Flood Insurance Extended to December 21st

On December 6, 2018, the House and Senate passed a two-week extension of the National Flood Insurance Program. The President is expected to sign the measure.

The program is being extended as part of a temporary appropriations bill called a continuing resolution to avoid a partial shutdown of the federal government. The legislation will move the funding deadline for fiscal 2019 spending bills that are still outstanding to Dec. 21.

By extending flood insurance as part of the continuing resolution, the next extension could be part of a long-term funding agreement, potentially running through September of next year.

NAR supports long-term reauthorization and reforms to strengthen the program.

Read more here.

Mortgage Loan Limits to Rise in 2019 to Keep Pace With Home Prices

Conforming loan limits got a boost for 2019 in nearly every part of the U.S. The Federal Housing Finance Agency, a regulator for mortgage financing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, announced that conforming loan limits will rise in 2019 to $484,350 in most parts of the country. That marks a 6.9 percent increase over this year’s $453,100.

The FHFA limits set the maximum single-family mortgage amounts that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will finance, as well as limits for the Federal Housing Administration program.

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“These limits are important for funding home sales in high-cost coastal markets like California, Virginia, and Maryland, but are increasingly important in other markets like Nashville and Denver, along with those in Utah and Wyoming,” the National Association of REALTORS® notes in a release.

The FHFA also announced an increase to loan limits in “high-cost areas,” where 115 percent of the local median home value is higher than the baseline loan limit. The new limit for one-unit properties in most high-cost areas will be $726,525 in 2019, rising from the current $679,650.

This is the third consecutive year that the FHFA has increased conforming loan limits. Justifying the rise, the FHFA notes that home prices are still increasing.

Read more here.