Rates on jumbo loans have 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."Hybrid" adjustable-rate mortgages that carry a fixed rate for the first five years are now as low as 4.25%, down from 5.25% one year ago, says David Adamo, chief executive of Luxury Mortgage Corp., a mortgage bank in Stamford, Conn.

Getting a jumbo mortgage is becoming a little easier for home buyers in the New York area.Jumbos in the tri-state area are mortgages that exceed $729,750, the limit set to receive government backing or for lenders to sell the loans to mortgage-finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Since the mortgage crisis, banks haven’t been eager to make large loans without federal protection, so the market for such mortgages suffered, crimping sales of expensive homes.But more lenders have been stepping up their offerings of jumbo loans, even though most of the large mortgages will stay in the lender’s portfolio. "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.

By Nick Timiraos, April 30, 2010 NYT

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