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Friday, January 25, 2008

New Conforming Loan Cap Will Prop Up Housing

Items of interest:

MarketWatch:
Mortgage industry cheers stimulus proposal -- OFHEO disagrees, says reform to Fannie, Freddie should come first

Rates on jumbo loans got a lot more expensive after last summer's credit crunch, and the mortgage and real-estate industries have been calling for an increase to the conforming loan limit as a way to help more borrowers obtain favorable mortgage rates. On Thursday, they had reason to believe their wish would be granted when a proposed economic stimulus plan included a new conforming loan cap.

According to the proposal, the temporary limit for loans that can be bought by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, government-sponsored mortgage agencies, would be $729,750, or 125% of the median house price in the area.

The current conforming loan limit is $417,000; loans larger than that are considered jumbo and aren't eligible to be financed through government-sponsored enterprises.[...]

related:
GSE Loan Limit And A Shift In Fannie Mae's Mission? - Realty Check blog, CNBC
Reality Check on Raising Mortgage Caps - Herb Greenburg, MarketWatch
Raising conforming limits would be a worse idea if more people qualified - Housing Doom
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