Conforming loan limits got a boost for 2019 in nearly every part of the U.S. The Federal Housing Finance Agency, a regulator for mortgage financing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, announced that conforming loan limits will rise in 2019 to $484,350 in most parts of the country. That marks a 6.9 percent increase over this year’s $453,100.
The FHFA limits set the maximum single-family mortgage amounts that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will finance, as well as limits for the Federal Housing Administration program.
“These limits are important for funding home sales in high-cost coastal markets like California, Virginia, and Maryland, but are increasingly important in other markets like Nashville and Denver, along with those in Utah and Wyoming,” the National Association of REALTORS® notes in a release.
The FHFA also announced an increase to loan limits in “high-cost areas,” where 115 percent of the local median home value is higher than the baseline loan limit. The new limit for one-unit properties in most high-cost areas will be $726,525 in 2019, rising from the current $679,650.
This is the third consecutive year that the FHFA has increased conforming loan limits. Justifying the rise, the FHFA notes that home prices are still increasing.
NAR applauded the FHFA’s decision to raise limits again. “Today’s decision reflects rising or near record high home prices in many U.S. markets, and the move helps keep the American dream within reach for countless families working with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,” says NAR President John Smaby. “Without this assurance that loan limits keep up with home price growth, borrowers across the country risk being pushed out of the market altogether as mortgage rates and rising home prices continue to hold back potential home buyers.”
The increase, in all but 47 counties or county equivalents across the country, takes effect on Jan. 1, 2019, the FHFA said.