Mortgage Fears Drive Up Rates on Jumbo Loans

by James R. Hagerty
Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Turmoil in the U.S. home-mortgage market is starting to pinch even buyers of high-end homes with good credit records, in the latest sign of rising anxiety among lenders and investors.

This surge in rates on so-called jumbo loans is particularly notable because rates on 10-year Treasury bonds have been falling. Normally, mortgage rates move in tandem with Treasurys, but market jitters have caused investors to ditch mortgage securities.

Meanwhile, American Home Mortgage Investment Corp. finally succumbed yesterday to the mortgage-sector chaos that had crippled it in recent weeks and filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of U.S. bankruptcy law. And executives at Fannie Mae, the government-sponsored entity that along with Freddie Mac provides funding for home loans, asked the companies’ government overseer to raise the maximum amount of home mortgages and related securities Fannie can hold in its investment portfolio. The goal would be to boost demand for mortgages in general, proponents of the idea said

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