Monday, November 2, 2009

Congress extends higher mortgage loan limits

On Thursday, the U.S. Congress passed a congressional resolution to extend the current higher Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA loan limits through 2010. The present, higher loan limits expire at the end of 2009 and revert to previous lower limits. The move still needs to be signed by President Obama, which is expected shortly.

“NAR commends both houses of Congress for their quick action in continuing these higher limits during a time for recovery in the housing market and national economy,” says NAR President Charles McMillan. “The higher limits, along with the homebuyer tax credit extension, are necessary to keep the markets moving at this critical time.

“Home sales have shown significant movement upwards in the past six months, and reduced inventory in some segments of the housing market, but not in all. Home purchases in the middle-income and higher brackets have not moved much, and those markets must improve before we can experience a fully sustained housing recovery. These higher loan limits will help motivate qualified homebuyers to purchase in those markets,” McMillan said.

The resolution would extend the present loan limits for FHA, Fannie and Freddie through the 2010 calendar year at 125 percent of local median home sales prices, up to a maximum of $729,750 in high-cost areas. The floor for FHA is $271,050; the floor for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conforming loan limits is $417,000.

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