In conjunction with the stimulus package on its way to the President’s Desk, a new conforming loan limit is on its way in our area. The final legislation effectively limits the increase to certain high cost areas including California, Boston, NY, and metro DC. In our area, the limit will be $562,500, up from $417,000, for the remainder of 2008 only.
The impact of this generally will mean lower rates, and perhaps easier refinancing, for loans between the old limit and the new one. However, the actual rate differential between this new “tier” and “original” conforming loans (still below $417K) remains to be seen; the rates likely won’t be equal because of some market constraints. Namely, the temporary nature and limited geography means lower volume and lower trading liquidity, which equals lower demand for these types of securities. So will it help? Yes. Dramatically? We’ll see.