The loan-limit reduction comes at a curious time. While housing continues to be one of the nation's most critical issues, some analysts believe lowering the maximum mortgage amount consumers can borrow could slow down the pace of buying and selling even more. Beginning Oct. 1, the Federal Housing Administration installed new ceilings on mortgages it will insure in high-cost areas. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac did the same. FHA does not believe the ceiling reductions are any big deal. Only 669 of the 3,234 jurisdictions in which it insures loans will see any change, according to FHA. The agency also said that just 3 percent of FHA-insured borrowers live in high-cost markets. Still, Realtor groups and builders say now is not the time to limit any housing options. Ken Fears, manager of regional economics for the National Association of Realtors, recently completed a study on the impact of lowering the nation's lending ceilings titled, "Small Market Share, Big Economic Impact...
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