California mortgage bankers want home loan limits raised

With median home prices that climbed more than 61 percent between 2000 and 2004 and wages that haven't kept up, it is no secret that San Diego continues to be among the least affordable markets in the country. But the California Association of Mortgage Brokers is convinced raising loan limits could help. CAMB, which was in San Diego for a nationwide mortgage brokers conference last week, is supporting bill HR 1461 by Rep. Richard Baker (news, bio, voting record), R-La., that would raise Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM - news) and Freddie Mac's (NYSE: FRE - news) home loan limit from its current level of $359,650 to either an area's median home price, or 50 percent higher than the conforming loan limit (whichever is less). Under existing statutes, the loan limits are adjusted yearly based on the median sales price of a single-family home. This price is the same for all the lower 48 states.