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Conforming Loan Limit Increased

Fannie & Freddie announce $300,700 limit for 2002

November 28, 2001


Government sponsored housing enterprises (GSE'S) Fannie Mae
(NYSE: FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) announced today that that their single-family mortgage loan limits will increase to $300,700 for 2002. The conforming loan limit is the maximum size residential mortgage loan the GSE's will buy from lenders.

The moves come as a result of a report from the Federal Housing Finance Board that the average purchase price for a single family residence in the U.S. increased to $219,600 in October. This is a more than nine percent increase from October 2000, when the average price was $200,800. Both Fannie and Freddie use the average purchase price increase to determine the conforming loan limit each year.

Freddie Mac's Chairman and CEO, Leland C. Brendsel, said "we are delighted." He pointed out that the increase in the loan limit makes it possible for additional families to obtain the lowest cost mortgage financing available.

Loan limits on 2-4 unit residential properties are also increasing, as shown below.

Conforming Loan Limits

Property Type
Current Limit
2002 Limit
single-family property
two-family property
three-family property
four-family property

Additionally, Fannie said loan limits for second mortgages are increasing to $150,350.

Loan limits in Alaska, Hawaii, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are 50 percent higher than the limits for the rest of the country, or $451,050 for single family properties in those territories next year. Congress established higher loan limits in the 1970's for areas with traditionally higher home prices. California is reportedly lobbying heavily to qualify for the higher conforming loan limit.

The second mortgage loan limit in these higher-priced territories will increase to $225,525, according to Fannie Mae.

The new limits become effective January 1, 2002.

Sam Garcia has been in mortgage lending since 1980, and is managing editor of MortgageDaily.com. He also owns and operates CloseNow.com, a real estate portal site.

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