Rising home prices lead to higher loan limits

 Loan Guidelines, Residential Mortgage  Comments Off on Rising home prices lead to higher loan limits
Jan 172018
 

For more information, please contact me at (512) 261-1542 or steve@LoneStarLending.com.

By G. Steven Bray

Rising home prices have prompted regulators to increase loan limits for standard loan programs. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac raised the limit for their conventional, conforming loans by almost 7% to $453,100. This limit applies to all areas of TX and is in effect now.

FHA also raised its loan limit, but the limit varies by county. FHA sets the limit to 115% of the median home price in an area with a ceiling of $679,650 and a floor of $294,515. The floor applies to areas where 115% of the median home price does not reach that level.

TX home prices haven’t reached levels at which the ceiling would apply; however, four TX metros do have a limit greater than the floor. Austin’s limit rose $23k to $384,100 for a single-family home. The DFW limit rose about the same amount to $386,400, still the highest in the state. San Antonio’s limit rose by the greatest amount, over $32k, to $359,950. Houston, still recovering from the oil industry downturn, didn’t see any change, with the limit remaining $331,200. Remember that these limits apply to all the counties in the metro, not just the cities themselves.

The limit for the VA program mirrors the Fannie/Freddie limit at $453,100. USDA programs shouldn’t be affected because loan size is driven by annual income limits, not median home prices.

These limits apply to single-family homes. Higher limits apply for two- to four-unit properties.

Get ready for larger conforming loans

 Loan Programs, Residential Mortgage  Comments Off on Get ready for larger conforming loans
Dec 012016
 

For more information, please contact me at (512) 261-1542 or steve@LoneStarLending.com.

By G. Steven Bray

The maximum conforming loan limit is going up in 2017. This is the max loan size for a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgage, what we sometimes call a conventional loan. The new limit will be $424,100, up from $417k.

This is the first increase since before the financial crisis. The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 established $417k as a baseline and directed the Federal Housing Finance Agency to adjust the limit each year to account for changes in the national average home price. However, the Act required that the limit not rise until home prices had recovered to their pre-crisis level.

The FHFA set third quarter of 2007 as the official pre-crisis price level, and the price level in the third quarter of this year exceeded it by 1.7%. The increase in the loan limit matches that increase.

The new loan limit is effective Jan 1st.

Take advantage of new loan limits

 Loan Guidelines, Residential Mortgage  Comments Off on Take advantage of new loan limits
Jan 092016
 

For more information, please contact me at (512) 261-1542 or steve@LoneStarLending.com.

By G. Steven Bray

While Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac left the conforming loan limit for single-family homes at $417k in 2016, HUD raised the FHA loan limit in 4 TX metros. Remember that FHA sets an area’s loan limit based on 115% of the area’s median home price.

Median home prices rose in Texas last year, so loan limits rose in Austin, Houston, Dallas/Ft. Worth, and Midland. Austin’s limit rose slightly to $333,500 for a single-family home. Houston’s limit also rose only a little to $330,050. The DFW limit took the prize for the largest increase, rising $24k to $334,650, now the highest in the state. Midland also had a sizable increase, rising to $285,200. The limit in San Antonio didn’t change, remaining at $316,250.

Remember that these limits apply to the entire metro area including surrounding counties. The FHA loan limit remains at the minimum, $271,050, for the rest of the state.

Changes to conforming mortgage loan limits?

 Loan Guidelines, Residential Mortgage  Comments Off on Changes to conforming mortgage loan limits?
Aug 072015
 

For more information, please contact me at (512) 261-1542 or steve@LoneStarLending.com.

By G. Steven Bray

Could the conforming loan limit change this year? The Wall Street Journal seems to think so. If it’s right, this would be the first time in a decade.

The conforming loan limit is the maximum amount you can borrow on a loan financed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. In all areas of TX, that limit is $417k. (In the early 1970’s, the limit was $33k.) A loan amount above the limit is called a jumbo loan, and those loans typically have stricter qualifying criteria, such as higher down payment requirements, and traditionally have carried higher rates. By contrast, the minimum down payment for a conforming loan is 3%.

The limit is based on median home-sale prices reported by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) with some wiggle room for higher-priced areas. The Journal notes that home prices in many housing markets have climbed back to pre-recession levels.

We’ll know this fall if FHFA makes a change, which would become effective on Jan 1st.