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C.A.R. Disappointed FHFA Not Increasing Conforming Loan Limits in 2016

LOS ANGELES (Nov. 25) – 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 2016 maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at $417,000 on one-unit properties and a cap of $625,500 in high-cost areas. Loan limits were increased in Monterey, Napa, San Diego, and Sonoma counties:

“C.A.R. is disappointed that the FHFA didn’t raise the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conforming loan limits for next year,” said C.A.R. President Ziggy Zicarelli. “Home prices in California have risen sharply over the past four years, yet conforming loan limits haven’t changed during that time. Not increasing the loan limits will hurt California’s housing market, further exacerbating housing affordability and preventing tens of thousands of California homebuyers from a chance at homeownership.”

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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