60,000 to benefit from increase in FHA loan limits

Real Estate Watch

October 24, 1999

Sixty-thousand homeowners -- many in Maryland -- will benefit from an increase this year in FHA loan limits, according to projections made by the Mortgage Bankers Association of America.

In January, FHA raised its mortgage limits to 48 percent and 87 percent of the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac loan limit -- to $115,200 and $208,800 from $91,200 and $180,000. The limits are determined by the median price of homes in metropolitan areas.

"In certain areas -- especially high-cost areas -- people were being locked out of home ownership," said MBA economist Brian Carey.

Sixty percent of the additional homeowners came from "high-cost" areas where the MBA said most houses were priced above the old $180,000 limit.

The majority of those homeowners were concentrated in Maryland, California, New York, Colorado and Illinois.

Carey said the higher limits allowed FHA to insure 347 more loans in the Baltimore metropolitan area and 1,704 additional loans in Maryland through August.

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