The maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has increased from last year, per FHFA guidelines as shown in the table below. The loan limits are established under the terms of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA), and are re-calculated each year. The law sets loan limits as a function of median home values in local areas.
In most of the country, the loan limit will rise to $424,100 for one-unit (single-family) properties. But in certain more expensive metro areas, the conforming limits are as high as $636,150. The confirming limits are what retail lenders (e.g Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase) use when in comes to determining rates for new and refinanced mortgages. Generally, you will get a lower rate if your loan amount is below the confirming limit because the loans can be sold (secured) to Freddie or Fannie.
Loan Limits in High-Cost Areas – HERA provisions set loan limits as a function of local-area median home values. Where 115 percent of the local median home value exceeds the baseline loan limit ($424,100 in the most of the country), the local loan limit is set at 115 percent of the median home value. The local limit cannot, however, be more than 50 percent above the baseline limit. In the District of Columbia and all U.S. states except Alaska and Hawaii, the highest-possible local area loan limit for one-unit properties is $636,150 (150 percent of $424,100).