Jumbo mortgages have not only been difficult to find but also to afford.
Now, for the first time since the national mortgage meltdown, jumbo loans are becoming a bigger bargain than conforming loans.
Lenders are offering jumbo mortgages at lower rates — more than a quarter of a percentage point — than conforming loans that are backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, CNNMoney reports.
Other than some high-cost areas, jumbo mortgages are for amounts greater than $417,000.
Generally, banks charge higher rates on jumbo mortgages, typically about a quarter of a percentage point more than conforming loans, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. But recently that has reversed.
For example, Wells Fargo is offering a 30-year jumbo mortgage rate this week at 4.125 percent. In comparison, it is offering a 30-year fixed-rate conforming mortgage at 4.5 percent. US Bank is offering a jumbo mortgage rate for 3.875 percent, compared with 4.25 percent for a conforming loan.