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FHFA to Retain Higher Loan Limits for 2015

LOS ANGELES (Nov. 24) – The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) today issued the following statement in response to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) announcement to keep the 2015 maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at $417,000 on one-unit properties in most areas and a cap of $625,500 in high-cost areas. Loan limits were increased in Monterey, Napa, San Diego, and Ventura counties:

“C.A.R. applauds the FHFA for retaining the existing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conforming loan limits, and even raising the limit in some California counties,” said C.A.R. President Chris Kutzkey. “The FHFA recognizes that home prices have risen significantly in California, especially in high-cost coastal areas, where lowering the loan limits would have hurt the housing recovery.”

C.A.R. and the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR) both have long advocated for making higher conforming loan limits permanent. As a result of C.A.R.’s and NAR’s efforts, Congress made permanent the maximum conforming loan limits at $625,500.

The conforming loan limit determines the maximum size of a mortgage that government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can buy or “guarantee.” Non-conforming or “jumbo loans” typically have tighter underwriting standards and carry higher mortgage interest rates than conforming loans, increasing monthly payments and hampering the ability of families in California to purchase homes by making them less affordable.

In Ventura County, California, which includes Oxnard, Thousand Oaks and Ventura, the conforming loan limit will first from $598,000 to $603,750.

In Napa County, California, which includes Napa, the conforming loan limit will rise from $592,250 to $615,250, an increase of $23,000.

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