The Federal Housing Finance Agency has backed away from lowering the loan limits on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mae loans in 2014.

FHFA acting director Edward DeMarco was expected to lower the $625,500 limit in high cost areas to $600,000 and the $417,000 loan limit in most areas of the country to $400,000.   

The higher loan limits means that the GSEs and FHA are providing credit to borrowers buying larger homes and competing with private label non-agency origination.  

However, strong congressional opposition to such a loan limit reduction and the likelihood Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., will be the new GSE regulator soon prompted DeMarco to drop such a move.

In announcing the decision Tuesday morning, FHFA also acknowledged that only Congress can change the maximum conforming loan limits.

The Senate is expected to vote next week to confirm Rep. Watt to be the new FHFA director.

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