The first mortgage conforming loan limit stays at $417,000 again for 2010.
It has been a few years since this has increased. A loan below this amount and has underwriting criteria that “conform” to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines will get the best rate.
The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 changed Fannie Mae’s charter to expand the definition of a “conforming” loan. Effective with the November 2008 release of the conforming loan limits, two sets of limits are provided for first mortgages: 1) general conforming loan limits, and 2) high-cost area conforming loan limits.
To implement the expansion to serve high-cost areas, Fannie Mae is introducing the high-balance loan feature and broadly integrating high-balance loans into its standard conforming business. However, rates are a bit higher for these “conforming jumbo loans,” but they are much lower than non-conforming jumbo loans.