Congress re-approved higher limits for mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration today, bypassing Republican objections to return the upper loan limits to pre-October limits of $729,750.  San Francisco is among the markets where the limit applies.

The higher limit was part of a larger $182-billion temporary bill funding the government until mid-December. FHA-backed loans allow borrowers with 720-credit scores and 3.5 percent down payment to purchase homes that may otherwise be cost-prohibitive. FHA loans have higher carrying costs than their conventional brethren because of required private mortgage insurance premium fees. But, with mortgage interest rates hovering at historic lows of 4.0 percent, there really is no better time to make a move into the property market.

The House voted to approve 298-121 and the Senate, clearing it for President Barack Obama’s signature, 70-30.