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Chart of the Day: Cheaper to buy a bigger house

Wednesday, 5 Feb 2014 | 7:45 AM ET

It's getting cheaper and cheaper to buy a big house.

The latest weekly applications data from the Mortgage Bankers Association shows a widening gap between the rate on so-called conforming mortgages ($417,000 or less) and jumbo mortgages (those above $417,000).

The gap in the latest week was 5 basis points, which may not seem like much.

But just 6 months ago, jumbos were 15 basis points more expensive than conforming loans, and a year ago they were 48 points more expensive, according to Barchart.com.

Jumbo loans have historically been more expensive because of the higher risk and fees involved, but that relationship has reversed in recent months as fees rise at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.