Amid all the double-dip discussions in the housing market is an odd ray of hope on the high end.
With little to no fanfare, it appears jumbo loans are not only getting cheaper, they're getting easier to obtain.
After several years of stagnation in high-end housing, thanks to the disappearance of the jumbo market, things are moving yet again.
A quick check on Bankrate.comshows the 30-year fixed jumbo at around 5.50 percent, and Citibank last week reported applications for jumbos up 30 percent just over the last 60 days.
"It is the overall weak economy driving the 10 year lower, which is the proxy for most mortgage loans," says FBR's Paul Miller. "This is still probably the best of the best getting loans at these low rates, but Jumbo activity is still very, very low." Miller says it's good for the market, but only "marginally better," as banks are desperate to find good loans to put on their books.
But how long will it last? Probably only as long as investors remain nervous about the economy.
“Preliminary signs of life in the secondary market are a good indication that the narrower spread between jumbo and conforming loans will stick around," says Bankrate.com's Greg McBride. "However, the level of mortgage rates will hinge more than anything on the demand for Treasuries.”
Bank of America tells me that applications and fundings for jumbo loans rose over 10 percent from May to June. They say they've always been the leader in jumbos, which could be why Citi is getting more aggressive.