06Mar2013
Dan Green
Author
Dan Green
Filed Under
Mortgage Market Headlines

Rankings : Alpine, New Jersey Ranks As Most Expensive U.S. Neighborhood

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Most expensive neighborhoods in the United StatesMarketWatch recently published its Most Expensive Neighborhoods In The U.S. list. 

Not surprisingly, many of the nation's "most expensive neighborhoods" are in California. Many of the rest have ties to New York City.

An Aspen, Colorado suburb fills out the Top 10.

Alpine, New Jersey : Most Expensive U.S. Neighborhood

There were few listed eligibility criteria for the MarketWatch list. 

Compiled using data from REALTOR.com and 24/7 Wall Street, the MarketWatch tracked average home listing prices in a given area; changes in home listing prices over one month in that area; and, changes in listing prices over one year in that area.

Located just 15 miles from midtown Manhattan, Alpine, New Jersey was deemed the nation's most expensive neighborhood. It's annual income is double the national average and its home

The complete Top 10 list of expensive neighborhoods nationwide is :

  1. Alpine, New Jersey (07620)
  2. Ross, California (94957)
  3. New York City, New York (10013)
  4. Woody Creek, Colorado (81656)
  5. Atherton, California (94027)
  6. Beverly Hills, California (90210)
  7. Rancho Santa Fe, California (92067)
  8. Santa Barbara, California (93108)
  9. Greenwich, Connecticut (06831)
  10. Bel Air, California (90077)

No midwestern towns made the cut, nor did homes in posh parts of Miami, Florida; Scottsdale, Arizona; or Seattle, Washington. 

Click here to get today's mortgage rates.

Jumbo-Conforming Loans Sizes Up To $729,750

The good news for home buyers in "high cost" towns is access to "high cost" mortgages via Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and via the FHA and VA. High-cost home loans are a relatively new product, introduced in 2009.

Prior to 2009, homeowners in "expensive" parts of the country could not get financed via government-backed sources. This is because conforming mortgages were limited to a loan size of $417,000, and FHA and VA loan sizes were similarly restricted.

Jumbo mortgages, therefore, were used; providing the financing outlet million-dollar buyers often sought. 

Late last decade, though, with banks facing an uncertain future, many did away with their respective jumbo products, leaving buyers in high-cost towns without the means to get a mortgage for more than $417,000. 

Then came the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In it, Congress instructed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to raise their respective loan limits in areas in which home values handily exceeded the national average. 

Still today, home buyers in high-cost areas get access to jumbo-conforming mortgages.

  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac : Loan limits of $625,500
  • FHA : Loan limits of $729,750
  • VA : Loan limits of $1,094,625 

All ten listed cities in the MarketWatch report are considered "high-cost" areas.

Click here to get today's mortgage rates.

See Jumbo Mortgage Rates In Your Area

Jumbo-conforming mortgages are available with low mortgage rates, as are jumbo mortgages which exceed the limits as set forth by the government.

To see for what you qualify, get started with a loan limit lookup for your county. Then, see today's mortgages.

About the Author

Dan Green is a mortgage market expert, providing over 10 years of direct-to-consumer advice. NMLS #1019791. You can also connect with Dan on Twitter and on Google+.

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