Alameda County Loan Limits for 2016, Including All Cities

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The 2016 conforming loan limits for Alameda County were announced on November 25, the day before Thanksgiving. There were no changes for 2016, which means the limits will stay at their current levels. The maximum conforming loan amount for a single-family home within the county remains at $625,500.

2016 Conforming Loan Limits for Alameda County, CA

Conforming loan limits are established by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). These dollar amounts represent the maximum size for mortgage loans that can be acquired by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Loan limits vary by county. They are reviewed annually and sometimes adjusted to reflect higher home prices.

Here are the 2016 conforming loan limits for Alameda County:

1-Unit Property 2-Unit Property 3-Unit Property 4-Unit Property
$625,500 $800,775 $967,950 $1,202,925

In this context, a “1 unit” property is a regular single-family home. A “2 unit” property is a duplex-style house with two separate residents, and so on.

Jumbos: Anything above these limits is considered a jumbo loan. Jumbo mortgage products usually require larger down payments. Mortgage lenders also tend to be more “picky” with jumbo borrowers, often requiring higher credit scores and incomes. This is why many Alameda borrowers try to stay within the conforming limits when buying a home.

Includes Berkeley, Dublin, Fremont, Oakland, etc.

As mentioned earlier, conforming loan limits are set by county. They are based on median home prices within the county, as determined by the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

This means the loan limits shown above apply to all communities and cities within Alameda County. This includes (but is not limited to) the cities of Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Dublin, Emeryville, Fremont, Hayward, Livermore, Newark, Oakland, Piedmont, Pleasanton, San Leandro and Union City. The 2016 conforming loan limit for a single-family home in all of these cities is $625,500.

Higher Home Prices Not Enough to Warrant Higher Limits

According to the economists at Zillow, home prices in Alameda County rose by double digits in 2015 (based on their own proprietary measurement). You’d think this would trigger an increase in conforming loan limits for 2016, since they are based on median house values countywide. But that wasn’t the case this year. The limits are unchanged.

In fact, there were only four California counties were loan limits were increased from 2015 to 2016. They are Monterey, Napa, San Diego and Sonoma counties. For the rest of the state (including Alameda), the 2015 conforming loan limits were carried over to 2016 with no changes.