The media has done a very poor job of relaying the collapse in the jumbo mortgage market. The term jumbo mortgage loan refers to any loan that is higher than the maximum dollar amount established in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's guidelines. At this time, any loan for a single family property greater than $417,000 is considered a jumbo loan. The limits increase to $533,850 for two-unit properties, $645,300 for triplexes and $801,950 for 4-unit homes. There are also some areas of the Country where the limits are higher including Alaska and Hawaii.
But, what does that mean for housing in high cost areas like CA, NY, FL, etc? The guidelines for doing a jumbo mortgage have tightened dramatically in the last few days. Lenders such as Indymac, Countrywide and WAMU have increased reserve requirements and stopped taking stated income for loans with less than 20% down. The interest rates for full doc jumbo loans in CA have risen by .50-.75% for the most prime credit worthy borrowers. A client making $200k gross income(everybody right?), with 1k monthly payments on the credit report for cars, putting 20% down qualified for an 825k purchase using standard debt to income ratios two weeks ago. You move rates to 7.75% and the client only qualifies for 777k. Jumbo mortgage rates are averaging 7.75% for this scenario for a 30Y fixed. Which everyone should have, it makes no sense to gamble with an adjustable if you are planning to live in the home more than a few years.
As the guidelines continue to tighten, and the reality of the freeze in the jumbo market sets in you will see sellers drop their prices as we move toward the credit freeze of winter. Buyers can no longer go to their mortgage lender and get the rocket fuel financing that propelled the luxury market between 650k-1.5m. Above these loan sizes clients tend to have substantial active and passive income from stocks, bonds, and small businesses to manage almost any lending squeeze. Working class vs asset class. Don't worry about the rich, they always find a way to make it. Keep your head on and remember it's never different this time. Please post your thoughts.