Home » Real Estate

How Raising Conforming Mortgage Limits Would Impact California Real Estate

Feb 15, 2008
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two housing finance companies that have the implicit backing of the United States government, presently limit the mortgages they buy in the lower 48 states to a maximum size of $417,000. Alaska and Hawaii loans can be as high as $625,500. They also have a number of other requirements such as documented income, employment verification, and many others. A loan that does not meet the strict guidelines is considered to be non-conforming and is not eligible to be purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This includes all "jumbo" mortgages which are mortgages greater than $417,000. Loans are certainly available for these borrowers, however, it must come from other sources of capital such as banks, credit unions, and mortgage companies that often sell large pools of mortgages to investors. Historically, these loans would require rates to be perhaps % higher than conforming rates. However, as investors lost a lot of money investing in mortgage backed securities that ended up being of poor quality, they immediately required higher rates of return on new mortgages. Now, jumbo loans are averaging about 1% higher interest rates than conforming mortgages.

Some politicians and regulators feel that by raising the loan size limit placed on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to as high as $729,500 in high cost areas, the value of property would be positively affected, especially in high cost states like California. This is virtually an economic certainty. Residential real estate historically sells based on debt ratios. Buyers were expected to spend no more than 30-40% of their gross income on housing. As such, any drop in rates would yield more buying power for each buyer that was taking out a loan. With a lower interest rate, a person can pay more for a house yet keep the same monthly payment. Giving buyers and current homeowners who want to refinance the access to lower cost capital will serve as an offsetting factor to downward price forces such as too much supply, higher levels of foreclosures, or home prices that don't reflect local incomes. The markets most affected by an increase in conforming mortgages would include: San Diego, San Jose, Riverside, Orange County, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Sacramento.

The downside of raising the limits should also be considered. For one, if you cause the value of real estate to increase based on lower interest rates, you make housing less affordable to people like cash buyers that don't care about obtaining a loan. Additionally, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have faced a number of operational and accounting problems in recent years, and they also do not have a history of expertise in the jumbo loan market. Finally, you need to ensure that you are not heavily focused on the size of conforming loans while ignoring other factors such as attracting additional investment capital to the mortgage backed securities market or dealing with people that simply cannot qualify for a loan in the house they are in because they have negative equity or do not have the income to justify owning the home.
About the Author
Donald Plunkett is a $299 flat fee listing broker, writer, and blogger. He has been featured in REALTOR Magazine and Inman News. He lists properties in California and several other states. Visit http://www.congressrealty.com for more info.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 128
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources