Bill Calls for Extending Jumbo Loan Limits
A bill introduced late last week calls for extending the current conforming loan limits on government-backed mortgages at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for another two years.
The bill, introduced by Rep. John Campbell, R-Calif., and Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y., would allow the government-sponsored enterprises and the Federal Housing Administration to guarantee or buy mortgages worth up to $729,750 in many neighborhoods.
The current loan limits are set to expire Oct. 1. If an extension isn’t granted, the maximum mortgage amount in high-cost areas will drop from $729,750 to $625,500 (however, that limit will vary throughout the country).
“With the economy remaining fragile and the housing sector still struggling to recover, now is not the time to make the cost of mortgages more expensive,” Ackerman said.
The National Association of Home Builders has said it fears more than 17 million homes nationwide will become ineligible for more affordable federal funding if the loan limit expires. However, last week, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said he was confident that the private market, including investors and insurers, would fill the void if the conforming loan limits expired — although likely at a higher cost to borrowers.
Source: “Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Extend Conforming Loan Limits,” HousingWire (July 15, 2011)
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