Jumbo mortgages are providing the housing market recovery with a boost, according to industry experts. Buyers looking at luxury homes currently can obtain jumbo mortgages with interest rates that are on par with - and sometimes even lower than conventional loans. Moreover, the stringent new qualified mortgage regulations (QM) don't apply to jumbos, which makes them a more flexible option for buyers who want options like interest-only loans, or who have a high net worth but complicated finances.

Jumbo loans are luring more buyers into "move-up" purchases, and this in turn is freeing up inventory at the lower end of the housing market.

Tom: As our local home prices keep rising, more and more waterfront buyers who opt to finance will be considering jumbo loans. Jumbo loans begin to kick in for homes priced at  about $500,000 ($417,000 loan with 20% down payment). The nicer gulf-access homes, especially in the southern quadrants of the Cape are already at or above the $500 K range.