Industry News

No new housing initiative in Bush’s $150 billion stimulus plan

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A $150 billion economic stimulus package unveiled by President Bush Friday doesn't address a top priority of the National Association of Realtors -- raising the $417,000 conforming loan limit to allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to purchase "jumbo" loans. The president's plan to stimulate economic growth would reportedly rely on tax cuts and incentives for individuals and businesses, with about $100 billion in relief such as tax rebates targeted to families and individuals. Although the president today renewed his calls for Congress to pass legislation modernizing Federal Housing Administration loan guarantee programs, he announced no new initiatives specifically targeted at reviving housing markets or mortgage lending. Earlier this week, the Treasury Department reiterated the administration's existing policy on the conforming loan limit: An increase will be permitted only when Congress passes legislation overhauling oversight of troubled mortgage repurchasers Fannie and Fredd...