Well it looks like our Congress has passed loan limits for 2012 restoring FHA's higher "temporary" loan limits (pre October 1, 2011) and preserving the current loan limits for conventional mortgages.
The bill does not increase the maximum loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These entities have been under public scrutiny for their questionable businesses practices and use of billions in federal bailout funds, some of which have been used for extravagant management bonuses. The bill limits the increase in the conforming loan limits to only the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), which is subject to greater congressional scrutiny and oversight.
Congress is essentially punishing home owners for the sins of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac execs. Personally, I think it's too bad that they didn't state this was done to help stimulate private lending instead of using this as an opportunity to publically wag a finger at Fannie and Freddie.
It appears the loan limits for 2012 in King County, Pierce County and Snohomish County for a 1-unit property will be:
- $506,000 for Conventional
- $567,500 for FHA
Once the GSE's and HUD officially announce the conforming and FHA loan limits for 2012, I'll be posting them here.
Update Nov 22, 11: Here is FHFA's press release regarding the 2012 conforming loan limits confirming they will remain the same for 2012 – except for one county (not in Washington state).