No hike in limits for most federally backed mortgages

The FHFA won’t hike the limits in most markets on mortgages backed by Fannie Mae (OTCQB:FNMA) and Freddie Mac (OTCQB:FMCC) beyond $417K – it’s the 11th consecutive year that number has been in place.

Primo areas like San Jose, San Francisco, and New York will keep their limit of $625K, while 39 other counties will see increases of $5.75K-$34.5K.

It might be good news for roughed-up Redwood Trust (RWT +2.1%), which packages non-conforming mortgages. Through the end of September, jumbo mortgages made up nearly 19% of the market, according to Inside Mortgage Finance – up from a low of 5.5% in 2009 and the highest market share since 2006.

The news is also something builders in high-cost areas are going to have to deal with. Moving a community just a little bit can have quite the effect – in San Bernardino County, the $417K cap is in place, but in neighboring L.A. County, the limit moves to $625K.


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