Congress holds mortgage limits at nearly $730K

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Property Centre

October 1, 2010 - Congress has extended a policy that allows housing market expensive real estate, mortgages backed by the government to guarantee nearly $ 730,000.

The legislators of the Congress voted to maintain the maximum amount of loans guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration at its current level until the end of 2011.

These limits apply expensive areas like New York and San Francisco. Absolutely, the limit would be reduced to approximately $ 625,000. The limit was $ 417,000 before 2008 and remains at that level most of the country.

The measure was a temporary spending bill that the legislature has sent to Barack Obama early on Thursday.

Real estate agents, mortgage bankers and builders keep lobbying for the upper limit of the high market price, as the housing market would suffer if the limits are not extended. Critics have argued that the lower limits of the housing market could help wean the state support.

Maintaining the current limit will help about 60,000 borrowers in a year, said Mahesh Swaminathan, a mortgage analyst at Credit Suisse.

Although relatively few borrowers will be assisted by Guy Cecala, publisher of trade publication Inside Mortgage Finance, said lawmakers are focused on maintaining control of the housing sector happy. "Nobody wants to oppose or interfere with realtors and home builders in an election year", he said.

Anything above the limit set by Congress falls into a category known as "Jumbo"  loans. They made a 5 percent market share in mortgages this year, against a normal level of around 18 percent, according to Inside Mortgage Finance, a trade publication.

During the financial crisis, lenders have been much less willing to make these loans. In December 2008, who wanted a jumbo borrowers were paying 1.8 percentage points higher on their mortgage rate conventional loans backed by the government, according to financial publisher HSH Associates.

This gap has narrowed, as the crisis eased. Last week, borrowers who receive loans jumbo pay a premium of 0.8 percentage points, according to SAS. It is still a pre-crisis level of 0.25 percentage points.

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