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FHA Limit Upped

New $290k limit follows increase in conforming loans

January 5, 2004

By MortgageDaily.com staff

Following the recent increase to the conforming loan limit, the government-insured mortgage maximum has been raised.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, announced last week that Federal Housing Administration (FHA) single-family loan limits were raised by 3.4%, increasing the maximum loan amount the FHA will insure to $290,319 in high-cost areas. In low-cost areas, the amount rose to $160,176.

FHA loan limits are, by law, tied to the conforming loan limits set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Accordingly, the 3.4% FHA increase reflects the conforming loan limit increase announced by the government sponsored enterprises in November, which raised the maximum residential mortgage amount they would purchase to $333,700.

The 3.4% limit increase also applies to FHA multifamily unit loans, said HUD. In high cost areas, FHA loan limits were bumped up to $371,621, $449,181 and $558,236 for two-, three-, and four-family dwellings, respectively. In low cost areas, these limits were raised to $205,032, $247,824 and $307,992.

In Alaska, Guam, Hawaii, and the Virgin Islands, mortgage limits may be adjusted up to 150% of the new ceilings, according to the announcement. This means FHA can insure single-family loans of up to $435,478 in these areas.

Taking into account that FHA limits vary by county, HUD also announced that the Office of Management and Budget revised the definitions for National Metropolitan Statistical Areas and recognized 49 new metropolitan areas.

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