HUD announced last week the new Federal Housing Administration single-family loan limits effective Jan. 1st 2014. The standard loan limit for areas with relatively low housing costs will stay at its current level, $271,050. However, the limit for California and other high cost areas will be reduced by more than $100,000, from $729,000 to $625,500. Loan limits for FHA-insured reverse mortgages will remain the same at a maximum amount of $625,500, with actual loan limits based on the value of the property, current interest rates and the borrower’s age. The limits were lowered under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) as an emergency measure to keep mortgage credit available during the housing crisis, according to HUD. Not much of an impact with the FHA loan limits being lowered – the increase in up front and monthly mortgage insurance implemented earlier in the year has made FHA loans less attractive than conventional alternatives anyhow. Welcome news that there were no changes to the HECM reverse mortgage limits. With the recent changes to the HECM program in October – the amounts available to borrowers are conservative but still viable for California homes values.
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