A compromise federal spending bill signed today by President Barack Obama should help the Charleston area housing market, according to local real estate professionals.

The legislation temporarily preserves the availability of federal flood insurance and restores higher mortgage limits for loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration. The housing provisions were part of a larger bill that keeps the government running through Dec. 16 and funds some agencies through 2012.

In the Charleston tri-county area, FHA loan limits will return to the $335,000 cap set in 2008 as part of a stimulus bill. The loan limit had fallen to $302,450 on Oct. 1 when the stimulus program expired, but will return to the higher amount for two more years.

The National Flood Insurance Program was temporarily extended through Dec. 16. The housing industry has been pushing for a 5-year extension of the program, which provides the flood insurance that many homeowners are required by lenders to obtain.

Read more in Saturday’s editions of The Post and Courier.