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FHFA Increases Conforming Loan Limits for First Time Since 2006

LOS ANGELES (Nov. 23) – 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 increase the 2017 conforming loan limits for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to $424,100 on one-unit properties and a cap of $636,150 in high-cost areas. The previous loan limits were $417,000 and $625,500, respectively.

“C.A.R. applauds FHFA Director Mel Watt for raising the existing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conforming loan limits, which will provide stability and certainty to the housing market and give tens of thousands of California homebuyers a chance at homeownership,” said C.A.R. President Geoff McIntosh. “The FHFA recognizes that home prices have recovered, not just in California but also across the nation. Many higher-priced areas of the state will benefit greatly from the higher limit.”

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, cities with high median home prices have benefited from a loan limit above the national conforming loan limit.

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.

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