Anyone planning to buy or refinance a home with a conforming loan is soon likely to have more buying power thanks to a $600 billion government program to purchase mortgage-backed securities and debt issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae.

The plan should keep interest rates on loans eligible for purchase by Fannie and Freddie down, even if the demand for mortgage-backed securities weakens with the slowdown in the global economy. That, in turn, should provide support for housing markets, supporters of the plan said.

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