Conforming Mortgage Caps won't change

Portland Business Journal - by Jeff Clabaugh Contributing writer

Despite falling housing prices, the limits on what are considered conforming mortgages won't change for 2010.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has set the maximum amount on conforming mortgages for single family homes, condos and condominiums at $417,000 for 2010, unchanged from 2009.

It has also extended the high-cost loan limits for mortgages originated in high cost areas, allowing conforming mortgage amounts up to $729,750.

President Barack Obama signed a Continuing Resolution allowing the higher limits in high-priced markets on Oct. 30.

Outside of the continental U.S., loan limits also remain unchanged, at $625,500 in Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Conforming limits are recalculated each year, and are based on sales price changes from the previous year. They represent the maximum loan amount that can be bought or guaranteed by both Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE).