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Sunday, September 08, 2013

WSJ Report: Fannie, Freddie to lower Conforming Loan Limits in January

by Calculated Risk on 9/08/2013 09:14:00 PM

From Nick Timiraos at the WSJ: Loan Size to Be Cut for Fannie, Freddie

Federal officials are preparing to reduce the maximum size of home-mortgage loans eligible for backing by Fannie Mae FNMA and Freddie Mac ... Currently, Fannie and Freddie Mac can back mortgages that have balances as high as $417,000 in most parts of the country and up to $625,500 in expensive housing markets, including parts of California and New York, and as much as $721,050 in Hawaii. Mortgages within the limits are called "conforming" loans; mortgages that exceed them are called "jumbo" mortgages.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates Fannie and Freddie, hasn't announced how far it will drop the loan limits, which would take effect Jan. 1, 2014, and a spokeswoman declined to elaborate on specifics. But in a statement, the agency said a "gradual reduction in loan limits is an appropriate and effective approach to reducing taxpayers' mortgage-risk exposure…and expanding the role of private capital in mortgage finance."
• 3:00 PM, Consumer Credit for July from the Federal Reserve. The consensus is for credit to increase $12.3 billion in July.

Schedule for Week of September 8th

The Nikkei is up about 2.4%.

From CNBC: Pre-Market Data and Bloomberg futures: the S&P futures are up slightly and DOW futures are up 12 (fair value).

Oil prices are up recently with the Syria situation. WTI futures are at $109.96 per barrel and Brent at $115.75 per barrel. This will probably push up gasoline prices soon.  See Hamilton's Syria and the world oil market

Below is a graph from for nationwide gasoline prices.  If you click on "show crude oil prices", the graph displays oil prices for WTI, not Brent; gasoline prices in most of the U.S. are impacted more by Brent prices.

Orange County Historical Gas Price Charts Provided by