The news is good for buyers in Boulder County and 10 Denver-metro area counties.
The maximum limit for a loan conforming to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines will be raised for “high-cost” counties in 2016, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
For most of the country, the maximum conforming loan limit will remain unchanged at $417,000 for one-unit properties. But due to the increase in area median home values, 39 specific counties nationwide were granted an increase in maximum conforming loan limits.
Boulder County saw a rise of $18,400 to $474,900 for 2016.
In the Denver-metro area, Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Denver, Douglas, Elbert, Gilpin, Jefferson and Park counties all got a lift in maximum conforming loan limits of $34,500 to a total of $458,850—the highest increase in dollar amounts of all affected counties nationwide.
In addition to the Denver-metro cluster, the remaining counties with loan limit increases also were clustered around metro areas, including Nashville (14), Boston (7), and Seattle (3), and in the state of California (4).
The baseline loan limit of $417,000 was established by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. HERA mandated that the baseline loan limit cannot rise after a period of price declines until home prices return to pre-decline levels. FHFA has determined that the average U.S. home value in the third quarter of this year remained below its level in the third quarter of 2007.
However, HERA provides for higher loan limits in high-cost counties in which home values increased over the last year by setting loan limits as a function of area median home value. Although other counties also experienced home value increases in 2015, after other elements of the HERA formula were accounted for—such as the statutory ceiling and floor on limits—these local-area limits were left unchanged.
Conforming loans appeal to buyers because they tend to offer lower interest rates than nonconforming loans.
To see all 39 counties with FHFA loan limit increases visit http://www.fhfa.gov/DataTools/Downloads/Documents/Conforming-Loan-Limits/Counties_with_increases_cy2016_Final.pdf .
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RE/MAX of Boulder