In a first, jumbo mortgages cost less than conforming loans

Conforming mortgages, those with government backing, had an average interest rate of 4.73% last week for a 30-year, fixed-rate loan, compared with an average of 4.71% for a similar jumbo loan. Lending executives say the reversal has never happened before, and they attribute it to volatility in the market, cash-flush lenders and government regulations.

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