Here is an excellent piece from http://paper-money.blogspot.com/
"I hate to belabor this point but I really think that the vanishing of the affordable prime Jumbo loan is easily the most significant development for home prices that I have heard all year.Remember, the Jumbos have dried up for PRIME borrowers.But what does it mean to say “dried up”… again, as I noted before, it simply means borrowers will need to put 20% down (or have 20% equity for refinance), provide full disclosures of income (tax returns, stubs, etc.) and then pay over 7.5%.
This appears to have happened merely because Wall Street, who inevitably supplied the liquidity behind these loans, are now obviously more risk averse and are effectively unwilling to cheaply underwrite large home loans.And the cheap Jumbos are not coming back anytime soon.Why?These loans are for the most qualified borrowers at the higher end of the income spectrum so you have to ask yourself… what is wrong with affluent borrowers being required to put 20% down, verify income, and pay a premium for a large principle loan?The key point here is that the terms have just come back to normal… NOT tightened!
Also, remember that, unlike the subprime issue, there is not even the slightest chance that any government program, Fannie, Freddie, FHA, VA, etc. or for that matter any politician can do or will do ANYTHING about it.People who currently have rate-resetting large principle loans or are planning to get one for a new purchase are on their own.Again why is this important?Because, in the last 5 years (really the last 10 years in the ultra-hot bubble metro markets) it’s NOT been the Vanderbilt’s who have been making use of Jumbo loans… it’s been the middle class dual income couple (DINKS and with kids) and the upper middle class professional individual.
The out of control spiraling buying mania forced virtually everyone in the bubble metro’s to stretch ever higher for the brass ring of the coveted residential property.Whether it was for a starter single family, rehabbed single, simple or luxury condo, affordable Jumbos with low down payments were a KEY element in enabling the prime home buyer to function in these areas.
This is the major shoe to drop for the ultra-inflated home prices in this cycle.As for today’s Fed discount rate cut… Don’t look for that kind of Federal Reserve action to restore the easy lending days of the past.At this point, lenders, banks and Wall Street alike are merely concerned with how to stabilize their operations, preserve capital and stay solvent NOT how to maximize profits by ignoring risk."