Jumbo Loans Still Popular In Seattle As Home Prices Remain High

August 19, 2018
Last updated:
July 28, 2023
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A jumbo loan is a type of mortgage that is made in an amount over the conventional conforming loan limit in a specific location.

In Seattle, home prices are higher than the average location in Washington state, so loan limits tend to be higher.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the interest rate for jumbo mortgage loans in the state of Washington is currently higher than the rate for 30-year fixed-rate conforming loans. In and around Seattle, jumbo loans have become an increasingly popular financing method due to steadily rising home values over recent years, despite the most recent dip in prices over the past 12 months.

Access to Jumbo Loans Still High in Seattle & Nationwide

According to Zillow, the median home value in Seattle, Washington was around $577,353 as of July 2023. That’s actually a bit lower than where it was just last year. That said, home prices in Seattle are still very high relative to the rest of the state and the nation as a whole.

As a result of this trend, many Seattle home buyers continue to use jumbo loans to finance their purchases.

Definition: A jumbo loan is basically a non-conforming mortgage loan that’s too big to be sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It exceeds the conforming limit for the county where the home is being purchased.

While jumbo loans often have lower mortgage rates than conforming, they can also have stricter qualification criteria due to the larger amount being borrowed. However, jumbo loan rates can sometimes to be higher than conforming loan rates, too. In fact, that’s exactly what we’re seeing today.

As of the week of July 27, 2023, the rate for a 30-year fixed-rate conforming loan in WA state is 6.58%, while the jumbo loan rate is 7.18%.

Median Home Price Under Conforming Limit In Seattle

One of the reasons jumbo loans are in such demand across the Seattle area is that homes have become more expensive. Prices across the metro area have risen steadily over the last few years despite the recent dip over the past few months.

As a result, Seattle, Bellevue, and Sammamish have become three of the priciest cities in the state of Washington. (The median home values for Bellevue and Sammamish are even higher than Seattle’s. (Bellevue is currently seeing an average home price of $1,296,767, while Sammamish’s average home price is even higher at $1,485,583.)

So it’s only logical to see more home buyers seeking jumbo loans in Seattle, and in other relatively high-priced housing markets across the country.

Right now, the conforming loan limit in King County is $977,500, for instance, while the average home price in Seattle is currently $841,919. But while Seattle’s home price may be under the conforming loan limit in King County, other parts, like Bellevue and Sammamish, are well over that mark. As such, it’s easy to go over the conforming loan limit threshold and therefore end up in jumbo loan territory.

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Sammamish Mortgage is a local, family-owned company that has been serving borrowers across Washington since 1992, as well as those in Oregon, Colorado, and Idaho. Our mortgage financing professionals can work with you to help you determine which one of our mortgage programs is right for you. Please contact us if you have mortgage-related questions, or if you’d like to receive a rate quote.

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