November 16, 2011

Congress Increasing FHA’s Footprint in Housing Market

On the heels of HUD’s Federal Housing Administration’s Annual Report and the Senate Banking Committee oversight hearing of the Federal Housing Finance Agency on Tuesday, housing experts are raising new concerns about Congressional handling of conforming loan limits. 

“Right now,” says Anthony Sanders, senior scholar with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, “The agreement being worked out between House and Senate negotiators would restore the FHA’s loan limits to as high as $729,750 in high-cost cities but leave the levels unchanged for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

“That means home buyers would be able to take out larger loans backed by FHA than by Fannie and Freddie, the two government-controlled mortgage companies,” Sanders said.

That seems to suggest that Congress isn’t interested in reducing the FHA’s footprint in the housing and mortgage market.

“Once again, taxpayers are being asked to subsidize expensive homes in large coastal cities,” Sanders added.