The Federal Housing Administration has implemented new limits for its loan guarantee programs that will allow it to insure mortgages of up to $729,750 in 73 counties with high-cost housing markets, and loans above the $271,050 "floor" in more than 600 other counties with elevated home prices.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has updated a Web search page that provides FHA mortgage limits by state, county or metropolitan statistical area to incorporate the new limits.

The Federal Housing Administration has implemented new limits for its loan guarantee programs that will allow it to insure mortgages of up to $729,750 in 73 counties with high-cost housing markets, along with loans above the $271,050 "floor" in more than 600 other counties with elevated home prices.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has updated a Web search page that provides FHA mortgage limits by state, county or metropolitan statistical area to incorporate the new limits.

HUD has published a letter to mortgagees that includes a list of the 73 counties at the $729,750 ceiling, and a list of 666 counties where loan limits will be between the $271,050 floor and the $729,750 ceiling for one-unit properties.

The new limits — good through the end of the year — were mandated by the $787 billion economic stimulus bill signed into law by President Obama last week. The bill also raised limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, whose regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, released new limits Monday (see story).

FHFA has published lookup tables for the new Fannie and Freddie limits.

The stimulus bill allows FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to guarantee loans of up to 125 percent of the median home price in high-cost markets, up to a maximum of $729,750 for one-unit properties. The cap for two-unit properties is $934,200; three-unit properties is $1,129,250; and four-unit properties is $1,403,400.

The floor limit for FHA loans in "normal markets" remains $271,050 for one-unit properties, $347,000 for two-unit properties, $419,400 for three-unit properties, and $521,250 for four-unit properties.

Limits are generally set according to the median home price in the county in which the property is located. For homes located in metropolitan or micropolitan statistical areas, the county with the highest median home price is used to set the limit for the entire metropolitan or micropolitan area.

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