FHFA increases maximum conforming loan limit
As home prices increase, the Federal Housing Finance Agency is helping homebuyers keep pace with higher conforming loan limits. That’s the takeaway from the FHFA’s announcement on November 26th, and mirrors a similar increase by the federal agency in 2019. Starting in 2020, the baseline for single-unit home mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will jump significantly, from $484,350 to $510,400 in most of the continental US.*
So, why the sharp increase?
The FHFA’s move is a direct response to the rising property values we’re seeing across the country. In their third quarter 2019 House Price Index report – also published on November 26— the FHFA estimated the average cost of a one-unit home in the U.S. increased by nearly 5.3% over the last year.* In accordance with the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, the conforming loan limit must be adjusted every year based on changes to average home prices. In addition to one-unit properties, the new limits include:
- $653,550 for 2-unit properties
- $789,950 for 3-unit properties
- $981,700 for 4-unit properties
Conforming loan limits are even higher in high-cost areas like Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and the Virgin Islands. While the exact number varies by county, the new baseline for a one-unit property in these parts of the country will be $765,600, with a four-unit maximum amount of $1,472,550.
So, what does this mean for me?
At the end of the day, the FHFA’s announcement will mean an expansion of credit that helps create more opportunities for people to become homeowners. A higher conforming loan limit means you can now borrow more money under the conforming loan guidelines, which are generally less stringent than non-conforming jumbo loans. Potential benefits of securing a conforming loan include:
- A better chance of qualifying for a property inspection waiver—no need to schedule an appraisal before close.
- A streamlined condo questionnaire—which makes it easier to purchase a condo.
- Less documentation—Freddie Mac loan products may require one year of tax returns instead of two.
Larger conforming loan amounts are on the horizon in 2020. Contact your local Guaranteed Rate loan officer to find out if you qualify!
Applicant subject to credit and underwriting approval. Not all applicants will be approved for financing. Receipt of application does not represent an approval for financing or interest rate guarantee. Restrictions may apply, contact Guaranteed Rate for current rates and for more information.
Guaranteed Rate is not affiliated with the Federal Housing Finance Authority.