Portland, Oregon Jumbo Loans in 2017: Higher Limits Available

Summary: In 2017, the conforming loan limit for a single-family home in the Portland metro area is $424,100. So a Portland jumbo loan is one that exceeds that amount. This limit will remain in place through the end of 2017.

When shopping for a home loan in Portland, Oregon, you’ll probably run into the terms “jumbo” and “conforming.” These labels are used to describe the size of the mortgage loan, relative to government limits and guidelines. Here’s what you need to know about Portland jumbo loans in 2017.

Portland Jumbo Loans in 2017: Bigger Than $424,100

Let’s start with the basic difference between conforming and jumbo mortgage loans:

  • A conforming loan gets its name because it meets (or “conforms”) to the underwriting guidelines used by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government-sponsored enterprises, or GSEs, that buy and sell mortgage loans. A conforming loan can be sold to the GSEs.
  • A Portland jumbo mortgage loan, on the other hand, exceeds the maximum size limits used by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It’s too large to be sold to either of the GSEs.

Conforming loan limits are established by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). This agency also oversees the GSEs. These caps vary by county and are generally the same across an entire metro area.

The 2017 conforming limit for Multnomah County is $424,100 for a single-family home. That means a Portland jumbo loan is one that exceeds $424,100.

You might encounter the phrase “Portland jumbo loan limit” during the course of your research. This is something of a misnomer. Technically speaking, there isn’t a jumbo loan limit for Portland, Oregon. There is a conforming limit for all of Multnomah County, and it’s set at $424,100 for 2017. A conventional home loan that exceeds this amount is considered jumbo.

How It Relates to Median Home Prices

Here’s the good news for home buyers and mortgage shoppers. Federal housing officials increased loan limits for the entire Portland metro area in 2017. They did this in response to significant home-price gains that occurred during 2016. The conforming loan limits mentioned above is now higher the median home price in the area.

According to Zillow, the median home price in Portland was around $405,000 at the end of 2016. The conforming loan limit is more than $15,000 higher than that amount. As a result, the average home buyer should have plenty of properties to choose from without venturing into Portland jumbo loan territory.

Granted, home prices in the area are expected to rise steadily in 2017. Mortgage rates could climb gradually over the coming months as well. So there is a sense of urgency here. Portland home buyers who postpone their purchases until later in 2017 could end up paying more for a house.

Have Mortgage Questions?

Are you in the market to buy a home in 2017? Do you have questions about conforming limits and jumbo loans in the Portland area? We can help.

Sammamish Mortgage has proudly served the Pacific Northwest for more than 20 years. We are a family-owned company offering competitive rates on a wide variety of loan products, including both conforming and jumbo loans. Please contact us to get pre-approved, or to receive a rate quote. We look forward to hearing from you.