumbinger of HSH.com.

“Do you have anybody who can give you money: your parents, a rich uncle or your grandparents?” Gumbinger said.

Gifts from parents or other family members have long been a source of down-payment cash for young couples or first-time buyers.

“Those gifts have to actually be documented as gifts,” Gumbinger said. “You must get something (in writing) from each of those donors that says there is no obligation to pay back the money.”

October 13, 2010 — “Rates are so low, so why is refinancing so hard?” a Reuters article by Linda Stern, quoting HSH.com:

You will need a score of 740 or better to get the best rates, says Keith Gumbinger of HSH.com (www.hsh.com).

October 12, 2010 — “How to help underwater borrowers,” a Reuters article written by Keith Gumbinger of HSH.com:

Instead of these, HSH.com’s idea is to involve the federal government as a guarantor of the difference between the amount of the existing mortgage and the present value of the home, in a program we call the ValueGap Refinance.

October 12, 2010 — “Want to refinance your mortgage now? A checklist,” a Reuters article by Lynn Adler, quoting HSH.com:

“The onus today is upon the borrower,” says Keith Gumbinger of mortgage research firm HSH Associates in Pompton Plains, New Jersey, who calls the process daunting. “Unlike just a couple of years ago, you absolutely must prove you are the borrower you say you are, and your property must prove that is has the valuation that you claim it does.”

October 11, 2010 – “5 ways to avoid foreclosure limbo,” a Reuters article by Linda Stern, quoting HSH.com:

“Depending on where you are in the process it could either be mildly annoying or incredibly disruptive,” says Keith Gumbinger of HSH.com, a mortgage research firm. “You may have upended your life and made plans for moving, and have them come to a grinding halt.”

October 8, 2010 — “3 Signs the Mortgage Market Has Hit Bottom,” a SmartMoney.com article by AnnaMaria Andriotis, quoting HSH.com:

The sheer size of these loans suggests more risk for the lender. (If the borrower defaults, the lender could take a bigger hit.) But for the high-quality borrower, it’s risk the banks now seem willing to take, says Keith Gumbinger, a vice president at HSH Associates, a mortgage-data tracking firm.

October 7, 2010 — “Fed’s $2 Trillion May Buy Little Improvement in Jobs,” a Bloomberg article by Craig Torres and Scott Lanman, quoting HSH.com:

Lower home-loan rates may fail to spur additional refinancing because lenders are reluctant to give loans to people who are unemployed or have low credit scores, said Paul Havemann, vice president at HSH Associates, a publisher of consumer-loan data in Pompton Plains, New Jersey.

October 1, 2010 — “Mortgages Are About to get More Expensive,” a SmartMoney.com article by AnnaMaria Andriotis, quoting HSH.com:

“The signal is that FHA is expecting a somewhat better borrower,” says Keith Gumbinger, vice president of mortgage-data tracking firm HSH Associates

September 30, 2010 — “Congress holds mortgage limits at nearly $730K,” an Associated Press article by Alan Zibel, quoting HSH.com, also appearing on OregonLive.com:

In December 2008, borrowers who wanted a jumbo loan were paying 1.8 percentage points higher on their mortgage rates than convential government-backed loans, according to financial publisher HSH Associates.

That gap narrowed as the crisis eased. As of last week, borrowers who receive jumbo loans were paying a premium of 0.8 percentage points, according to HSH. That’s still above a pre-crisis level of 0.25 percentage points.

September 28, 2010 — “Real Estate Faces Long Road Home,” an article from The Street by Jason Notte, quoting HSH.com:

Jumbo mortgage rates have dropped from more than 6% at the beginning of the year to 5.26% now, according to HSH Associates, which did wonders for the high-end real estate market when coupled with a 9.5% increase in the Dow since last September.

September 28, 2010 — “When ‘cash-in’ refinancing pays off,” a CNNMoney.com/Money Magazine article by Ismat Sarah Manglais, quoting HSH.com:

But cash-in refis can often take more than twice that long to break even, says Keith Gumbinger of HSH Associates. So unless you plan on staying put for a while, don’t put in the extra money.

September 27, 2010 — “If mortgage rates plunged to zero,” a MarketWatch.com article by Amy Hoak, quoting HSH.com, also appearing on Realtor.org:

Even during times of deflation, try telling an investor that he’d do well to buy a security with zero return, said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH Associates, a provider of consumer loan information. It’d be a hard sell.

September 26, 2010 — “The lenders clamp down,” a Boston Globe article by Jenifer McKim, quoting HSH.com:

Now, this number now has been reduced to about 41 percent, said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com, an online publisher of mortgage information.

September 25, 2010 — “What to consider when thinking about a shorter term mortgage,” a Los Angeles Times article by Kathy Kristof, quoting HSH.com:

September 23, 2010 — “U.S. Due to Ease Jumbo Loan Aid,” a Wall Street Journal article by Nick Timiraos, quoting HSH.com:

The 30-year fixed rate averaged 4.49% last week for conforming loans, while a jumbo 30-year fixed rate carried an average 5.25% rate, according to HSH Associates, a financial publisher.

September 23, 2010 — “FHA set to offer new reverse mortgage option,” a San Francisco Chronicle article by Kathleen Pender, quoting HSH.com:

The up-front premium on the new saver version is 0.01 percent or “essentially nothing,” says Keith Gumbinger, a vice president with HSH Associates.

September 20, 2010 — “Your Financial Fitness Makeover,” a SecondAct.com article by Kerry Hannon, quoting HSH.com:

Check HSH.com or Bankrate.com for the latest rates and then shop around.

September 20, 2010 — “Refinancing: Is Now the Right Time?,” a SmartMoney.com article by AnnaMaria Andriotis, quoting HSH.com:

The 30-year fixed mortgage carried an average rate of 4.51% for the week ended Sept. 10, up slightly from 4.49% the week prior and the first increase since June, according to HSH.com, a mortgage data firm. The 15-year mortgage has an average interest rate of 4.02%. A year ago, those rates averaged 5.54% and 4.97%, respectively.

September 16, 2010 — “Online Calculator Answers ‘Should I Refinance?’ With a Yes or No,” an AOL Housing Watch article by Megan Mollman, quoting HSH.com:

Other sites, like lendingtree.com and the mortgage publishing site, HSH.com, also have more complicated refinancing calculators that require more inputs and a greater understanding of your mortgage.

September 13, 2010 — “An underwater mortgage proposal,” a Baltimore Sun article by Jamie Smith Hopkins, quoting HSH.com:

HSH Associates, a financial publisher, created waves last week when it proposed a new loan-help program — not for homeowners facing foreclosure, but for people who are paying on time and can’t refinance into a lower interest rate because they’re underwater.

September 12, 2010 — “How mortgage market has tightened,” a San Francisco Chronicle article by Robert Selna and Carolyn Said, quoting HSH.com:

“The bottom line is that we have had a complete reboot of the mortgage lending system in this country,” said Keith Gumbinger, vice president at HSH Associates, a leading publisher of mortgage and consumer loan information.

Gumbinger said there has always been risk associated with the different facets of mortgage lending, but during the housing boom, one risk was layered on top of another. Now, much of the risk in the market is undertaken by the federal government.

September 09, 2010 — “Making mortgage payments on an underwater loan? You deserve a break too,” a Washington Post article written by Allan Sloan, quoting HSH.com (also appearing on Yahoo Finance and Realtor.org):

Enter Keith Gumbinger, a leading mortgage expert, with an interesting proposal for how the government can help you, help the housing market and even help whoever owns your mortgage. Gumbinger, a vice president at the HSH Associates mortgage consulting firm, wants the federal government to issue what he calls “value gap coverage.” It would reduce your interest payments, reduce your incentive to walk away from your mortgage and show that behaving well doesn’t make you a sucker.

September 09, 2010 — “U.S. Mortgage Rates Rise for First Time in 12 Weeks,” a Bloomberg article written by Prashant Gopal, quoting HSH.com:

Banks, as a result, can afford to allow rates to rise slightly, said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH Associates, a publisher of consumer loan data in Pompton Plains, New Jersey. A jump in prepayments may also be pushing down mortgage bonds relative to treasuries, he said.

“Refinance activity is pretty good right now, and lenders are reasonably busy,” Gumbinger said. “So there’s less of a need to slash interest rates to the bone to attract borrowers.”

September 08, 2010 — “A reward for responsible homeowners,” a Fortune article by Allan Sloan, quoting HSH.com:

Enter Keith Gumbinger, a leading mortgage expert, with an interesting proposal for how the government can help you, help the housing market, and even help whoever owns your mortgage. Gumbinger, a vice president at the HSH Associates mortgage consulting firm, wants the federal government to issue what he calls “value gap coverage.” It would reduce your interest payments, reduce your incentive to walk away from your mortgage, and show that behaving well doesn’t make you a sucker.

September 03, 2010 — “Many adults never learn financial basics at home or school,” a Baltimore Sun article by Eileen Ambrose, quoting HSH.com:

Borrow to buy a house, a TV or car, and you are committing future income to paying that off, says Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH Associates, a provider of mortgage information. The decision to take on debt today could leave you unable to take advantage of opportunities later, he says.

September 02, 2010 — “Jumbo Borrowers See Better Rates, Too,” an article from The Street written by Lauren Tara LaCapra, quoting HSH.com:

Mortgages rates for single-family homes that are too expensive to meet “conforming” standards set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Finance Agency have been dropping at a steady clip all year — from above 6% at the start of 2010 to 5.26% this week, according to HSH Associates. Jumbo rates have declined consistently for all but one of the past 12 weeks.

Interestingly though, the spread between the jumbo rates tracked by HSH Associates and more traditional 30-year fixed loan rates tracked by Freddie Mac has widened since a low of 67 basis points in the spring. Jumbo loans are now about 90 basis points higher than the typical “conforming” mortgage.

August 27, 2010 — “Rethinking Adjustable-Rate Mortgages,” a New York Times article written by Bob Tedeschi, quoting HSH.com:

Borrowers whose ARMs are linked to the Treasury Index, for instance, would face one year of payments at a roughly 3 percent interest rate, according to Keith Gumbinger, a vice president of HSH Associates, a financial industry publisher and consulting firm. The Treasury rate may remain low since it generally rises when the economy strengthens.

August 23, 2010 — “Credit-Card Rates Climb,” a Wall Street Journal article written by Ruth Simon, quoting HSH.com:

By comparison, the spread between 10-year Treasurys and a standard 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is just 1.93 percentage points, near historical averages, according to mortgage-data provider HSH Associates.

August 21, 2010 — “Closing Fees Bite New York,” a Wall Street Journal article written by Shelly Banjo, quoting HSH.com:

“There’s new regulation in the marketplace requiring multiple appraisals and more paperwork and those costs must be built into the cost of service, ultimately passing to consumers,” says Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH Associates, a publisher of consumer loan data.

August 19, 2010 — “Good-faith estimates bring higher closing costs,” a San Francisco Chronicle article written by Kathleen Pender, quoting HSH.com:

Keith Gumbinger, a vice president with HSH Associates, says that consumers today are getting a more realistic estimate of their closing costs, but that actual closing costs are going up too.

August 18, 2010 — “How To Get A Mortgage Now,” a Forbes article written by Liz Moyer, quoting HSH.com:

“The availability of credit can be very different on different sides of the same town,” says Keith Gumbinger, vice president at HSH Associates, who advises on mortgage lending. “Leave no stone unturned.”

August 16, 2010 — “Shorter-term mortgages gain favor for refinancing,” a USA Today article written by Stephanie Armour, quoting HSH.com:

“It’s borrowers looking to build equity more quickly, and borrowers have generally been paying down their loans more quickly,” says Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH Associates, a publisher of mortgage and consumer loan information.

August 16, 2010 — “How Low Can Mortgage Rates Go?,” a SmartMoney.com article written by AnnaMaria Andriotis, quoting HSH.com:

Inflation could trigger a rise in rates, as lenders try to make up for the value of the real estate investment that they expect to lose, says Paul Havemann, a vice president at HSH.com.

August 13, 2010 — “What happens if Fannie and Freddie disappear?,” a MarketWatch.com article written by Amy Hoak, quoting HSH.com:

The agencies could be disbanded in favor of new entities, or be split into two pieces — a “public” securitization function and a “private” mortgage investment portfolio, said Keith Gumbinger, vice president for HSH Associates, a publisher of consumer loan information.

In the public-private scenario, the private component would become fully private over time, with the government slowly removing its support for that private portion, he said.

August 12, 2010 — “Home Front: Low interest rates are no help to many in Sacramento area,” a Sacramento Bee article written by Jim Wasserman, quoting HSH.com:

“There’s a combination of effects to diminish the pool of refinancers,” said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of New Jersey mortgage researcher HSH Associates. “One is being underwater. That covers a wide swath of the population.”

August 09, 2010 — “The FHA Rethinks Its Mortgage Lending,” a SmartMoney.com article written by AnnaMaria Andriotis, quoting HSH.com:

The changes could help borrowers who were previously unable to afford an FHA mortgage because of the upfront premium, says Keith Gumbinger, a vice president at HSH Associates, a mortgage-data tracking firm. The result could be a more affordable mortgage for borrowers, which ultimately provides more ongoing capital to FHA over the life of the loan, he says.

August 06, 2010 — “FHA loans are about one-third of U.S. mortgages,” a Marketplace segment (NPR radio), quoting HSH.com:

Without the federal government support right now it would be reasonable to say there would be almost no housing market. [more]

August 03, 2010 — “Refinancing? 7 Things You Need to Know,” a CBS Money Watch article written by Kathy Kristof, quoting HSH.com:

If your score drops below 700, you might have trouble finding a lender willing to offer a mortgage at any price, said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of the mortgage research site HSH.com.

Because there are some non-refundable up-front fees — a few hundred dollars to pay for appraisals and credit reports — with most mortgage loans, you probably shouldn’t apply unless you’re pretty certain you have a good enough score to qualify, he said.

August 03, 2010 — “Mortgage Advice From Fannie Mae?,” a SmartMoney.com article written by Sarah Morgan, quoting HSH.com:

The information presented on the site isn’t new, but it’ll be helpful for stressed consumers to have it collected in one easy-to-navigate location, says Keith Gumbinger, the vice president of mortgage-data firm HSH Associates. Because government programs keep changing, “there’s been a lot of initiatives and a lot of acronyms, and there still is a lot of borrower confusion,” Gumbinger says. The site also contains information about free educational events in different states, which isn’t readily available elsewhere, he says.

The programs mentioned on the web site appear to apply only to borrowers whose loans are held by Fannie Mae, and many borrowers may not know the status of their own loan, Gumbinger says. But borrowers are quickly directed to other sites where they can find out if their loan is backed by Fannie Mae. And roughly similar programs should be available to borrowers with non-Fannie-Mae loans, so the site can still help those homeowners learn about what kinds of questions to ask their lenders, Gumbinger says.

July 27, 2010 — “Refinancing mortgage often smart even if you have to pay,” a USA Today article written by Sandra Block, quoting HSH.com:

“You’re going to pony up what is probably the equivalent of another down payment,” says Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com, a mortgage publishing firm.

And while your home may look like a safer place to invest than the stock market, buying down your mortgage isn’t risk-free, Gumbinger says. If the value of your home declines and you have to sell, the amount you spent to buy down your mortgage could disappear.

“Are you going to be there long enough at the very least to get your money back?” he says. “That’s your primary consideration.”

July 27, 2010 — “Putting Out Jumbo Welcome Mat,” a Wall Street Journal article written by Juliette Fairley, quoting HSH.com:

And while the push into the jumbo market is occurring nationwide, banks are particularly attracted to the New York area, said Keith Gumbinger of HSH Associates, a publisher of consumer-loan information in Pompton Plains, N.J. “If you’re going to be in the jumbo business, this is one of the best audiences,” said Mr. Gumbinger, noting the large concentration of wealth in the region and the relatively low default rates in the wealthier ZIP Codes.

July 14, 2010 — “The Lure of Low Mortgage Rates,” a Reuters article written by Linda Stern, also appearing on ABCnews.com, quoting HSH.com:

“The truth of the matter is, the pool of potential refinancers is finite in this kind of market environment,” says Keith Gumbinger of HSH Associates, a mortgage research firm. “Market conditions haven’t gotten any easier, and rates are not really that much lower than they have been a number of times over the last six or seven months.”

July 10, 2010 — “Time to Refinance? Jumbo Mortgage Rates Plunge,” a Wall Street Journal article, written by Jessica Silver-Greenberg, quoting HSH.com:

“In just the past couple of months, jumbo loans have really started to be competitively priced,” says Keith Gumbinger of HSH Associates, a publisher of consumer-loan information.

“Now banks have more capital and are beginning to lend,” HSH’s Mr. Gumbinger says. “My ultimate question is: How long will these rates really last?”

July 07, 2010 — “Luxury Vacation-Home Sales Fade With Pace of Economic Recovery,”a Bloomberg/Businessweek article, written by Kathleen M. Howley, quoting HSH.com (also appearing in the San Francisco Chronicle):

For jumbo mortgages on second homes, lenders may require down payments of as much as 40 percent, instead of the 20 percent needed on primary residences and the 10 percent usually required for conforming mortgages, said Keith Gumbinger, a vice president at HSH Associates, a mortgage-data company in Pompton Plains, New Jersey.

“Vacation homes, especially luxury ones, have always carried more risk for lenders because if you have a catastrophic event like a job loss, the mortgage on your second home is going to be the first bill you don’t pay,” Gumbinger said. “To get financing, you have to put more skin in the game.”

July 04, 2010 — “Low mortgage rates won’t make up for tax credit,” a San Francisco Chronicle article, written by Kathleen Pender, quoting HSH.com:

With lenders demanding high credit scores and big down payments, low rates are not helping “a huge swath of the population,” says Keith Gumbinger, a vice president with HSH Associates.

Like Kemp, he says tax incentives “borrowed demand from June, July and probably August. There has been no way to restock the pool” of potential buyers, he says.

July 02, 2010 — “Mortgage rates hit record low,” a Tennessean article, written by Naomi Snyder, quoting HSH.com:

“Many sales which would have naturally occurred in May, June, and July were likely advanced into April (because of the tax credits),” said Keith T. Gumbinger, vice president of mortgage research firm HSH Associates in New Jersey. “We are presently in a wider slump for demand, which will probably persist throughout the already typically slow summer season.”

June 30, 2010 — “Should Lenders Go After Borrowers Who ‘Walk Away’?” a Wall Street Journal article, written by Nick Timiraos, quoting HSH.com:

But there’s another message here, notes financial publisher HSH.com: if foreclosure might be in your future, keep excellent notes of your efforts to seek a workout and of your financial situation if you want to get a loan in the next seven years.

June 28, 2010 — “Managing Your Mortgage the Right Way,” a SmartMoney.com article, by Lisa Scherzer, quoting HSH.com :

A smaller pool of borrowers means greater competition and emphasis on price, says Keith Gumbinger, vice president of mortgage-data firm HSH Associates.

June 27, 2010 — “Financial overhaul and you: Mortgages, debit, cards, more…,” a USA Today article, written by Sandra Block, quoting HSH.com:

The credit crunch led lenders to tighten their standards, so in some respects, “Many of these reforms are going to be locking the barn door after the horse is gone,” says Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH Associates.

Still, lenders have short memories, and without the legislation, there’s no guarantee they won’t loosen their standards when the real estate market recovers, Gumbinger says. Real estate markets “burn down every 15 or 20 years or so, and the market doesn’t seem to learn from past mistakes,” he says.

June 25, 2010 — “How bank reform will change mortgage shopping,” a MarketWatch.com article, written by Amy Hoak, quoting HSH.com (also appearing in the Wall Street Journal):

This measure amounts to creating a safeguard for the future. “It doesn’t represent a change in today’s marketplace,” said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH Associates, a publisher of consumer loan information. “But it addresses what could be a future relaxation of standards.”

June 25, 2010 — “Mortgage Rates Set New Record at 4.69%, So Why Is Demand Weak?” a Wall Street Journal article, written by Nick Timiraos, quoting HSH.com:

Average rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages reached their lowest levels in more than 50 years this week. On Thursday, rates tracked by HSH.com hit 4.69%, down from 4.75% on Wednesday and an average 4.85% last week.

Rates on 30-year fixed-rate jumbos are down to 5.65%, a seven-year low, while banks offered “hybrid” jumbo adjustable-rate loans with a five-year fixed rate of 4.49%, according to HSH.

June 24, 2010 — “Mortgage Rates Fall To A Record Low, And May Be Headed Lower,” a Nasdaq article, written by Prabha Natarajan, quoting HSH.com (also appearing in MorningStar):

So far, falling interest rates haven’t spurred home buying, said Keith Gumbinger, a vice president at HSH Associates, a publisher of consumer loan information.

“It’s an important support but not the only one for homebuyers,” he said. The current rate of unemployment, need to put down cash for a down payment, need for full documentation on income and assets, lack of confidence in current economy, and the difficulty in getting loans from banks all present hurdles to borrowers.

“There are many pitfalls along the way for a homebuyer,” Gumbinger said.

Rates have also fallen on so-called jumbo loans that exceed government loan- purchase limits, which start at $417,000 and rise as high as $729,750 in the most expensive markets. Rates on 30-year fixed-rate jumbos averaged 5.65% on Tuesday, according to HSH.

June 23, 2010 — “Homebuyers Still Wary Despite Low Rates, Prices,” an NPR radio broadcast featuring HSH.com:

“Low and stable mortgage rates are providing important supports to the housing market,” says Keith Gumbinger, a mortgage analyst for HSH.com. “With the ending of the tax credit offer this spring, demand has fallen off to some degree.”

June 14, 2010 — “Financial Reform’s Impact on Mortgages,” a SmartMoney.com article, written by Lisa Scherzer, quoting HSH.com:

The House bill calls for a new committee to be set up to review and set in place new standards for appraisal independence, says Keith Gumbinger, vice president for mortgage data firm HSH Associates.

June 13, 2010 — “Close First, Then Splurge,” a Wall Street Journal article, written by Jonnelle Marte, quoting HSH.com:

“Also, avoid substantially tapping liquid assets, such as checking and savings accounts and certificates of deposit, says Keith Gumbinger, mortgage analyst for HSH.com, a publisher of consumer-loan information.

June 12, 2010 — “Leverage, Baby!” a Wall Street Journal article, written by Jane Kim and Jeff Opdyke, quoting HSH.com (also appearing on Yahoo Finance and MarketWatch.com):

“Nationwide, loans on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages were about 4.9% on June 10, down from 5.3% in January and within a few hundredths of a percentage point of a 50-year low, according to HSH Associates, a financial publisher in Pompton Plains, N.J.

June 10, 2010 — “When to take the plunge into homeownership,” a Chicago Tribune article, written by Carolyn Bigda, quoting HSH.com:

“Many people think of rent like money that’s being thrown away, but there are costs of owning a home, like mortgage insurance, that you don’t get back,” said Keith Gumbinger of HSH Associates, which tracks the housing market.

June 09, 2010 — “Applications Point to Slow Summer Housing Season,” a U.S. News & World Report article, written by Luke Mullins, quoting HSH.com:

“You are talking about advancing demand from the next period to an artificially imposed deadline,” says Keith Gumbinger of HSH.com. “So instead of having a smoother kind of wave motion in terms of how the demand is formed and then satisfied, you get these spikes.”

June 04, 2010 — “Jean Chatzky: Answering Reader Questions,” appears in the Kankakee Daily Journal, quoting HSH.com:

Barbara from Queens, N.Y., writes: My son is getting married in October. He owns a home and he and his new wife are planning to live there after they are married. She is currently trying to sell her condo. The problem is she owes $157,000 on the condo and it’s now only worth $135,000. They have been told that they aren’t eligible for any government plans since she isn’t behind on payments. What can they do?

She’s likely not eligible for a Making Home Affordable plan, but not because she isn’t behind on her payments — because the home is up for sale. It’s hard to get a loan modification on a home you’re trying to sell, because those modifications are designed to help people keep their homes, says Keith Gumbinger, a vice president at HSH Associates. Even refinancing is hard to come by if the home has been up for sale.

June 02, 2010 — “Will Treasuries Continue to Sizzle This Summer?” aTIME article, written by Stephen Gandel, quoting HSH.com:

“The discussion for most of the winter was that interest rates were going to go up,” says Keith Gumbinger, who tracks loan rates at HSH Associates. “This persistent low level of interest rates is providing an unexpected support for the housing market.”

May 30, 2010 — “North Jersey luxury homes languish on the market,” an article from The Record, written by Kathleen Lynn, quoting HSH.com (also published in the Arizona Daily Sun):

“A lot of that [mortgage] money was coming through Wall Street, and that came to a grinding halt late in 2008,” said Keith Gumbinger, vice president for HSH Associates, a company in the Pompton Plains section of Pequannock that follows the mortgage market. To fill that gap in the market, banks have started making large loans to affluent home buyers, Gumbinger said. But they’re acting slowly and conservatively, requiring pristine credit records and high down payments, he said.

May 28, 2010 — “Texas high roller open Paramus bank branch,” an article from The Record, written by Richard Newman, quoting HSH.com:

“The local angle is they want your money,” said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH Associates, a publisher of financial information in Pompton Plains. “If you are building a depository, you want to be in those areas with the wealthiest households in the country.”

May 25, 2010 — “Rising home sales likely to cool despite low rates,” an Associated Press article, written by Alan Zibel and Martin Crutsinger, quoting HSH.com:

Mortgage rates fell last week to the lowest level for the year. The average rate on a 30-year loan ticked up slightly to 4.87 on Monday, according to financial publisher HSH Associates. That was just above the record low of 4.83 percent last December.

Here are just a few of the other media outlets that picked up this syndicated article: Forbes, The Boston Globe, The Honolulu Advertiser and The Oregonian.

May 24, 2010 — “A Mixed Bag for the Housing Market,” a SmartMoney.com article, written by AnnaMaria Andriotis, quoting HSH.com:

On Friday, rates on 30-year mortgages averaged 4.86%, the lowest since December, and down from 5.27% in early April, according to HSH Associates, a mortgage-data tracking firm.

May 24, 2010 — “Mortgage Rates Decline,” a Wall Street Journal article (also appearing in the Australian edition of the WSJ), written by Nick Timiraos, quoting HSH.com:

Rates were quoted late Friday at 4.86%, the lowest since December 2009, according to a survey by financial publisher HSH Associates, and down from a high of 5.27% for the week ended April 9.

May 24, 2010 — “Attention, Mortgage Shoppers!” a SmartMoney.com article, written by Lisa Scherzer, quoting HSH.com:

Rates for a 30-year fixed loan hit 5.03% (for the week ending May 14) – the lowest point since December, when it sank below 5%, according to mortgage tracker HSH Associates.

A borrower’s credit score is probably the most important factor in determining eligibility for a loan. Most mortgages today are backed by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac – and their underwriting criteria generally requires a FICO credit score of 720 and above, says Keith Gumbinger, vice president at HSH Associates.

May 22, 2010 — “Tax-credit deadline passes, mortgage applications swoon,” a Baltimore Sun article, written by Jamie Smith Hopkins, quoting HSH.com:

Financial publisher HSH Associates says the downward trend has continued: “After setting 2010 lows last week, mortgage rates managed another downshift this week and are once again near historic — approximately 50-year — lows.”

May 21, 2010 — “Slowdown Fear Hits Market,” a Wall Street Journal article, quoting HSH.com, by Tom Lauricella:

The average rate on a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 4.88% on Thursday, according to HSH Associates in Pompton Plains, N.J. That’s the lowest rate since early December.

May 20, 2010 — “Jumbo Loans Make a Comeback,” a BigBuilderOnline.com article, written by Teresa Burney, quoting HSH.com:

“The price of the money has been getting steadily better,” said Keith Gumbinger, senior vice president of financial publisher HSH Associates. The interest rates for non-agency jumbo loans, which don’t conform to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or Federal Housing Administration lending standards, were down to 5.73% recently, not much higher than the 5.55% low in June 2003, he said.

“We are not exactly at rock bottom,” Gumbinger said. “But it would be hard to argue that sub-6% loans are high by any means.”

May 20, 2010 — “Mortgage rates fall to lowest levels this year,” a MarketWatch.com article, written by Amy Hoak, quoting HSH.com:

The recent drop in fixed-rate mortgage rates is due largely to the economic crisis in Europe, said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH Associates, a publisher of consumer loan information.

“The global flight-to-safety away from risky (or at least less predictable) assets and into the more sturdy investments like U.S. Treasurys is driving down those yields and dragging fixed mortgage rates down along with them,” Gumbinger said in an email message.

May 19, 2010 — “Mortgage Rates Fall to New Lows. So Does Loan Demand,” a Wall Street Journal article, written by Nick Timiraos, quoting HSH.com:

“We’ve seen these numbers before. They might be enough to get in a few folks who’ve been disappointed before,” says Keith Gumbinger of HSH.com, which does its own surveys and found that rates ended at 4.99% on Tuesday, the lowest level in six months. “If we can hang in this level another week and get the word out there, it does suggest that some additional refi activity could come out of the marketplace.”

May 17, 2010 — “Interest rates still at rock bottom. Will that spark spring home sales?,” a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article, written by Tim Logan, quoting HSH.com:

Well, as the mortgage mavens at HSH Associates note here, all the ups and downs in the stock market is driving investors to bonds. So’s the crisis in the Eurozone, brought home by all those protests in Athens lately. In other words, a flight to safety. And the U.S. Treasury still represents safety.

May 13, 2010 — “Mortgage Rates on 30-Year U.S. Loans Fall to 4.93% (Update2),” a Bloomberg Businessweek article (also appearing in the San Francisco Chronicle), written by Prashant Gopal, quoting HSH.com:

Falling rates will help people “save a couple bucks on mortgage payments” when they refinance a home loan, said Keith Gumbinger, vice president at HSH Associates, a mortgage-data company in Pompton Plains, New Jersey. Declining borrowing costs also provide a boost to buyers who missed the government’s April 30 deadline for a tax credit of as much as $8,000, he said.

This week’s rates, the lowest since Feb. 18, might have been influenced by investors flocking to less risky securities such as Treasuries as the Greek debt crisis unfolded and the Dow Jones Industrial Average took an unexpected plunge, Gumbinger said.

May 11, 2010 — “Home Prices Stabilize in Non-Boom Regions,” a Wall Street Journal article, written by Robbie Whelan, quoting HSH.com:

Rates ended last week at 5.01% for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, according to HSH Associates. That’s just slightly higher than the 50-year low of 4.92%, which was reached in December of last year.

May 05, 2010 — “Jumbo Mortgages: Bigger is Better, Again,” an AOL Housing Watch article quoting HSH.com by Charles Feldman:

“The availability of money has improved and the price of that money has improved,” said Keith Gumbinger of HSH Associates, a financial publisher.

April 30, 2010 — “Jumbo Loans Easier to Find,” a Wall Street Journal article quoting HSH.com by Nick Timiraos:

“The rust has slowly been shaken off as banks re-learn how to do portfolio lending,” says Keith Gumbinger of HSH Associates, a financial publisher based in Pompton Plains, N.J.

Meanwhile, rates on jumbo loans have also fallen to their lowest levels in years. Last week, the average 30-year fixed-rate jumbo loan carried a 5.76% rate, just above the all-time low of 5.55% in June 2003, according to HSH Associates.

April 26, 2010 — “Jumbo mortgages become more affordable,” a MarketWatch.com article quoting HSH.com by Amy Hoak:

The securities are based on high-quality jumbo mortgages, basically setting it up as a test case to determine if the private securitization markets can be revived, said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH Associates, a publisher of consumer loan information.

It’s too early to know the outcome of this development, Gumbinger said. But if investors do have an appetite for this kind of debt, “we have a vehicle for banks to get loans off their books,” he said.

April 25, 2010 — “Do some shopping for best home loans,” a Cherry Hill Courier Post article quoting HSH.com by Eileen Smith:

So what is a prospective homeowner to do?

First, shop around. HSH Associates, a Pompton Plains-based provider of mortgage information, suggests gathering information on rates and terms from at least six banks and credit unions.

April 24, 2010 — “The New Rules of Remodeling,” a Wall Street Journal article quoting HSH.com by M.P. McQueen:

Banks also are making credit less available than they used to. Keith T. Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com, a mortgage-data firm, says that before the housing bust, banks would often lend for projects based on the value of the house after completion of the project, but they are less likely to do so now because “there’s no guarantee the improvement or the market will lead to price appreciation.”

April 24, 2010 — “Market for high-priced homes, jumbo mortgages begins to thaw,” a Washington Post article quoting HSH.com by Renae Merle:

Now the market for these “jumbo” loans is starting to thaw. The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate jumbo mortgage stood at about 5.8 percent this week, according to HSH Associates. That is near historic lows and down significantly from the height of the financial crisis, when it was near 8 percent.

“Things have been steadily getting better,” said Keith Gumbinger, vice president at the research firm.

But the market is still far from normal, he said. The disparity in the rates offered for jumbo mortgages and traditional ones (which also carry rates near record lows) remains wider than normal, Gumbinger said. “Normalcy is returning, but I would by no means say it has returned,” he said.

April 21, 2010 — “A Small Shot of Hope for Jumbo Mortgages,” a Wall Street Journal article quoting HSH.com by James R. Hagerty:

In December 2008, jumbo rates for 30-year fixed-rate loans were around 7%, compared with 5.2% for conforming, according to HSH Associates. Last week, the jumbo average had come down to about 5.8%, HSH says, still about 0.60 percentage point more than conforming.

April 20, 2010 — “5 Tips on Getting a Mortgage After the Bust,” an Associated Press article (appearing in the New York Times) quoting HSH.com:

SHOP AROUND: A home is the biggest purchase most people ever make, so spend plenty of time doing research. Get quotes from at least six bankers, brokers and credit unions, advises Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH Associates, a financial publisher. ”These are permanent debts,” Gumbinger says. ”You need to spend some time being involved in it.”

April 19, 2010 — “The Refinancing Dilemma: Should I Do It?,” a SmartMoney.com article quoting HSH.com by Lisa Scherzer:

Average 30-year fixed rates were 5.21% for the week ending April 9, up from 5.05% about a month ago, according to HSH Associates, a mortgage-data tracking firm. And if the economy keeps on current course, HSH expects to see conforming 30-year rates in the 5.75% to 6% range by end of 2010, give or take a little, says Keith Gumbinger, vice president at the firm.

April 17, 2010 — “An Alternative to Foreclosure,” a Wall Street Journal article quoting HSH.com by Anna Prior:

This option often allows the homeowners to negotiate more favorable exit terms than a foreclosure allows, including staying in the home for several extra months or potentially lessening the negative impact on their credit, says Keith Gumbinger, vice president at mortgage-education firm HSH Associates.

Lenders may be willing to go for the agreement, Mr. Gumbinger says, because they can potentially save tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees and other costs associated with a foreclosure.

Contact your lender to discuss your options — communication is “crucial to getting the most favorable outcome,” he says.

April 16, 2010 –”This week’s Real Estate stories,” a MarketWatch.com article quoting blog.HSH.com by Amy Hoak:

Still, an ongoing poll from HSH Associates’ daily mortgage news blog finds that many potential home buyers support another extension. HSH Associates is a publisher of consumer loan information.

As of Friday morning, 89% of more than 1,200 people polled said they’re depending on another extension of the home-buyer tax credit. Vote or view current poll results at HSH.com.

“This poll obviously touched a nerve with our readers, because it is by far the most popular poll we’ve ever run,” said Tim Manni, author of HSH.com’s daily blog, in a news release. “The question remains, are lawmakers listening?”

April 15, 2010 — “Mortgage rates drop,” a MarketWatch.com article quoting HSH.com by Amy Hoak:

But rates will rise in the future, some say. The recent rise in rates “probably isn’t over, if in temporary retreat,” said Keith T. Gumbinger, vice president for HSH Associates, a publisher of consumer loan information.

The upward pressure in rates was only partly due to the Federal Reserve recently ending its purchase of mortgage-backed securities, Gumbinger said. “The bump is partially related to uncertainty surrounding the Fed’s exit, but mostly due to the rise in underlying interest rates as economic news has become somewhat brighter of late,” Gumbinger said in an email. “The influential — for mortgage rates — yield on 10-year Treasuries touched over 4% last week.”

April 14, 2010 — “Why Can’t I Get a Mortgage?,” a SmartMoney.com article quoting HSH.com by Will Swarts and AnnaMaria Andriotis:

In general, healthier banks should be lending more, which should happen if large banks continue reporting rising net income and earnings, says Keith Gumbinger, a vice president at HSH Associates, a mortgage-data tracking firm. Consumers aren’t seeing increased mortgage lending because of tight underwriting standards associated with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration. “This is a constructed marketplace,” says Gumbinger. “The banks are not really in direct control of the underwriting standards of residential mortgages to a great degree for consumer-preferred products.”

April 13, 2010 — “Interest rates creeping back up, but lower in St. Louis,” a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article quoting HSH.com by Tim Logan:

In fact, the money’s even cheaper in St. Louis, where interest rates still average just 5 percent, according to HSH Associates, which tracks mortgage markets. Rates here have eased a bit since the end of the year.

April 13, 2010 — “Home buyer tax credit deadline approaches,” a Baltimore Sun article quoting blog.HSH.com by Jamie Smith Hopkins:

But mortgage publisher HSH Associates notes that most of the people taking a poll on its blog “overwhelmingly support” more time. As of 10 p.m. Monday, 84 percent said they were “depending on” an extension.

April 13, 2010 — “Inspecting homes near foreclosure a booming business,” a NorthJersey.com article quoting HSH.com by Carol Lawrence:

“Borrowers are failing at a slower rate than before,” said residential mortgage analyst Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH Associates in Pompton Plains. But, he added, the recent data is too short a time frame to tell.

Gumbinger said two leading drivers behind troubled loans — unemployment and the need for home prices to stabilize — must improve first.

April 12, 2010 — “March lifts the market for Twin Cities area homes,” a Minneapolis Star Tribune article quoting HSH.com by Kara McGuire:

Good economic news can turn into bad news for home buyers, pushing interest rates higher. While rates are still historically low, the 30-year-fixed rate climbed above 5 percent in recent weeks and could rise to 5.6 percent by mid-May, according to Keith Gumbinger, mortgage analyst with the financial publisher HSH Associates.

April 10, 2010 — “Mortgages: Why It May Be Time to Refinance Your Loan,” a Wall Street Journal article quoting HSH.com by Nick Timiraos:

Mortgage rates already have ticked up a bit since the Fed ended its purchases of mortgage-backed securities a week ago. Average 30-year fixed mortgage rates stood at 5.20% on Thursday, down from 5.32% on Monday but still up from 5.18% a week earlier, according to HSH Associates.

April 9, 2010 — “Recovering lost home equity will take years,” a MarketWatch article quoting HSH.com by Lew Sichelman:

I recently asked the folks at HSH Associates, the popular and oft-quoted Pompton Plains, N.J., financial publishing house, to run some numbers, and their findings aren’t terribly encouraging.

“It’s going to be a long time coming,” said Keith Gumbinger, vice president at HSH, about the prospects for rebuilding “lost” equity.

April 08, 2010 — “Without the Fed, Mortgage Rates Bounce Around,” a Wall Street Journal article quoting HSH.com by Nick Timiraos:

Average 30-year rates stood at 5.27% on Wednesday, according to HSH.com, up from 5.18% one week earlier.

“It’s an uncertain type of market,” says Keith Gumbinger of HSH.com.

April 07, 2010 — HSH.com was featured on WNYC’s radio program The Takeaway. Click here to listen to “Do It Yourself Bailout: Demystifying Your Credit Score.”

March 27, 2010 — “Time to Storm the Castle,” a Wall Street Journal article quoting HSH.com by Nick Timiraos and James R. Hagerty:

Loans above those limits are considered jumbos. While rates on jumbos are way down from a high of about 7.9% in October 2008, they remain well above the 5.1% found on conventional loans guaranteed by Fannie or Freddie, according to HSH Associates.

March 26, 2010 — “Debt Fears Send Rates Up,” a Wall Street Journal article quoting HSH.com by Tom Lauricella:

In the past two days, mortgage rates have also ticked up. The average 30-year mortgage rate rose to 5.13% on Thursday from 5.06% on Monday, according to HSH Associates in Pompton Plains, New Jersey.

March 25, 2010 — “Fed exit looms over US mortgages,” a Financial Times article quoting HSH.com by Nicole Bullock, Michael Mackenzie and Aline van Duyn:

“For homeowners, [the Fed programme] promoted perhaps the best refinancing opportunity in about 50 years in terms of rates,” says Keith Gumbinger, vice-president at HSH Associates, a mortgage analyst. “But underwriting conditions remain tight. You need to have a fairly deep equity position, good documentation and good credit.”

The homeowner rate subsequently reached a fifty-year low of 4.92 per cent in December 2009. It is currently just above 5 per cent, according to HSH.

March 24, 2010 — “6 housing trends in a still-shaky market,” a CNNMoney.com article quoting HSH.com by Amanda Gengler:

Meanwhile, jumbo borrowers and investors must often put 30% to 35% down. “These loans are often riskier, so lenders make you jump through more hoops to get one,” says Keith Gumbinger of HSH Associates, a mortgage publishing website.

March 22, 2010 — “Mortgages: A market to prop up,” a Financial Times article quoting HSH.com by Suzanne Kapner:

“If you are lending your own money you are going to be a bit more diligent,” says Keith Gumbinger of HSH Associates, which tracks mortgage rates.

March 17, 2010 — “Fed to End Mortgage-Purchase Program,” a Wall Street Journal article quoting HSH.com by Jon Hilsenrath and Luca Di Leo:

Some analysts have worried that the end to the Fed’s mortgage buying could raise mortgage rates. So far that hasn’t happened. Rates on 30-year mortgages have fallen to around 5.05% from 5.28% at the start of the year, according to research firm HSH Associates, even as Fed officials telegraphed the program would end soon.

March 15, 2010 — “A Challenge for Borrowers,” an article from Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine quoting HSH.com by Anne Kates Smith:

The mortgage market will soon face a new challenge. The Fed has been buying mortgage-backed securities since November 2008 to keep interest rates low and money flowing into the mortgage market. When the Fed exits that business in April, borrowers could see mortgage rates rise by a half point, says Keith Gumbinger, of mortgage-research firm HSH Associates.

But he also sees good news ahead. That 13.2% increase in lenders reporting tighter lending standards was the smallest quarterly increase since the third quarter of 2007 — a sign that the home-loan pendulum may soon swing back to rational.

March 13, 2010 — “Where to Find the Money,” a Wall Street Journal article mentioning HSH.com by Ruth Simon and Maurice Tamman:

Mortgage rates can also be found at www.hsh.com and www.zillow.com.

March 07, 2010 — “Think twice before walking away,” a Detroit Free Press article quoting HSH.com by Susan Tompor:

Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH Associates Financial Publishers, which publishes consumer loan information, gives an example of a buyer who put 5% down for a $200,000 home in 2006. The home’s value may have dropped about 30% by now.

Even if housing values started rising this year — an unlikely scenario by most projections — Gumbinger estimates that the homeowner finally could be above water by 2015.

But in five years, the owner still could have no equity in the home. Based on Gumbinger’s estimates, the house would be worth about $161,000, still well below the 2006 price.

March 05, 2010 — “Don’t twist my ARM,” an inmanNEWS.com article quoting HSH.com by Steve Bergsman, also appearing in PhiladelphiaWeekly.com:

“ARMs are not evil,” asserts Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH Associates, a Pompton Plains, N.J., mortgage rate tracking firm. “The traditional ARM has well-demonstrated and well-understood risk. It’s when you get into exotic payment methodologies where you are making payments that don’t even cover the interest that things go badly. The problem isn’t the ARM — it is the payment structure which is overlaid on top that helps the borrower dig a deeper and deeper hole.”

“It has gotten to the point, where consumers, looking at ARMs, consider it toxic,” says Gumbinger. “It is like touching the third rail of mortgage lending.”

March 03, 2010 — “2010 First-Time Home Buyer’s Guide,” a U.S. News & World Report article quoting HSH.com by Luke Mullins:

Although the real estate bust wiped out nearly $6 trillion of housing wealth through November 2009, the financial advantages of homeownership remain. “When you own a home, you are slowly but surely building strength in an asset that you can utilize to your great benefit at some point,” says Keith Gumbinger of HSH.com. Homeowners who accumulate enough equity can borrow against the property to put Junior through college, or they can sell it down the road to purchase that retirement bungalow in Boca Raton, Fla. And federal tax breaks make home mortgages less costly than other forms of debt. “It is a long-term forced savings plan,” Gumbinger says.

March 03, 2010 — “Mortgage Rates Hover Around 5%, For Those Who Can Qualify,” a Wall Street Journal article HSH.com by Nick Timiraos:

Rates for now are still quite low—proof, say some analysts, that big rate rises aren’t going to materialize. Average rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages stood at 5.02% at the end of Tuesday, according to HSH.com.

February 27, 2010 — “Chicago-area home sales post year-over-year gain: But sales are lower than December, and prices have dropped,” a Chicago Tribune article quoting HSH.com by Mary Ellen Podmolik:

“Rates may bump a bit but not enough to disturb many buyers’ plans,” said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH Associates, a publisher of consumer loan data. “I don’t think we’re going to make 6 percent in the next few months.”

February 26, 2010 — “What Tanking Home Sales Mean for the Recovery,” a U.S. News & World Report article quoting HSH.com by Luke Mullins:

“The change in the market will bring some increase in interest rates, but we are expecting it now to be less than half [percentage point], and it could even end up being less than a quarter [percentage point],” says Keith Gumbinger of HSH.com.

February 24, 2010 — “Facing ARMageddon Borrowers Grapple With Refinancing,” a Wall Street Journal article quoting HSH.com by Nick Timiraos:

But Keith Gumbinger at HSH Associates notes that there’s really only one direction for rates to head in the coming years: up. The only question is whether that happens gradually or not. Borrowers with hybrid ARMs see their interest rate fall when those loans reset from their initial fixed-rate period to an annual adjustable rate.

February 22, 2010 — “Mortgage Rates and Home Buyers: Make Your Move Sooner,” a CBS MarketWatch.com article quoting HSH.com by Ray Martin:

If you haven’t read the 2010 Mortgage Rate Outlook by HSH Associates then you should. Especially if you are considering buying a home or refinancing a mortgage this year. Their forecast neatly lays out a case for higher mortgage rates by year end.

February 22, 2010 — “Take Three: Will Congress Extend the Home Buyer Tax Credit?,” a Wall Street Journal article quoting HSH.com by Nick Timiraos:

While there’s still about 10 weeks before the current tax credit expires, that doesn’t leave much time for buyers looking to cash-in, notes Keith Gumbinger of HSH.com, a financial publisher. Home sales surged last October when it looked like the tax credit might expire for good, and then plunged in December, once it the credit had been extended.

February 19, 2010 — “Mind your ARMs,” a MarketWatch article quoting HSH.com by Amy Hoak:

If your rate is indexed to the Libor, it could be at about 3% right now, said Keith Gumbinger, vice president for HSH Associates, publisher of consumer loan information. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.93% for the week ending Feb. 18, assuming payment of an average 0.7 point to obtain it, according to the latest Freddie Mac survey of conforming mortgage rates. See Mortgages.

“Some borrowers may opt to roll the dice again,” Gumbinger said, and decide to stay in their current ARM to enjoy the lower rates as long as they can.

February 16, 2010 — “Low mortgage rates ‘living on borrowed time,’ could climb next month,” a WalletPop.com article quoting HSH.com by Amy Pyle:

Though the federal government has consistently signaled its desire to end the subsidy and did so again last week, Keith Gumbinger, vice president of financial publisher HSH Associates, says the March deadline is not hard and fast.

The private market might not be able to pick up the slack once the government pulls out, causing interest rates to rise and refinancing demand to fall — and along with it, the demand for mortgage securities backing, says Gumbinger. The private market would then be able to handle that diminished flow, causing rates to slip back down.

February 15, 2010 — “Metro Detroit’s tony Lake Shore begs for homebuyers,” an article appearing in The Detroit News quoting HSH.com by Louis Aguilar:

While rates on “jumbo mortgages,” over that amount, have dropped, many borrowers can’t qualify because banks may have to keep jumbo mortgages on their books, but they apply much stricter lending standards, said Keith Gumbinger, an analyst for HSH Associates, a mortgage research firm.

“Your down payment requirements are anywhere between 40 percent down to 20 percent down, depending upon what is happening in your marketplace,” Gumbinger said. “You may have to show superhuman strength in terms of credit.”

February 15, 2010 — “Avoid making a hasty homebuying decision just so you won’t miss $8,000 federal tax credit,” a New York Daily News article quoting HSH.com by Jean Chatzky:

Will the tax credits be extended beyond April? I’m skeptical, but some of my best sources disagree. Real estate stats show that it’s been an effective program, and there will likely be pressure for Congress to extend it, said Keith Gumbinger, vice president at mortgage information firm HSH Associates.

“It’s an easy thing to stand behind during an election year,” he said.

The other wild card? Federal mortgage and housing support programs are due to end March 31. These efforts brought mortgage rates down – about 0.75%, according to Gumbinger – and the end of the program could bring a rise in rates.

February 15, 2010 — “Mortgage rates poised to jump as Fed cuts funds,” a San Francisco Chronicle article quoting HSH.com by Carolyn Said, also appearing on CalculatedRiskBlog.com:

Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH Associates, which compiles mortgage loan data, thinks that rates will slowly rise to about 5.75 percent after the Fed withdraws.

“Right now the Fed is acting as a sponge, absorbing about $12 billion a week of what you might consider excess supply,” he said. “When they stop, the market will have to pick up some chunk of change.”

February 10, 2010 — “U.S. aims to stop backing mortgages,” a L.A. Times article quoting HSH.com by Walter Hamilton and Jim Puzzanghera, also appearing in The State and the Myrtle Beach Sun News:

“My sense is [government officials] desperately want to get out of this program,” said Keith Gumbinger, vice president at mortgage research firm HSH Associates. “The longer this goes on, the less likely that the private marketplace will jump back in any time soon.”

February 08, 2010 — “Forget the Mortgage, I’m Paying My Credit Card Bill,” a U.S. News & World Report article quoting HSH.com by Luke Mullins:

“It used to be that the mortgage was sacrosanct,” says Keith Gumbinger of HSH.com. “You paid it before anything else.” But a combination of factors linked to the current economic mess—falling home prices, high unemployment, and tight consumer credit—have lead many consumers to prioritize credit card payments above mortgage bills. “This sort of thing is what keeps bankers awake at night,” Gumbinger says.

**Be sure to also check out our blog post on this topic**

February 02, 2010 — “Financial experts predict slow start to US property recovery,” a US Property News article quoting HSH by Ray Clancy:

According to HSH Associates, a New Jersey based financial publishing house, the outlook for the first half of 2010 is flat. ‘Rebuilding equity is going to be a long time coming even in a reasonable interest rate environment, even with reasonable appreciation,’ said HSH Vice President Keith Gumbinger.

HSH is predicting a flat real estate market with no increase in value through June 2010. Then, from July 2010 through August 2011, a period of 14 months, prices are projected to increase at a rate of about 2.5% a year. And from then on the company is predicting a yearly gain of 3%.

‘We could end up running through a whole other recession cycle,’ warned Gumbinger, adding that the US economy tends to fall into a business-cycle contraction every 10 years or so. ‘House values could move up more strongly or more weakly, depending on any number of circumstances,’ he said.

January 29, 2010 — “Home Equity Won’t Be Coming Back for a Very Long Time,” a Lew Sichelman article quoting HSH.com, appearing as the lead story on National Mortgage News:

But HSH Associates, the Pompton Plains, N.J., financial publishing house, ran some numbers on this recently, and their findings aren’t terribly encouraging.

“It’s going to be a long time coming,” says HSH vice president Keith Gumbinger of the prospects of rebuilding “lost” equity.

Of course, it’s impossible to accurately predict anything about the current state of housing. But “even in a reasonable interest rate environment, even with reasonable appreciation,” says Gumbinger, getting back to where we were is going to be “well down the road for most of us.”

January 27, 2010 — “New home sales fall 7.6 pct in December,” an Associated Press article quoting HSH.com by Alan Zibel — appearing in the Charleston Daily Mail, San Francisco Chronicle, ClickOnDetroit.com:

Mortgage rates rose slightly after the Federal Reserve’s statement. but remain level with the past two weeks. The national average rate on 30-year loan was 5.12 percent on Thursday, up from 5.04 percent on Tuesday, roughly the same as it had been over the past 10 days, according to data publisher HSH Associates.

January 24, 2010 — “Prepayments reduce loan terms, mortgage costs,” a Times Herald-Record article quoting HSH.com:

Second, I used the amortization calculator at HSH.com and added one additional payment of $1,264.14 per year. Using that approach, the loan would be repaid in 25 years and 4 months — that’s 304 months in total.

January 22, 2010 — “A Guide to the New Good Faith Estimate,” an article by Tara Siegel Bernanrd quoting HSH.com appearing in the New York Times ‘Bucks’ blog:

Before the estimate was standardized, different forms and vague terminology made it difficult for borrowers to make apples-to-apples comparisons across lenders, said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH Associates, a financial publisher in Pompton Plains, N.J.

January 21, 2010 — “It will be a long, slow climb back for housing values,” a nationally syndicated article written by Lew Sichelman quoting HSH.com appearing in the Macomb Daily, the LA Times:

But the folks at HSH Associates, the popular and oft-quoted Pompton Plains, N.J., financial publishing house, ran some numbers for this column recently, and their findings aren’t terribly encouraging.

“It’s going to be a long time coming,” said HSH vice president Keith Gumbinger of our prospects of rebuilding “lost” equity.

Of course, it’s impossible to accurately predict anything about the current state of housing. But “even in a reasonable interest-rate environment, even with reasonable appreciation,” said Gumbinger, getting back to where we were is going to be “well down the road for most of us.”

*Also, be sure to read our blog post on the subject.*

January 20, 2010 — “FHA mortgage loan standards tighten,” a NorthJersey.com article quoting HSH.com by Kathleen Lynn:

The new FHA limits mean “fewer potential buyers will have access to credit,” said Keith Gumbinger, a vice president with Pompton Plains-based HSH Associates, which tracks the mortgage market nationwide.

But, he said, FHA officials decided “they need to firm up their criteria and preserve their own solvency.”

January 20, 2010 — “$8 million in assets — and can’t get a mortgage,” a CNNMoney article quoting HSH.com by Les Christie:

It was so simple to get jumbo loans just a few years ago. The wealthy barely had to pay a 0.2 percentage point premium over a conforming loan, according to Keith Gumbinger of HSH Associates, a publisher of mortgage information.

“Mortgages for second homes have been tough to get the past couple of years,” said Gumbinger. “A lot of second-home areas, like in Florida and Arizona, are among the most challenging markets.”

January 20, 2010 — “Revival in ‘Private-Label’ Mortgage Securities,” a Wall Street Journal article quoting HSH.com by Ruth Simon and James Hagerty:

Another obstacle is pricing. Some analysts believe the yields needed to attract buyers might be too high to make the transactions profitable for lenders. At current rates, “you can’t profitably originate new jumbo mortgages … sell off the pieces and securitize it profitably,” says Laurie Goodman, a senior managing director at Amherst Securities Group. Rates on jumbo loans currently average 6%, according to HSH Associates.

January 18. 2010 — “Clearer mortgage documents make shopping easier,” a MarketWatch article quoting HSH.com by Amy Hoak:

The new good-faith estimate document is a good start in educating consumers about their loan, and answers “the simplest of questions: Can anyone tell me what this loan costs?” says Keith Gumbinger, vice president of Pompton Plains, N.J.-based HSH Associates, a publisher of consumer loan information.

The standardized forms are a shift from the multitude of varied documents lenders provided in the past — which could range from a single page with hand-scrawled numbers by one lender to typed pages of costs by another lender, Gumbinger says.

January 18, 2010 — “Refinancing: No time like now, but keep your eyes wide open,” a WalletPop article quoting HSH.com by Amy Pyle:

Keith Gumbinger, VP of financial publisher HSH Associates, calls the strategy a “pre-emptive refinance.”

“We’re not talking about draining the equity out of your home, but merely replacing old debt with new debt — albeit at a lower rate and with a longer term over which to repay it,” he says. “Your indebtedness isn’t growing, but your ability to manage the debt you have can be improved.”

January 17, 2010 — “What a Mortgage Will Really Cost,” a Wall Street Journal article quoting HSH.com by Amy Hoak:

The standardized forms are a shift from the varied documents lenders provided in the past — which could range from a single page with hand-scrawled numbers to typed pages of costs, says Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH Associates, a Pompton Plains, N.J., publisher of consumer-loan information.

January 17, 2010 — “Smart moves to refinance a mortgage,” an article appearing in The State quoting HSH.com by Ellen James Martin:

Keith Gumbinger, a vice president at HSH Associates, which tracks mortgage rates throughout the nation, says 2010 could be an opportune time to refinance, given that rates are still relatively low by historic standards.

“The message is getting out to procrastinators that bottom-level interest rates could be gone within coming months as the economy improves and the federal government’s support for low rates eases off,” he says.

January 11, 2010 — “New Rules Help Borrowers at Closing,” a SmartMoney.com article quoting HSH.com by Lisa Scherzer:

“Fees were communicated in multiple ways, which adds to the confusion when comparing costs,” says Keith Gumbinger, a vice president at HSH Associates, which tracks the mortgage market. Under the new rules, lenders will all be required to use the same form for their Good Faith Estimates – a three-page document issued by HUD.

There are also new rules capping increases in costs that are disclosed on the Good Faith Estimate and guidelines so that fees listed on the initial GFE reflect the actual cost at settlement. “Those fees on the GFE at the beginning of the process will be the same on HUD-1 form [final settlement statement] at the end of the process,” says Gumbinger.

January 08, 2010 — “Fed Plan to Stop Buying Mortgages Feeds Recovery Worries,” a Wall Street Journal article quoting HSH.com by Liz Rappaport and Jon Hilsenrath:

Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgage have risen by a quarter of a percentage point in the past month to around 5.2%, according to HSH Associates, near their highest levels since September as the bond market has pushed up long-term interest rates amid signs of an improving economy.

January 8, 2010 — “Jean Chatzky: Answers to your fiscal questions,” a Kankakee Daily Journal article quoting HSH.com:

Whether or not you can pay extra toward escrow will depend on your mortgage company, says Keith Gumbinger, a vice president at HSH Associates. “You’d have to call the lender directly, but most of the time, extra payments are applied to principal.”

January 5, 2010 — “An Action Plan for 2010,” an article from JeanChatzky.com quoting HSH.com:

Refi anything that makes sense. I got an email over the weekend from INGDirect offering a 3.75% 5-year adjustable rate mortgage. I’ve also seen 15-year fixed rate loans at 4.5% and 30-year fixed rate loans around 5.25%. According to the forecast from HSH.com, the leading publisher of mortgage-rate information, rates should hold into the first quarter of 2010, then head ½ to 1 full percentage point higher.

“For lenders, it is a spirited competitive environment,’’ said Gumbinger. “It is an opportunity to get the best of the best borrowers.’’

“Your income won’t buy you as much mortgage as it used to,’’ he said. The good news is that home prices in many areas are lower and will counteract the effect of tighter guidelines.

“The long-term benefits of a shorter-term mortgage are real,” said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of the consumer mortgage website HSH.com. “Is it the best use of your cash? That’s going to depend.”

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