For the first time in 10 years, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has raised conforming loan limits for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Separate loan limit announcements are expected shortly from FHA and the Veterans Administration.
The current loan limit, $417,000, has been in place since 2006. When the housing crisis hit, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) set the baseline loan limit at that existing level for one to four family houses in most of the U.S. and required it be adjusted each year to reflect any changes in the national average home price. When prices continued to decline HERA also made clear that the baseline could not be adjusted upward until the average U.S. home price returned to its pre-decline level.