Only Some Areas Will See Higher FHFA Loan Limits in 2015

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced yesterday that the maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2015 will remain at $417,000 for one-unit properties for most of the country, however, borrowers in some areas will be able to borrow more than the conforming limit.

In 46 counties, loan limits will rise due to increases in local home values that have transpired in those areas. These counties predominantly include those in California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, Tennessee and Washington. 

The Massachusetts counties of Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth and Suffolk, along with New Hampshire’s Rockingham and Strafford counties, will see the highest loan limit hike for 2015. While each of these counties also had higher conforming limits in 2014 ($470,350), in 2015 their limits reflect a $47,150 increase to $517,500.

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However, those living in California’s Napa County and Ventura County will benefit from the highest loan limits in 2015 at $615,250 and $603,750, respectively—increases of $23,000 and $5,750 from the prior year’s limits. 

The loan limits are established under the terms of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) and are calculated each year. Consistent with FHFA’s prior practice in determining the 2015 HERA limits, the agency used median home values estimated by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which FHA calculated for the purpose of determining its own lending limits.

Although other counties experienced home value increases in 2014, limits in those areas were left unchanged after other elements of the HERA formula were accounted for, FHFA said in a written statement. 

As with most of the rest of the country, maximum conforming loan limits in 2015 will remain at 2014 HERA levels for Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

A list of the 2015 maximum conforming loan limits for all counties and county-equivalent areas can be found here.

Reverse mortgage loan limits have remained unchanged for several years; the Federal Housing Administration has yet to make any loan limit announcements for 2015. 

Written by Jason Oliva

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