Mortgage loan limits increase in MA Counties

In 5 MA Counties – Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth and Suffolk – conforming loan limits for mortgages sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2015 will increase from $470,350 to $517,500 “because those counties experienced increases in local home values”, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

This increase is good news for borrowers as it means the starting point for jumbo loans will increase in those Counties. (more…)

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may be bringing back 3% down mortgages

In a speech this week to the Mortgage Bankers Association, Mel Watt, the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (which regulates Fannie and Freddie) announced that: “to increase access for creditworthy but lower-wealth borrowers, FHFA is …. working with the Enterprises (Fannie and Freddie) to develop sensible and responsible guidelines for mortgages with loan-to-value ratios between 95 and 97 percent.”

Earlier this year FNM discontinued its 97% Conventional Loan, which was described by Dan Green of The Mortgage Reports as: “a true, three-percent-downpayment mortgage program, for which the 3% downpayment may come as a gift. In many respects, it’s more aggressive that the FHA’s benchmark mortgage product in that guidelines are simpler and less-restrictive.”

Mr. Watt hopes that : “through these revised guidelines, we believe that the Enterprises will be able to responsibly serve a targeted segment of creditworthy borrowers with lower-down payment mortgages by taking into account “compensating factors.” Further details about these new guidelines will be available in the coming weeks as we continue to advance FHFA’s mission of ensuring safety, soundness and liquidity in the housing finance markets.”

Click here to read Mr.Watt’s remarks.

If you  – or somebody you know – are considering buying or selling a home , or have questions about the market and/or current home prices, please feel free to contact me on 617.834.8205 or

Andrew Oliver is a Realtor with Harborside Sotheby’s International Realty.
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