The Federal Housing Finance Agency has announced that conforming loan limits for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2021 will increase by almost 7.5 percent. Throughout the majority of the U.S., the 2021 maximum conforming loan limit for one-unit properties will be $548,250, an increase from $510,400 in 2020.
In 2020, the Veterans Administration announced that there would be no limit for VA loans. However, for 2021, the VA loan limits will once again align with the FHFA conforming loan limits. This means that throughout the majority of the U.S., the 2021 maximum VA loan limit for one-unit properties will be $548,250.
This new FHFA and VA loan limits are effective immediately, but loans using the new limit must close on or after January 1, 2021.
This is the fifth loan limit increase in the last five years, and it will take effect in most areas throughout the United States, with the exception of 47 specific counties or county equivalents.
Conforming loan limits determine the threshold at which home loans start being considered jumbo loans. This year’s change means that the cutoff point for mortgages shifting from conforming loans to jumbo loans is higher.
This is good news for home buyers who are looking to purchase a home that’s priced around that threshold amount, because the higher limit means that they can secure a larger mortgage without having to go “jumbo.”
Typically, jumbo loans come with more stringent requirements, such a higher credit scores and larger cash reserves. They may also require a larger down payment, extra appraisals, and additional fees. Sometimes they come with higher interest rates as well.
Given all of these extra requirements, most homebuyers would prefer a conforming loan when financing their home purchase. As such, the fact that the conforming loan limit has increased should make many home buyers looking to buy a home in 2021 happy!
The VA loan limits apply to military buyers only – meaning only those who have served or who are currently serving in a branch of the United States military can take advantage of it.
The increase in the loan limit for VA loans is intended to assist military borrowers in more expensive loan markets to borrow more without having to put any money down on their home.
Each year, loan limit adjustments are made based on the changes that occurred in the average price of a home in the United States. This adjustment is required by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act.
The limits for 2021 were increased and adjusted in alignment with the changes and trends related to home prices over the last year.
In specific high-cost areas throughout the US, the VA and conforming loan limits will be higher than the $548,250 established for the majority of the United States. These high-cost areas are locations where 115% of the local median home value exceeds the baseline conforming loan limit.
In these areas, the loan limits will be 50% higher than the limit for one-unit properties elsewhere, raising it to $822,375 for 2021.
There are also special provisions made for conforming loan limits for areas outside of the continental US, such as Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and the US Virgin Islands, where the limit will be raised to $822,375 for 2021 as well.
If you’re shopping your mortgage options, you may be wondering how loan limits are changing for other types of home loans in 2021.
Besides the loan limit increases for FHFA conforming loans and VA loans, FHA loan limits will also increase as of January 1, 2021. You can get all the details about the changes being made to the FHA loan limits in 2021 here.
Ready to purchase a home and wondering how to go about taking advantage of the new, higher VA or conforming loan limits for 2021? Contact us today to find out how these changes may impact you.
Wondering what your mortgage options are in the state of New York? You can explore those here.
Note: This post has been updated as of December 7, 2020.