Conforming Loan Limit Changes to Hit Eastside Hardest

Full disclosure: The Tim is employed by Redfin.

Yesterday over on the Redfin blog, I dug a little deeper into the conforming loan limit changes, pulling detailed sales data from all around the country by zip code to see which areas would be most affected by the change.

The result was another Google FusionTables zip code heat map. Below I have embedded the Seattle area. Note that to calculate the percent of sales that would be affected, I assumed 20% down. Click on any zip code to see the breakdown. Red represents 20% or more affected, Orange for 10% to <20%, Yellow for 5% to <10%, and Blue for <5%.

As I pointed out a couple weeks ago, for most of the Seattle area, the change is a non-event. The use of the word “hardest” in the headline is highly relative. For most of the Seattle area well under 5% of homes fall between the two limits. Over on the Eastside there are a few areas that creep up to around 10% affected, and one—South Sammamish—that hits almost 25%.

It will be interesting to see if sales in the red and orange areas on the map take any sort of hit over the next few months beyond what we would expect to see due to regular seasonality.

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About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.


  1. 1
    Scotsman says:

    Microsoft coders hardest hit. Film at 11:00.

  2. 2

    Call Me Hard Hearted

    But the top 1% or even less of household incomes that qualify for like a $700K loan, don’t need the bailout….they’re the rich elite.

    And if they have that much investment money saved over the decades and/or inheritance in that amount to use as a down payment to qualify for the jumbo loan with a relatively dinky top 10% household income [approx $100K on up]; they read Mad Magazine for investment advice for their retirement/investment cash and deserve the IMMINENT loss.

  3. 3
    Blurtman says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 2 – Can you be rich without being elite?

  4. 4

    I suspect this would be impossible to do, but it would be better to look at the percentage of deeds of trust over the new limit. Even then you wouldn’t know it would affect the transaction unless you somehow knew the buyer didn’t have extra money to put down.

    20% down would be a low down payment on a high end house, and so that number is practically irrelevant.

    See post 64 here for some 2.5 year old stats on mortgages for sales over $1M.

  5. 5
    grumble says:

    Interesting – you would think the 630k to 710k range would be affected most. Also, >710k would have to kick in additional ~80k to get a conforming loan.

  6. 6
    John Doe says:

    We are renting in Sammamish and looking to purchase a home in the $600-650K range. The change to conforming loan limits has caused us to stop looking at houses. I am guessing we are not alone out there which means there will be lower demand for housing in certain markets like Sammamish.

  7. 7
    allamerican says:

    We were house hunting all summer. Since the loan limit expired we are no longer able to buy a second home. Hopefully there are others who can come up with 20% down and help the housing market. It was too early in this housing market to let the loan limit expire.

    I heard they’ve proposed foreigners to obtain a visa and allow them to purchase homes. That’s great – we can all look forward to the new future of foreign landlords.

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