FHA loan limits for Alameda County and Contra Costa County remain unchanged for 2016. They were carried over from 2015 with no changes, because the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) felt that home prices in these counties did not rise enough from year to year to warrant higher loan limits.
Here are the 2016 FHA loan limits for Alameda County and Contra Costa County:
- 1-unit property: $625,500
- 2-unit property: $800,775
- 3-unit property: $967,950
- 4-unit property: $1,202,925
In this context, a “1 unit” property is a regular single-family home. A “2 unit” property is a duplex-style property with two separate residents, and so on. If you’re a home buyer purchasing a single-family house in one of these counties, then $625,500 is the magic number for you.
A Tale of Two Counties: Alameda and Contra Costa FHA Limits
So, how do these figures compare to home prices in Alameda and Contra Costa counties? Can you actually buy a house within these limits in 2016? That depends. Let’s take a closer look at how these FHA loan limits might affect borrowers in Alameda and Contra Costa, with respect to local house values.
Contra Costa Home Prices
According to the real estate information company Zillow, the median home value in Contra Costa County was $532,500 as of July 2016. RealtyTrac reported a similar figure for the county’s median sales price: $510,000.
The 2016 FHA loan limit for a single-family home in Contra Costa County is $625,500, which is well above both of the median home prices mentioned above. This means home buyers in Concord, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, and other parts of the county should be able to find a moderately priced home within FHA loan limits.
Side note for military members: The current VA limit for Contra Costa is also $625,500.
Alameda County Home Prices
Alameda County is a different story. According Zillow, the median home value for the county was $720,500 in summer of 2016. The California Association of Realtors (CAR) reported an even higher number. According to CAR, the median sold price for existing single-family homes in Alameda County was $843,360, in May 2016.
The 2016 FHA loan limit for Alameda County is $625,500 — well below the two median prices mentioned above. This means that home buyers in the county might have a harder time finding a suitable property within FHA limits, when compared to borrowers in neighboring Contra Costa County. (Harder, but not impossible.)
The limits used by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) are based on a percentage of the conforming loan amounts, which are in turn established by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). The FHFA uses a House Price Index, or HPI, to determine the conforming caps. So, by extension, FHA loan limits are based on house values within a particular county. They are reviewed annually and sometimes increased to reflect higher house values.
Have Questions About This Loan Program?
Do you have questions about the 2016 FHA loan limits for Contra Costa or Alameda County? Or questions about this program in general? Give us a call. We offer a variety of loan options, including both FHA and conventional. We can answer your questions and help you choose the best path to financing your home.