House and Senate committees have approved Department of Housing and Urban Development appropriation bills that extend the $729,750 conforming loan limit through September 2011.

The maximum $729,750 loan eligible for purchase by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Federal Housing Administration in high-cost areas was to expire at yearend. As expected, elected officials and industry groups want to pass an extension now to prevent possible disruptions if the legislative process gets bogged down later this year.

Without an extension, the maximum loan limit would drop back to $625,500.

House and Senate appropriators also are in sync in renewing Federal Housing Administration and Ginnie Mae loan commitment authority at fiscal year 2010 levels. The appropriation bills, which are waiting approval by the House and Senate, authorize FHA to insure up to $400 billion of single-family loans in fiscal year 2011 and Ginnie Mae to guarantee up to $500 billion of mortgage-backed securities.

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