When Big Loans Come to Town

Big loans aren’t just for big cities.

Affluent borrowers in dozens of metro areas sign up for the large mortgages associated with million-dollar listings. Their popularity comes as no surprise in areas such as New York and San Francisco, known for their pricey real estate.

But new data show these loans also account for a significant percentage of real-estate activity in small metro areas associated more with ranching, oceanfront boardwalks, or sleepy towns than high-price housing markets.

On a national level, the Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco metro areas account for just over a third of all private jumbo mortgages—which exceed $417,000 in most parts of the country and $625,500 in pricier housing markets—that were originated in the U.S. last year, according to data compiled for The Wall Street Journal by Black Knight Financial Services, formerly Lender Processing Services, a mortgage-data tracking firm. They are trailed by San Jose, Calif., Chicago and San Diego, Calif.

 

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