Conforming loan limit may go up

The U.S. House of Representatives voted this afternoon on H.R. 1461, Federal Housing Finance Reform Act of 2005. This legislation, which C.A.R. and NAR support, is intended to strengthen the regulations and oversight of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA, also known as the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE). Included in this legislation is a priority issue for C.A.R., the High-Cost Conforming Loan Limit provision. This provision will increase the conforming loan limit, currently $359,650, to the median home price of a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) if the median home price of the MSA is above the national conforming loan limit. The new conforming loan limit for a high-cost MSA would be set at its median home price, but capped at 150% of the national conforming loan limit, or currently $539,475. The amendment introduced by Representative Garrett from New Jersey would have stripped the high-cost conforming loan limit provision from H.R. 1461. This amendment was handily defeated! All Californians voted “NO” on the amendment except Rep. Radanovich and Rep. Royce who voted “Aye,” and Rep. Pelosi and Rep. Roybal-Allard who did not vote.

The Senate version of the bill still needs to be voted on.