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Realtors® Applaud DeMarco for Heeding Warnings, Leaving GSE Loan Limits As Is

Media Contact: Jenny Werwa / 202-383-1193 / Email

WASHINGTON (November 26, 2013) – The following is a statement by National Association of Realtors® President Steve Brown:

“Realtors® welcome today’s announcement from the Federal Housing Finance Agency that the current limits on conforming loans will remain in effect until further notice. As the leading voice for homeownership, NAR opposes lowering the ceiling on loans eligible for backing by the government-sponsored enterprises. Lower loan limits would increase costs for consumers and reduce their access to conventional mortgages.

“In September, when reports surfaced that FHFA Acting Director Edward DeMarco was considering using conservator authority to lower loan limits, NAR cautioned that such an experiment would jeopardize homeownership for many creditworthy buyers, especially first-time home buyers who are often less likely to meet the 20 percent minimum down payment requirement.

“There is already enough turbulence in the regulatory environment for mortgage lending. In January 2014, many changes stemming from the Dodd-Frank Act will go into effect, including the ability-to-repay requirement. In addition, risk retention regulations remain in flux, including the definition of a Qualified Residential Mortgage. Lowering loan limits at this time would create even more confusion and uncertainty, and we would run the risk of reversing the progress that’s been made in the economic recovery.”

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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