FHFA LogoThe Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced the maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages to be acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2018. In most of the U.S., the 2018 maximum conforming loan limit for one-unit properties will be $453,100, an increase from $424,100 in 2017. 

Loans acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are commonly called “Conforming Loans”.

What is Baseline Limit?

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) requires that the baseline conforming loan limit be adjusted each year for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to reflect the change in the average U.S. home price.  According to FHFA’s seasonally adjusted, expanded-data HPI, house prices increased 6.8 percent, on average, between the third quarters of 2016 and 2017.  Therefore, the baseline maximum conforming loan limit in 2018 will increase by the same percentage. 

This means that every county in the country will at least have a loan limit of $453,100.

Some counties, designated as high-cost will have higher loan limits.

High-Balance Loan Limits:

For areas in which 115 percent of the local median home value exceeds the baseline conforming loan limit, the maximum loan limit will be higher than the baseline loan limit.  The new ceiling loan limit for one-unit properties in most high-cost areas will be $679,650 — or 150 percent of $453,100.

These loans commonly called “High-balance Conforming Loans” apply to high-cost counties in states like California, New Jersey, and New York.

Counties in California (CA)with High-Balance Loan Limits of $679,650 (in alphabetical order):

  • Alameda
  • Contra Costa
  • Los Angeles
  • Marin
  • Napa
  • Orange
  • San Benito
  • San Diego (Max limit of $649,750)
  • San Francisco
  • San Mateo
  • Santa Clara
  • Santa Cruz
  • Ventura (Max limit of $672,750)

Counties in New Jersey(NJ) with High-Balance Loan Limits of $679,650 (in alphabetical order):

  • Bergen
  • Essex
  • Hudson
  • Hunterdon
  • Middlesex
  • Monmouth
  • Morris
  • Ocean
  • Passaic
  • Somerset
  • Sussex
  • Union

High-cost counties in other states will also be eligible for the higher loan limit of $679,650.

Some of those counties are:

  • Garfield and Pitkin in Colorado (CO)
  • Calvert, Charles, Frederick, Montgomery, Prince Geroge’s in Maryland
  • Pike in Pennsylvania
  • Arlington, Clarke, Culpeper, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, Rappahannock, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Warren, Alexandria, Fairfax IND, Fall church, Fredericksburg, Manassas Park, Manassas in Virginia
  • King and Snohomish in Washington (High Balance Loan Limit of $667,000)

Special statutory provisions establish different loan limit calculations for Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  In these areas, the baseline loan limit will be $679,650 for one-unit properties, but loan limits may be higher in some specific locations.

Multi-Unit Loan Limits:

For greater than 1-unit properties, the loan limits are higher.

  • Base Loan Limit for 2-Unit property is $580,150
  • Base Loan Limit for 3-Unit property is $701,250
  • Base Loan Limit for 4-Unit property is $871,450
  • High-balance Loan Limit for 2-Unit property is $870,225
  • High-balance Loan Limit for 3-Unit property is $1,051,875
  • High-balance Loan Limit for 4-Unit property is $1,307,175

Click on the link to look up Conforming Loan Limits for any county in the country - FullCountyLoanLimitList2018