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HUD #06-WA-27
Pamela Negri
(206) 220-5356
www.hud.gov/washington
For Release
Monday
November 13, 2006

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HUD RAISES FHA MORTGAGE INSURANCE LIMITS IN SIX WASHINGTON COUNTIES
Homebuyers in King, Pierce, Snohomish, Kitsap, Skagit & Thurston Counties to Benefit

SEATTLE - More homebuyers in King, Pierce, Snohomish, Kitsap, Skagit and Thurston Counties may be eligible for FHA insurance on their mortgages and home improvement loans under new mortgage limits effective this month announced by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The new FHA mortgage limit for a single-family unit in King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties is $362,790, which allows for purchase of a home costing $374,010 with the required 3 percent downpayment. This is the fourth increase in 2006 for these three counties, up from $335,800 in January 2006. Higher loan limits apply for two to four-unit dwellings.

The new FHA mortgage limit for a single-family unit in Kitsap County is $263,750, up from $261,250 in January 2006; in Skagit County it's $250,800, up from $243,200 in January 2006; and in Thurston County, it's $242,250, up from $223,250 in May 2006.

For a complete list by county, go to https://entp.hud.gov/idapp/html/hicost1.cfm. For information about FHA insured mortgages, go to www.fha.gov or call (800) CALL FHA.

These increases may allow more prospective homebuyers to qualify for FHA insured mortgages and home improvement loans to purchase or refinance one to four-unit residences including condos and manufactured homes. The higher limits will help seniors, age 62 or older, seeking FHA insured reverse mortgages (Home Equity Conversion Mortgages) to potentially access more equity from their homes.

"This increase in FHA loan limits is in response to the continuing rapid increases in the average price of housing in these counties and will help more people purchase or refinance homes using FHA mortgage insurance," said HUD Regional Director John W. Meyers.

Many homebuyers are attracted to FHA insured loans because of the program's benefits: a 3 percent down payment, which can be 100 percent gifted from an acceptable source, such as gifts from family or a downpayment assistance program, liberal underwriting criteria, fair interest rates, and consumer protections. FHA loans are not restricted to first-time homebuyers.

Recent changes in FHA loan processing make it easier for REALTORS , lenders and consumers to process and qualify for FHA loans.

HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development, and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.

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