At a glance: In 2021, FHA loan limits will range from $356,362 to $822,375, depending on the county where the property is located. That’s for a single-family home, in particular. Higher limits apply for multi-family residences, such as duplexes and triplexes. You can find the caps for your county by using the PDF documents below, or by visiting https://entp.hud.gov/idapp/html/hicostlook.cfm.
On December 2, 2020, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that they were increasing FHA loan limits for most U.S. counties in 2021. This page has been fully updated to reflect those changes.
In high-cost areas across the United States, FHA’s loan limit “ceiling” for single-family properties was increased to $822,375 for 2021. The housing agency also increased its “floor” to $356,362. These changes are the result of rising home values.
This year, it was sort of a mixed bag. Most counties across the country will see an increase in their FHA loan limits for 2021. Some counties will stay where they are, with no changes. To find information for your particular county, visit https://entp.hud.gov/idapp/html/hicostlook.cfm for a searchable database.
Overview of 2021 FHA Loan Limits
Below you will find the 2021 FHA loan limits for low-cost areas, high-cost areas, and special exceptions for areas like Alaska and Hawaii with expensive construction costs.
The ‘Floor’ and ‘Ceiling’ Lending Caps
According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the maximum FHA lending amount for high-cost metropolitan areas rose to $822,375 for calendar year 2021 (up from $765,600 in 2020). In areas with lower housing costs, the FHA limit can be as low as $356,362.
Obviously, there’s a broad spectrum in between.
These are the “floor” and “ceiling” limits for FHA loans in 2021. In all other areas, loan limits are typically set at 115% of the median home price for the county, as determined by HUD. By design, the maximum FHA lending amounts are intended to be slightly higher than the median home price within a particular area. This makes the program suitable for buyers seeking a modestly priced home.
In most real estate markets, the 2021 limits should give buyers plenty of properties to choose from. But it won’t accommodate those who are shopping on the higher end of the price spectrum — nor is it intended to. The FHA loan program was created to support “low- and moderate-income home buyers,” particularly those with limited cash saved for a down payment.
How FHA Loan Limits Are Determined
Where do these limits come from? How are they determined?
These are two of the most common questions we receive from mortgage shoppers. Here’s a quick overview, starting with the geographical nature of these caps:
FHA loan limits are determined by the county where the home is located, except for properties that are located in metropolitan or “micropolitan” statistical areas. In metro areas, the limits are set using “the county with the highest median home price within the metropolitan statistical area,” according to HUD.
That’s the geographical aspect of it. The maximum lending amounts for this program are based on a percentage of conforming loan limits, which are set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and are based on home prices. For instance, FHA’s minimum national loan limit “floor” for low-cost areas is typically set at 65% of the national conforming amount for the U.S.
Here’s what home buyers and mortgage shoppers need to know:
The 2021 FHA limits vary from one county to the next. They are based on the Home Price Index (HPI) and get updated — or at least reviewed — every year. They were increased from 2020 to 2021 in most counties, to account for home-price gains that occurred during the previous year. To find the current and complete loan limits for your area, you must first find your county within the PDF documents above.
Alternately: You can also do a database search on the HUD website. Here is the web address for HUD’s mortgage limit lookup tool: https://entp.hud.gov/idapp/html/hicostlook.cfm
Reports for Individual Cities and States
We frequently blog about the FHA loan limits for individual cities, counties and states across the country. Our goal is to give home buyers and mortgage shoppers the information they need to make informed decisions.
Our latest report: Phoenix, Arizona