Effective April 2018 Sammamish Mortgage has expanded our high balance conforming loans to $679,250 regardless of the county loan limit. This allows our clients to avoid the tighter loan guidelines and higher rates and costs generally associated with Jumbo Loans including options with less than 20% down.
Oregon jumbo loan limits will go up in 2018, in response to rising home prices. In most counties across the state, anything above $453,100 will be considered a jumbo loan. The one exception is Hood River County, where the new threshold is set at $454,250.
Oregon Jumbo Loan Limits in 2018
In November, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that it would increase conforming loan limits for most counties across the country. These caps apply to conventional loans that can be purchased by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. The conforming limits were increased in all counties of Oregon, as well as most counties across the United States – with some exceptions.
According to a November 28 press release from FHFA:
“As a result of generally rising home values [in 2017] … the maximum conforming loan limit will be higher in 2018 in all but 71 counties or county equivalents in the U.S.” Among other things, this means that the jumbo loan limit for Oregon will be higher in 2018 than it was in 2017.
This is the maximum amount for conventional conforming loans, which are those that can be purchased by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Anything above these limits is considered a jumbo loan in Oregon.
A Response to Home Price Gains
This increase comes on the heels of major home-price gains that occurred over the last couple of years. Home prices across the Pacific Northwest have risen at a faster pace than the national average in recent years.
Depending on the source, house values in Oregon rose somewhere between 7% and 9% over the last 12 months (ending in November 2017). That’s much higher than the national average for the same time, as well as the historical annual average going back several decades. As a result of these trends, Oregon will see a higher jumbo loan threshold in 2018.
Frequently Asked Questions About “Big” Mortgages
The whole concept of loan limits can be pretty confusing, especially for first-time home buyers in Oregon who are not familiar with the terminology. Here’s a quick overview.
What is a jumbo loan?
As explained above, a jumbo mortgage loan is one that exceeds the conforming limits established by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. These size restrictions apply to loans that can be sold to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae via the secondary mortgage market. When a home loan exceeds these limits, it is referred to as a jumbo mortgage.
What are the qualification requirements?
The requirements for borrowers seeking a jumbo loan in Oregon are similar to those used for smaller conforming home loans. Borrowers must have good credit and a demonstrated ability to repay their debts. Income is a key distinction here. Jumbo borrowers must have sufficient income to manage the monthly payments for their loan, along with all other recurring debts. So these mortgage products are typically used by people with comparatively higher income levels, due to the larger size of the loan.
Do jumbo loans have higher interest rates?
You might think that a jumbo mortgage product would have a higher interest rate, since there’s a larger amount of money being borrowed. But it’s often the other way around. Over the last few years, jumbo loans (that exceed conforming limits) have had lower average rates than their smaller conforming counterparts. This is the result of investor demand and other factors. But the bottom line is that borrowers who use jumbo loans in Oregon often qualify for lower rates.