Virtual Advocate – Legislative News

Published: March 11, 2008

GOVERNMNET ANNOUNCES CONFORMING LOAN LIMIT INCREASESThe Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) recently announced it has temporarily increased limits on jumbo loans offered by government-sponsored lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from $417,000 to as high as $729,750 in fourteen counties for loans originated between July 1, 2007 and Dec. 31, 2008. Fannie and Freddie are reported to be working out new underwriting standards and expect to begin offering the new loans soon.

Also, the government raised the conforming loan limit for mortgages guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration, and has begun offering the maximum limit of $729,750 for 14 California counties, up from $362,790, for loans originated between now and Dec. 31, 2008.

The Fed’s economic stimulus package approved earlier this year called for the temporary increases on conforming loans to allow troubled borrowers to refinance out of sub-prime loans, and make it easier for many new buyers to qualify for mortgages in high-cost areas, particularly in California where they remain among the highest in the nation.

To view a list of the new FHA Mortgage Limits by county, go to a list of the proposed loan limit changes for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, go to

Thanks to aggressive and persistent monitoring by the REALTORS® Committee on the Air Quality Management Plan, the Southern California Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) has dropped a proposal to retrofit outdated wood-burning stoves and fireplaces at the point-of-sale. On Friday, March 7th, the SCAQMD adopted Rule 445 regulating wood-burning devices, such as fireplaces and wood stoves in homes throughout the South Coast Air Basin. Foremost among REALTOR® concerns, the final rule does not include any form of point of sale enforcement. Representatives of a number of environmental groups did call for existing homes to cease burning wood and to have their fireplaces retrofitted with gas or other low emission devices, but the Board did not entertain any related amendments to the final draft rule. District staff pointed to their $1.5 million gas log incentive program and public outreach campaign as ways to help individual basin residents install cleaner devices in their home voluntarily.

SCAG invites you to attend its Eighth Annual Regional Housing Summit on Wednesday, May 21st, at the Mission Inn in Riverside. This year’s Summit theme, The Reality of Housing Marketing Uncertainty: Navigating the Course, will discuss the coming update of local housing elements, the impact of the mortgage lending crisis on local government, and the efforts to navigate through this difficult housing market period. This year, keynote speakers are Lynn Jacobs, Director, State Department of Housing and Community Development, and Lawrence Parks, Senior Vice President, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco.

The Summit will include the 2nd Annual Compass Blueprint Recognition Awards Luncheon. The Awards program will feature plans and projects that demonstrate excellence, innovation, and work towards improving the mobility, prosperity, livability, and sustainability of our region.

Seating at this event is very limited. To register or for more information, please visit the SCAG website.

Last modified: March 11, 2008 at 7:09 am | Originally published: March 11, 2008 at 7:09 am
Printed: September 25, 2020