California FHA Loan Limits 2019: They’ve Gone Up Again

Another year, another increase in California FHA loan limits.

In response to rising home prices nationwide, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it was increasing FHA loan limits for 2019. HUD is the department that oversees the Federal Housing Administration’s mortgage insurance program.

As a result of this change, most counties across the country will see higher FHA loan limits in 2019.

California FHA Loan Limits for 2019: All Counties

The table below shows the new (and higher) FHA loan limits for all California counties. They’ve been increased for most counties across the state, with only a few exceptions. These limits will remain in effect through the end of the 2019 calendar year.

County 1-Family 2-Family 3-Family 4-Family
ALAMEDA $726,525 $930,300 $1,124,475 $1,397,400
ALPINE $463,450 $593,300 $717,150 $891,250
AMADOR $350,750 $449,000 $542,750 $674,500
BUTTE $314,827 $403,125 $487,250 $605,525
CALAVERAS $373,750 $478,450 $578,350 $718,750
COLUSA $314,827 $403,125 $487,250 $605,525
CONTRA COSTA $726,525 $930,300 $1,124,475 $1,397,400
DEL NORTE $314,827 $403,125 $487,250 $605,525
EL DORADO $552,000 $706,650 $854,200 $1,061,550
FRESNO $314,827 $403,125 $487,250 $605,525
GLENN $314,827 $403,125 $487,250 $605,525
HUMBOLDT $333,500 $426,950 $516,050 $641,350
IMPERIAL $314,827 $403,125 $487,250 $605,525
INYO $369,150 $472,550 $571,250 $709,900
KERN $314,827 $403,125 $487,250 $605,525
KINGS $314,827 $403,125 $487,250 $605,525
LAKE $314,827 $403,125 $487,250 $605,525
LASSEN $314,827 $403,125 $487,250 $605,525
LOS ANGELES $726,525 $930,300 $1,124,475 $1,397,400
MADERA $314,827 $403,125 $487,250 $605,525
MARIN $726,525 $930,300 $1,124,475 $1,397,400
MARIPOSA $322,000 $412,200 $498,250 $619,250
MENDOCINO $409,400 $524,100 $633,500 $787,300
MERCED $314,827 $403,125 $487,250 $605,525
MODOC $314,827 $403,125 $487,250 $605,525
MONO $529,000 $677,200 $818,600 $1,017,300
MONTEREY $652,050 $834,750 $1,009,000 $1,253,950
NAPA $726,525 $930,300 $1,124,475 $1,397,400
NEVADA $486,450 $622,750 $752,750 $935,500
ORANGE $726,525 $930,300 $1,124,475 $1,397,400
PLACER $552,000 $706,650 $854,200 $1,061,550
PLUMAS $336,950 $431,350 $521,400 $648,000
RIVERSIDE $431,250 $552,050 $667,350 $829,350
SACRAMENTO $552,000 $706,650 $854,200 $1,061,550
SAN BENITO $726,525 $930,300 $1,124,475 $1,397,400
SAN BERNARDINO $431,250 $552,050 $667,350 $829,350
SAN DIEGO $690,000 $883,300 $1,067,750 $1,326,950
SAN FRANCISCO $726,525 $930,300 $1,124,475 $1,397,400
SAN JOAQUIN $425,500 $544,700 $658,450 $818,250
SAN LUIS OBISPO $667,000 $853,900 $1,032,150 $1,282,700
SAN MATEO $726,525 $930,300 $1,124,475 $1,397,400
SANTA BARBARA $653,200 $836,200 $1,010,800 $1,256,150
SANTA CLARA $726,525 $930,300 $1,124,475 $1,397,400
SANTA CRUZ $726,525 $930,300 $1,124,475 $1,397,400
SHASTA $314,827 $403,125 $487,250 $605,525
SIERRA $314,827 $403,125 $487,250 $605,525
SISKIYOU $314,827 $403,125 $487,250 $605,525
SOLANO $494,500 $633,050 $765,200 $950,950
SONOMA $704,950 $902,450 $1,090,850 $1,355,700
STANISLAUS $350,750 $449,000 $542,750 $674,500
SUTTER $324,300 $415,150 $501,800 $623,650
TEHAMA $314,827 $403,125 $487,250 $605,525
TRINITY $314,827 $403,125 $487,250 $605,525
TULARE $314,827 $403,125 $487,250 $605,525
TUOLUMNE $331,200 $424,000 $512,500 $636,900
VENTURA $713,000 $912,750 $1,103,350 $1,371,150
YOLO $552,000 $706,650 $854,200 $1,061,550
YUBA $324,300 $415,150 $501,800 $623,650

The Result of Rising Home Prices

The California housing market had another big year in 2018. According to the real estate information company Zillow, the statewide median home value rose by around 5.6% during that year. Prices rose elsewhere across the nation as well.

As a result of this trend, HUD officials decided to increase California FHA loan limits for 2019. They announced this change in a December 2018 press release, in which they explained:

“Due to robust increases in median housing prices and required changes to FHA’s floor and ceiling limits, which are tied to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)’s increase in the conventional mortgage loan limit for 2019, the maximum loan limits for FHA forward mortgages will rise in 3,053 counties. In 181 counties, FHA’s loan limits will remain unchanged.”

Some highlights from the table above:

  • The broad range of California FHA loan limits shown above is directly related to the broad spectrum of home values from one county to the next.
  • That’s because these limits are primarily based on median home values, which vary from county to county.
  • The state’s highest priced real estate markets, like San Francisco and Orange County, also have the highest loan limits in 2019. Those “high-cost” areas were increased $726,525.
  • ¬†In contrast, those counties with lower home prices have comparatively lower FHA limits in 2019.
  • These caps are reviewed annually and sometimes increased to keep up with rising home values (as was the case this year).

Conforming and VA loan limits in California have also been increased for 2019. The limits for conforming loans in the state now range from $484,350 to $726,525, for a single-family home purchase. VA loan limits are the same as conforming.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much can I borrow?
The amount you can borrow when using an FHA loan will largely depend on your income and the amount of recurring debt you have. This is what lenders refer to as the debt-to-income ratio, DTI. And obviously, the loan limits above play a role here as well. Check out the article link above for more details.

How is FHA different from conventional?
A conventional or “regular” mortgage loan is one that is not insured or guaranteed by the federal government. This makes them different from the FHA and VA loan programs, which do receive government backing. That’s the primary distinction, but there are other differences as well.

How much do I have to put down?
All home buyers who use an FHA loan to buy a home in California (or elsewhere in the country) have to put down at least 3.5% of the purchase price or appraised value, whichever is less. A credit score of 580 or higher is usually required for this low down payment.