Industry News

Economic stimulus bill signed into law

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President Bush today signed into law a $152 billion economic stimulus bill that will temporarily allow Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration to guarantee mortgages as large as $729,750 in some high-cost markets. HR 5140, the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, raises the conforming loan limit for mortgages eligible for purchase or guarantee by Fannie and Freddie to 125 percent of the median home price in high-cost areas, not to exceed $729,750. In areas not designated as high-cost markets, the conforming loan limit will remain $417,000. The stimulus bill also increases the upper limit for FHA loan guarantee programs in high-cost markets -- currently $372,790 -- to 125 percent of the median home price, with an upper limit of $729,750. The upper limit for FHA-backed mortgages in "normal" housing markets will be increased from $200,160 to $271,050. The stimulus bill gives the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development 30 days to publish area median price...