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OFHEO Temporarily Increases GSE Conforming Loan Limits For High Cost Areas

March 6, 2008

Washington, DC – The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) today released the maximum conforming loan limits that will be in effect through year-end as a result of The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008. That legislation permits Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to raise their conforming loan limits in certain high-cost areas. The new jumbo limits are a function of median home prices as estimated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The maximum for temporary jumbo conforming loan limits, which apply to loans originated in the period between July 1, 2007 and December 31, 2008, are as high as $729,750 for one-unit homes in the continental United States. Two, three and four-unit homes have higher limits as well. Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and the Virgin Islands also have higher maximum limits.

There are two data sources reflecting the new maximum limits. The first, on OFHEO’s Web site, available at www.ofheo.gov/media/hpi/AREA_LIST.pdf, reports only those counties and Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) that are affected by the new loan limits. Data for all areas are available on the HUD Web site at https://entp.hud.gov/idapp/html/hicostlook.cfm.

Seventy-one Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas are affected including 245 counties and cities not in counties. In addition, there are 21 counties outside of Metropolitan or Micropolitan areas that show increases, plus Guam and four municipalities in the Marianas Islands. The newly increased limits range from $417,500 in Greeley, Colorado to the highest of $793,750 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

In support of HUD’s calculation of county median home prices, OFHEO provided HUD rural house price indexes for 48 states. HUD used these indexes, which reflect price changes for homes outside of Metropolitan Statistical Areas, to estimate median prices in counties for which sales price data were sparse. OFHEO has made these indexes available here.



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