Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac set maximum loan limits each year based on trend in real estate values. This sets the highest principal loan amount for loans that they will buy. Because conforming loans have a ready buyer in the market they tend to have the best possible rates, all things being equal.
Starting in 2009 they added “high-balance” conforming loan limits to address high-cost areas. In areas with substantially higher real estate values, they will purchase loans a higher principal loan amount. That limit is set on a county-by-county basis.
Each year around December 1 they announce the new loan limits for the following year. May we have a drum roll please…
For the 9th year in a row, the conforming loan limit will remain at $417,000. The maximum high-balance conforming loan limit will also stay the same at $625,500, although 39 counties throughout the U.S. will have their county-specific loan limit increased.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, a very high-cost area indeed, our high-balance conforming loan limit will remain at $625,500.
2 – 4 unit properties have higher limits, so if you have or are considering buying one of those, please call.
You can search for your particular county here: Loan Limit Lookup