Prospect Mortgage has begun offering prime jumbo loans with balances up to $2 million to the secondary market. The prime jumbos being offered by Prospect are 30-year, fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) with minimum credit scores of 700 and a 20 percent downpayment for balances up to $1 million, and a 30 percent downpayment and two appraisals for loans between $1 million and $2 million.
Since the market for private-label mortgage-backed securities (MBS) collapsed in late 2007, nearly all mortgage securities currently offered are those backed by the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But growing demand from Wall Street and investors for jumbo mortgage issues has signaled an emerging opportunity that is gathering momentum. In April 2010, a publicly traded real estate investment trust offered the first jumbo mortgage-backed security the market had seen in 18 months.
"Although Congress has extended the GSE's upper-end conforming limit of $729,750 until September 30 of this year, that ceiling is only available for a limited number of high-cost areas," said Ron Bergum, chief executive officer of Prospect Mortgage. "We are focused on producing fully documented prime loans through well-qualified buyers who need jumbo mortgages in markets with a $417,000 conforming limit, and then offering those loans to investment firms that are first movers back into jumbo securitization."