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Realtors® Applaud Congress for Reinstating FHA Loan Limits

Media Contact: Sara Wiskerchen / 202-383-1013 / Email

WASHINGTON (November 18, 2011) - The National Association of Realtors® commends Congress for reinstating the loan limit formula and maximum cap for Federal Housing Administration-insured loans for two years.

“As the nation’s leading advocate for homeownership, we applaud members of Congress for restoring FHA’s previous loan limits, which will help reduce consumer cost burdens, stabilize local housing markets and allow qualified, creditworthy borrowers to access affordable mortgage financing,” said NAR President Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc., in Miami. “The reinstated loan limits will help provide much needed liquidity and stability to communities nationwide as tight credit restrictions continue to prevent some qualified buyers from becoming home owners and the housing market recovery remains fragile.”

The provision reinstates the FHA loan limits through 2013 at 125 percent of local area median home prices, up to a maximum of $729,750 in the highest cost markets. The floor will remain at $271,050. The loan limits for Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-backed mortgages will remain at 115 percent of local area median home prices, up to $625,500.

NAR believes the reinstated loan limit formula and cap change will help make mortgages more affordable and accessible for hard-working, middle-class families throughout the country, not just wealthy individuals or those in costly markets. Nearly two-thirds of buyers who will be helped by the loan limits provision have incomes below $100,000.

“It’s a misconception that only wealthy borrowers benefit from the maximum cost loan limits; middle-class homebuyers living in all areas of the country deserve the same access to affordable mortgage financing and the same opportunity to achieve homeownership that homebuyers enjoy in the most affordable regions of the country,” said Veissi. The legislative action will have an impact even in communities with loan limits well below the maximum cap;the reset last month impacted 669 counties in 42 states and territories, with an average loan limit reduction of more than $68,000.

The bill also provides for a short-term extension of the National Flood Insurance Program through December 16, 2011. NAR strongly urges Congress to use the additional time to complete work on a five-year reauthorization of the program, which ensures access to affordable flood insurance for millions of home and business owners across the country.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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Information about NAR is available at www.realtor.org. This and other news releases are posted in the News Media section.

REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark which may be used only by real estate professionals who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics. Not all real estate agents are REALTORS®. All REALTORS® are members of NAR.