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The new limits mostly affect the most expensive housing markets in the United States, with lower FHA loan limits applied in these high-cost counties unless Congress introduces legislation to change the loan limits.

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FHA Loan Articles

News and Updates for Homeowners

FHA Announces New Loan Limits Effective October 1, 2011

September 6, 2011 - The FHA has announced changes to the FHA loan limits for the remainder of 2011 beginning October 1st. The new limits mostly affect the most expensive housing markets in the United States, with lower FHA loan limits applied in these high-cost counties unless Congress introduces legislation to change the loan limits.

In an August 19, 2011 press release, the FHA announced, "On October 1, 2011, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will implement new single-family loan limits as specified by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA). As a result, FHA will reduce loan limits in the highest cost metropolitan areas of the country while limits would remain unchanged in most other parts of the nation."

The new, lower limits for high-cost counties that take effect October 1, 2011 were originally scheduled to become effective back in 2009, but the FHA press release states, "continuing strains in credit markets led the Congress to delay implementation. The result has been nearly three years of higher loan limits for some areas based on the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008?.

FHA loan limits for most areas will be unaffected. In markets where housing costs are "relatively low" the low-end FHA mortgage loan limit or "floor" remains at the current $271,050 for "one-unit properties".

The FHA official site adds, "The new "ceiling" loan limit for higher cost areas will be reduced from $729,750 to $625,500 for one-unit properties. FHA loan limits vary based on area median home price, but all will fall within the range of $271,050 and $625,500 for one unit properties."

Only a small number of FHA loan applicants--those who want to purchase a home in the highest-cost housing markets--are affected by the new loan limits. The FHA says the October 1 lower loan limits will affect "669 counties across the country, out of a total of 3,234 jurisdictions in which FHA insures home loans."

Where applicable, loan applications with an FHA case number assigned on or after October 1, 2011, will be subject to the new limits--with some exceptions. The press release says those exceptions apply to "FHA-insured to FHA-insured refinances that are noted in HUD's Mortgagee Letter."

At the end of the year, loan limits for 2011 will be reviewed as usual for 2012 and any changes will be posted by FHA/HUD in the usual manner.