With the exception of 39 "high-cost" counties, the Federal Housing Finance Agency chose to keep conforming loan limits at a baseline level of $417,000, the amount set under the terms of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.
The reason the FHFA gave for leaving the limit where it is is that the average U.S. home value in the third quarter of this year remained below its level in the third quarter of 2007. The agency says:
HERA provides for higher loan limits in high-cost counties by setting loan limits as a function of area median home value. Although the baseline loan limit will be unchanged in most of the country, 39 specific high-cost counties in which home values increased over the last year will see the maximum conforming loan limit for 2016 adjusted upward.