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Bigger Increase in Conforming Limit for 2018

After being raised for the first time in more than a decade, next year’s conforming loan limit has been lifted by nearly $30,000 — far more than the previous increase of over $7,000.

A year ago, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that it increased the maximum conforming limit for one-unit properties by $7,100 to $424,100 for this year.

It was the first increase for loan limits since
the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 established the baseline conforming limit at $417,000.

The limit applies to single-family loans that are acquired by the Federal National Mortgage Association and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., which FHFA regulates.

On Tuesday, FHFA announced that the conforming limit on one-unit properties for 2018 is being raised to $453,100 — an increase of $29,000 from 2017.

“Earlier today, FHFA published its third quarter 2017 House Price Index report, which includes estimates for the increase in the average U.S. home value over the last four quarters,” the regulator said in today’s announcement. “According to FHFA’s seasonally adjusted, expanded-data HPI, house prices increased 6.8 percent, on average, between the third quarters of 2016 and 2017.  Therefore, the baseline maximum conforming loan limit in 2018 will increase by the same percentage.”

The new limits are $580,150 on two-unit properties, $701,250 on three-unit residences and $871,450 for four-unit properties.

In areas where the local median home value exceeds the conforming limit, special high-cost limits apply. In the most costliest areas, the new limit will be 150 percent of the baseline limit, or $679,650 on one-unit properties.

Limits on loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration, which are likely to be announced soon, are 65 percent of conforming limit — putting the estimated 2018 FHA floor limit at $294,515 — up from $275,665 for this year.

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