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Maximum FHA Loan Limits for California: 2024 Update

Summary: California FHA loan limits for 2024 have been increased due to home price growth and will range from $498,257 to $1,149,825 depending on the county.

Yesterday, we reported that federal housing officials increased California’s conforming loan limits for 2024, effective on January 1. That change was made in response to home price increases that occurred during the current year.

Today, we bring you more news on that front.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) just announced that it would be increasing FHA loan limits in California and nationwide starting in January 2024. These limits apply to anyone who uses an FHA loan to buy a house.

HUD Increases FHA Loan Limits for 2024

On November 28, the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that it would be increasing the maximum loan amount for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) home loans in 2024. They made this change to keep pace with rising home prices nationwide.

The revised and increased FHA loan limits will apply to loans with case numbers assigned on or after January 1, 2024. This means that anyone who uses an FHA loan in 2024 to buy a house will be able to use the new / higher limits for loan size. And that’s a big deal in an expensive state like California.

FHA loans are a type of government-backed mortgage program. While the actual funding comes from banks and mortgage lenders in the private sector, these loans also receive insurance backing from the federal government. Lenders make the loans, and the government ensures them.

This insurance gives mortgage lenders an extra layer of protection against losses relating to borrower default. Because of this protection, FHA loans in California tend to have more flexible qualification criteria when compared to regular or conventional mortgage financing.

But there’s a limit to how much you can borrow when using an FHA-insured mortgage loan to buy a house. These maximum mortgage amounts are commonly referred to as “FHA loan limits.” They vary by county because they are based on median home prices.

California FHA Loan Limits for 2024

Here in California, the FHA loan limits for 2024 will range from $498,257 to $1,149,825, depending on the county where the home is located. Generally speaking, more expensive real estate markets have higher FHA loan limits, while more affordable counties have lower caps.

For example, the 2024 FHA loan limit for the more expensive Santa Clara County will be set at the maximum threshold of $1,149,825, while the much more affordable Butte County will have a limit of $498,257. The higher the median home price, the higher the FHA loan limit.

Here are the maximum FHA loan amounts for all California counties in 2024:

County One-Family Limit
ALAMEDA $1,149,825
ALPINE $503,700
AMADOR $498,257
BUTTE $498,257
CALAVERAS $498,257
COLUSA $498,257
CONTRA COSTA $1,149,825
DEL NORTE $498,257
EL DORADO $763,600
FRESNO $498,257
GLENN $498,257
HUMBOLDT $498,257
IMPERIAL $498,257
INYO $508,300
KERN $498,257
KINGS $498,257
LAKE $498,257
LASSEN $498,257
LOS ANGELES $1,149,825
MARIN $1,149,825
MARIPOSA $498,257
MONO $693,450
MONTEREY $920,000
NAPA $1,017,750
NEVADA $644,000
ORANGE $1,149,825
PLACER $763,600
PLUMAS $498,257
RIVERSIDE $644,000
SAN BENITO $1,149,825
SAN DIEGO $1,006,250
SAN JOAQUIN $656,650
SAN MATEO $1,149,825
SANTA CLARA $1,149,825
SANTA CRUZ $1,149,825
SHASTA $498,257
SIERRA $498,257
SOLANO $685,400
SONOMA $877,450
SUTTER $498,257
TEHAMA $498,257
TULARE $498,257
TUOLUMNE $498,257
VENTURA $954,500
YOLO $763,600
YUBA $498,257

Keeping Up With Home Prices

As mentioned earlier, this change was made in response to home price growth that occurred during 2023. HUD officials review loan limits at the end of each year to see how they line up with median home prices nationwide. If prices increase substantially from one year to the next, housing officials will increase FHA loan limits to keep up with those gains.

If loan limits were to remain the same from one year to the next, but home prices rose steadily, borrowers using FHA loans wouldn’t be able to afford a home purchase. That’s why they are often adjusted from one year to the next.

According to Julia Gordon, Assistant Secretary for Housing at HUD:

“The statutory loan limit increases announced today reflect the continued rise in home prices seen throughout most of the nation in 2023. The increases to FHA’s loan limits will enable homebuyers to use FHA’s low-down-payment financing to access homeownership at a time when a lack of affordability threatens to shut well qualified borrowers out of the market.”

Frequently Asked Questions

We would like to close out this report by addressing some of the most frequently asked questions relating to FHA loans in California, and the maximum amount that can be borrowed.

1. What is the purpose of FHA loan limits?

The maximum FHA loan amounts are designed to limit the amount of risk the federal government takes on when insuring mortgage loans. As mentioned above, FHA loans are insured by the Federal Housing Administration, which falls under the Department of Housing and Urban Development. These limits are designed to prevent excessive risk exposure for lenders, borrowers, and the federal government.

2. Do they apply to all borrowers?

The California FHA loan limits shown above apply to borrowers who use an FHA loan to purchase a home. The Federal Housing Administration refers to these mortgages as “Single-Family Title II Forward Mortgages.” (The “forward” part distinguishes purchase loans from the reverse mortgages used by homeowners.) In short, if you’re going to use an FHA loan to buy a home in California, the loan limits shown in the table above will apply to you.

3. What if I need to borrow more than the limit for my County?

If you need to borrow an amount that exceeds the FHA loan limit for your particular county, you might have to use a conventional mortgage loan instead. Conventional loans are not insured by the government and have higher limits. Borrowers with sufficient income can also use a jumbo loan to borrow well into the multimillion dollar range, which isn’t possible through the FHA program.

4. How are the maximum FHA loan limits determined?

We will defer to the Department of Housing and Urban Development to answer this question. Here is a quote from the HUD press release that announced the revised FHA loan limits for 2024:

“FHA is required by the National Housing Act (NHA), as amended by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA), to set Single Family forward mortgage loan limits at 115 percent of area median house prices for a particular jurisdiction, subject to a specified floor and a ceiling. In accordance with the NHA, FHA calculates forward mortgage limits by MSA and county.”

5. What about multifamily properties?

Borrowers can also use FHA-insured mortgage loans to purchase multifamily properties, including duplex and triplex units. The Federal Housing Administration allows higher limits for such properties. But for the sake of simplicity, we excluded them from the table shown above.

You can find the 2024 California FHA loan limits for multifamily properties through this section of the website.

Let’s Explore Your Financing Options!

Bridgepoint Funding has been serving home buyers and homeowners across the state of California for nearly 20 years. As a mortgage broker, we have access to multiple lenders and many different loan products, including FHA, conventional and VA.

If you have questions about FHA loans or want to explore your other financing options, please contact our knowledgeable staff. We can review your financial situation and housing goals to help you determine the best financing option.

Mike Trejo is a Bay Area mortgage broker with 20+ years of knowledge and experience.

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