Home prices in Alameda County have risen steadily over the last few years, though they now appear to be leveling off a bit. As a result of this rising trend, the median sales price in the area now exceeds the 2016 conforming loan limit for Alameda County, which is $625,500.
That’s the same as the 2016 FHA limits, by the way.
But we might see higher caps next year, in response to rising house values in the area. We’ll find out in December — that’s when federal housing officials will announce next year’s loan limits. (We will update this page whenever new information becomes available.)
Here’s an updated look at home prices in Alameda County, California, and how they compare to conforming loan limits.
Conforming Loan Limits for Alameda County, 2016
Conforming loan limits are established by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and based on their House Price Index, or HPI. By definition, a “conforming” loan is one that meets or conforms to the guidelines used by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) that buy and sell bundled mortgages.
When a loan meets the purchasing criteria used by the GSEs, it is said to be a conforming loan. If it exceeds the maximum amounts shown below, it is refereed to as a jumbo mortgage loan.
Here are the 2016 conforming loan limits for Alameda County:
- 1-unit property: $625,500
- 2-unit property: $800,775
- 3-unit property: $967,950
- 4-unit property: $1,202,925
Notes: In this context, a “1 unit” property is a single-family home. A 2-unit property is a home with two separate residents, such as a duplex. And so on. If you’re buying a single-family home in Alameda County, then $625,500 is the magic number. That’s the conforming loan limit for 2016. Anything bigger than that is considered a jumbo mortgage loan.
Median Home Prices Are Even Higher
According to Zillow, the median home value for Alameda County was $723,000 in July 2016, nearly 9% higher than the same month last year. The California Association of Realtors (CAR) reported an even higher number. According to the CAR, the median selling price for existing single-family homes in Alameda County was $803,360 in June 2016, a gain of 7% over last year.
These are median figures, which means they reflect the midpoint of the market. Half of all home prices fall above the median, while the other half fall below it. Average prices are likely even higher than the figures shown above, as a result of high-end homes. But we’re getting into the weeds here.
The point is that house values in Alameda County — whether it’s the median or the average — have risen well above the conforming loan limit for the county. This means that home buyers who want to stay within those conforming limits might have fewer properties to choose from.
We Might See Higher Caps in 2017
Each year, FHFA reviews median home prices and other factors in all counties across the country. They do this to see if prices have risen enough to justify higher loan limits.
From 2015 to 2016, the conforming loan limits for Alameda County were kept the same, with no increase. But there’s a chance FHFA will increase the caps for 2017, in response to the home-price gains mentioned above. We will know more in December; that’s typically when they announce the next year’s loan limits.
Need Help Getting a Mortgage Loan?
Do you plan to buy a home in Alameda County in the near future? Do you have questions about mortgage financing? We can help! Bridgepoint Funding offers a variety of mortgage loan products and programs to meet the individual needs of our customers.
We can help you get pre-approved for a loan before you start shopping for a home. This will help you narrow down your search. It also gives you a leg up, when it comes to making an offer and negotiating with sellers. Contact one of our loan specialists today, to see if you can qualify.