Since August of 2008, Jumbo home loans have been difficult to obtain. In fact, in the last couple of months, some of the major banks that had withdrawn from the jumbo loan market are returning. From a practical standpoint, mortgage banks need to make loans to make money. They have been quick to leave the market when economic and mortgage situations were spiraling downward, but things are getting a bit better now. Add to that the fact that home sales are still slow, so getting back into the jumbo market can increase business and profits for these banks.
While the interest rate will be somewhat higher for a jumbo than a conforming loan, it's hardly a deterrent when rates were just reported to have dropped to an average of 4.66% for a 30 year fixed loan. And, the 15 year rate is all the way down to 4.11%, with a 5 year ARM falling to 3.95%. Those are rates that the MBA (Mortgage Bankers Association) hasn't seen in their past history of record-keeping. Records from the National Bureau of Economic Research suggest that the 30-year fixed hasn't been this low since the mid-1950s.
While you're not expected to go out and buy an expensive home just to help the economic recovery, there are certainly a number of factors in play right now that may make it the perfect situation if you want to move up. Yes, qualifying is tougher, and requirements for income verification are more difficult, but with rates this low, the time may be just right for you.