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2019
VA Loan Limits

Check Your 2019 VA Loan Limits

2019 VA Loan Limits Up With Home Prices

 

On November 27, 2018, the VA announced updated VA loan limits for 2019, with the limit for most U.S. counties and territories increasing by nearly 7%. Higher loan limits will increase the percentage of homes that can potentially be financed with a VA loan and no down payment. This enhances the impact of the VA loan benefit for Veterans, especially considering that home prices have risen steeply for several years, making saving for a down payment more challenging for those who don’t enjoy this benefit.

VA loan limits have increased for three years in a row. The 2019 limits are set at $484,350, an increase of $31,250, from the previous year. The ceiling for high-cost counties also increased, to $726,525, up from $679,650 in 2017. Veterans have gains in home values to thank for the hike in loan limits, as all nine regions of the country saw an annual rise in home prices in 2019. The Mountain region saw the most gain at just under 9%.

2019’s VA loan limits may be good for Veterans who are hunting for a more expensive home. With soaring limits, a qualified borrower may be able to get a larger loan without having to cough up cash for a down payment. But, potential borrowers may need to watch for rising interest rates. According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Monthly Mortgage Survey (PMMS), 30-year rates ended 2017 just under 4%. But for 2018, rates will finish a whole point higher, just under 5%.

Freddie Mac predicts rates will continue to increase to 5.1% by the end of 2019. And while the government mortgage entity (GME) reports that higher rates and home prices may be discouraging for most borrowers, the professionals at Veterans First Mortgage have a different outlook and suggest that buying a home early in 2019 may be a solid strategic move. Homebuyers in Q1 2019 will be able to take advantage of higher loan limits, a robust housing market, and (relatively) competitive interest rates.

VA Loan Limits Explained

 

VA loan limits don’t “limit” the amount a Veteran can borrow using their home loan benefits, as the name implies. Instead, loan limits are the maximum loan amount that the VA is willing to back without a down payment. Typically, about 25% of a Veteran’s VA loan, up to the limit, is guaranteed for the lender by the government. For loans over the limit, lenders will ask the borrower to secure 25% of the amount above the limit in the form of a down payment. But with the new loan limit at $484,350, and the average VA loan being around $255,000, it is reasonable to expect that most loans will be obtained without a down payment.

How Are Baseline Loan Limits Calculated?

 

A baseline loan limit is simply the loan limit for most U.S. counties and territories where home prices are more in line with the national average. Over a decade ago, the baseline loan limit was $417,000, as defined by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008. Generally, loan limits are intended to reflect home prices in a specific location. But due to the 2008 housing crisis, it took time for the market to recover, and due to stipulations in HERA, the baseline loan limits stayed at $417,000 for nearly a decade.

Then in 2016, home prices rose almost everywhere. The FHFA published its third-quarter house price index (HPI), showing that the average prices had risen 1.7% above Q3 2007, which was right before the housing bubble burst. As a result, the baseline loan limit for 2017 was adjusted to reflect the correction in the housing market. Loan limits rose again for 2018. And due to a robust 2018 housing market, home prices rose again in almost all 50 states. Hence, VA loan limits are up again for 2019.

High-Cost Areas Have a New Ceiling of $726,525

 

Some areas of the country have very expensive homes, and to accommodate this, limits in certain places are higher than the baseline limit of $484,350. By FHFA’s definition, high-cost housing areas have at least 115% of their local median home values over the baseline loan limit. In other words, these are areas where the average home is notably more expensive. Limits in these areas are set at the median home value, rather than the baseline. This makes it more feasible for Veterans to utilize their benefits in expensive housing markets with zero-down VA loans.

Higher Loan Limits Reflect Rising Home Prices

 

Across the country, home prices are steadily increasing.

Here are some of the significant findings from the third quarter (Q3) 2018 HPI report:

  •   All 50 states and 99 of the 100 major metro areas saw home prices rise from a year ago.
  •   The five top-growth states were: 1) Idaho 15.1%; 2) Nevada 15.0%; 3) Washington 10.6%; 4) Utah 10.0%; and 5) Colorado 9.2%.
  •   The strongest metro area was Boise, ID, up 20.1%.
  •   The weakest metro area was Honolulu, HI (urban) down 5.2%.
  •   The strongest region was the Mountain Region, up 8.9% from last year.
  •   The regions with the lowest increases were New England, Middle Atlantic, and West South Central, all up less than 5% since Q3 2017.

According to data from FHFA, home prices increased from Q3 2014 to Q3 2015 by 5.7%, then by 6.1% from Q3 2015 to Q3 2016, and by 6.5% from Q3 2016 to Q3 2017. For Q3 2018, prices are up 6.3% annually. This is a much more rapid pace than the 4.9% increase FHFA predicted in its forecast.

Predicting the Future of Loan Limits

 

FHFA forecasts that the percent growth in home prices for 2019 will slow to a pace of 3.2%. And VA loan limits have traditionally followed housing market trends. So, if the home prices keep increasing, and no action is taken by the federal government to change how the limits are calculated, 2020 loan limits will likely rise as well.

For information about a VA loan in your area, get in touch with one of our team members here at Veterans First Mortgage.

VA Loan Limit Table

 

Are you curious about your current loan limits? Look yours up using the VA loan limit table below. If you don’t see your county, you can assume your current loan limit is the baseline $453,100. The loan limit table lists only high-cost places where limits are over the baseline. Loan limits are updated for each year on January 1st.

If you have questions, speak to one of our VA specialists at 800-217-1596.

State County or Area 2017 VA Limit 2018 VA Limit Percent Change Regional Loan Ctr
Alaska Aleutians East $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver
Alaska Aleutians West $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver
Alaska Anchorage $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver
Alaska Bethel $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver
Alaska Bristol Bay $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver
Alaska Denali $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver
Alaska Dillingham $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver
Alaska Fairbanks North $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver
Alaska Haines $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver
Alaska Hoonah-Angoonÿ $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver
Alaska Juneau $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver
Alaska Kenai Peninsula $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver
Alaska Ketchikan Gateway $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver
Alaska Kodiak Island $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver
Alaska Kusilvak Census Area $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver
Alaska Lake and Peninsula $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver
Alaska Matanuska-Susitna $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver
Alaska Nome $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver
Alaska North Slope $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver
Alaska Northwest Arctic $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver
Alaska Petersburg Census $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver
Alaska Prince of Wales $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver
Alaska Sitka $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver
Alaska Skagway $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver
Alaska Southeast Fairbanks $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver
Alaska Valdez-Cordova $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver
Alaska Wrangell City Area $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver
Alaska Yakutat City $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver
Alaska Yukon-Koyukuk $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver
California Alameda $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Phoenix
California Alpine $463,450 $463,450 0% Phoenix
California Contra Costa $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Phoenix
California El Dorado $488,750 $517,500 5.9% Phoenix
California Los Angeles $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Phoenix
California Marin $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Phoenix
California Mono $529,000 $529,000 0% Phoenix
California Monterey $575,000 $615,250 7.0% Phoenix
California Napa $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Phoenix
California Nevada $477,250 $477,250 0% Phoenix
California Orange $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Phoenix
California Placer $488,750 $517,500 5.9% Phoenix
California Sacramento $488,750 $517,500 5.9% Phoenix
California San Benito $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Phoenix
California San Diego $612,950 $649,750 6.0% Phoenix
California San Francisco $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Phoenix
California San Luis Obispo $586,500 $615,250 4.9% Phoenix
California San Mateo $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Phoenix
California Santa Barbara $625,500 $625,500 0% Phoenix
California Santa Clara $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Phoenix
California Santa Cruz $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Phoenix
California Solano $431,250 $460,000 6.7% Phoenix
California Sonoma $595,700 $648,600 8.9% Phoenix
California Ventura $636,150 $672,750 5.8% Phoenix
California Yolo $488,750 $517,500 5.9% Phoenix
Colorado Adams $493,350 $529,000 7.2% Denver
Colorado Arapahoe $493,350 $529,000 7.2% Denver
Colorado Boulder $529,000 $578,450 9.3% Denver
Colorado Broomfield $493,350 $529,000 7.2% Denver
Colorado Clear Creek $493,350 $529,000 7.2% Denver
Colorado Denver $493,350 $529,000 7.2% Denver
Colorado Douglas $493,350 $529,000 7.2% Denver
Colorado Eagle $636,150 $636,150 0% Denver
Colorado Elbert $493,350 $529,000 7.2% Denver
Colorado Garfield $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver
Colorado Gilpin $493,350 $529,000 7.2% Denver
Colorado Jefferson $493,350 $529,000 7.2% Denver
Colorado Lake $625,500 $625,500 0% Denver
Colorado Park $493,350 $529,000 7.2% Denver
Colorado Pitkin $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver
Colorado Routt $625,500 $625,500 0% Denver
Colorado San Miguel $625,500 $625,500 0% Denver
Colorado Summit $625,500 $625,500 0% Denver
Connecticut Fairfield $601,450 $601,450 0% Cleveland
District of Columbia District of Columbia $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Roanoke
Florida Monroe $529,000 $529,000 0% St. Petersburg
Georgia Greene $515,200 $515,200 0% Atlanta
Guam Guam $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Honolulu
Hawaii Hawaii $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Honolulu
Hawaii Honolulu $721,050 $721,050 0% Honolulu
Hawaii Kalawao $657,800 $679,650 3.3% Honolulu
Hawaii Kauai $713,000 $713,000 0% Honolulu
Hawaii Maui $657,800 $679,650 3.3% Honolulu
Idaho Blaine $625,500 $625,500 0% Denver
Idaho Camas $625,500 $625,500 0% Denver
Idaho Lincoln $625,500 $625,500 0% Denver
Idaho Teton $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver
Maryland Anne Arundel $517,500 $517,500 0% Roanoke
Maryland Baltimore $517,500 $517,500 0% Roanoke
Maryland Baltimore City $517,500 $517,500 0% Roanoke
Maryland Calvert $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Roanoke
Maryland Carroll $517,500 $517,500 0% Roanoke
Maryland Charles $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Roanoke
Maryland Frederick $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Roanoke
Maryland Harford $517,500 $517,500 0% Roanoke
Maryland Howard $517,500 $517,500 0% Roanoke
Maryland Montgomery $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Roanoke
Maryland Prince George's $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Roanoke
Maryland Queen Anne's $517,500 $517,500 0% Roanoke
Massachusetts Dukes $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Cleveland
Massachusetts Essex $598,000 $603,750 1.0% Cleveland
Massachusetts Middlesex $598,000 $603,750 1.0% Cleveland
Massachusetts Nantucket $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Cleveland
Massachusetts Norfolk $598,000 $603,750 1.0% Cleveland
Massachusetts Plymouth $598,000 $603,750 1.0% Cleveland
Massachusetts Suffolk $598,000 $603,750 1.0% Cleveland
MP Northern Island $524,400 $524,400 0% Honolulu
MP Saipan $529,000 $529,000 0% Honolulu
MP Tinian $532,450 $532,450 0% Honolulu
New Hampshire Rockingham $598,000 $603,750 1.0% Cleveland
New Hampshire Strafford $598,000 $603,750 1.0% Cleveland
New Jersey Bergen $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Cleveland
New Jersey Essex $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Cleveland
New Jersey Hudson $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Cleveland
New Jersey Hunterdon $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Cleveland
New Jersey Middlesex $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Cleveland
New Jersey Monmouth $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Cleveland
New Jersey Morris $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Cleveland
New Jersey Ocean $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Cleveland
New Jersey Passaic $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Cleveland
New Jersey Somerset $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Cleveland
New Jersey Sussex $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Cleveland
New Jersey Union $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Cleveland
New York Bronx $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Cleveland
New York Dutchess $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Cleveland
New York Kings $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Cleveland
New York Nassau $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Cleveland
New York New York $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Cleveland
New York Orange $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Cleveland
New York Putnam $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Cleveland
New York Queens $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Cleveland
New York Richmond $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Cleveland
New York Rockland $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Cleveland
New York Suffolk $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Cleveland
New York Westchester $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Cleveland
North Carolina Camden $625,500 $625,500 0% Atlanta
North Carolina Currituck $458,850 $458,850 0% Atlanta
North Carolina Gates $458,850 $458,850 0% Atlanta
North Carolina Hyde $483,000 $483,000 0% Atlanta
North Carolina Pasquotank $625,500 $625,500 0% Atlanta
North Carolina Perquimans $625,500 $625,500 0% Atlanta
Pennsylvania Pike $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Cleveland
Tennessee Cannon $466,900 $494,500 5.9% Atlanta
Tennessee Cheatham $466,900 $494,500 5.9% Atlanta
Tennessee Davidson $466,900 $494,500 5.9% Atlanta
Tennessee Dickson $466,900 $494,500 5.9% Atlanta
Tennessee Hickman $466,900 $494,500 5.9% Atlanta
Tennessee Macon $466,900 $494,500 5.9% Atlanta
Tennessee Maury $466,900 $494,500 5.9% Atlanta
Tennessee Robertson $466,900 $494,500 5.9% Atlanta
Tennessee Rutherford $466,900 $494,500 5.9% Atlanta
Tennessee Smith $466,900 $494,500 5.9% Atlanta
Tennessee Sumner $466,900 $494,500 5.9% Atlanta
Tennessee Trousdale $466,900 $494,500 5.9% Atlanta
Tennessee Williamson $466,900 $494,500 5.9% Atlanta
Tennessee Wilson $466,900 $494,500 5.9% Atlanta
Utah Salt Lake $600,300 $600,300 0% Denver
Utah Summit $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver
Utah Tooele $600,300 $600,300 0% Denver
Virgin Islands St. Croix $636,150 $679,650 6.8% St. Petersburg
Virgin Islands St. John, VI $636,150 $679,650 6.8% St. Petersburg
Virgin Islands St. Thomas $636,150 $679,650 6.8% St. Petersburg
Virginia Alexandria City $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Roanoke
Virginia Amelia $535,900 $535,900 0% Roanoke
Virginia Arlington $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Roanoke
Virginia Caroline $535,900 $535,900 0% Roanoke
Virginia Charles City $535,900 $535,900 0% Roanoke
Virginia Chesapeake City $458,850 $458,850 0% Roanoke
Virginia Chesterfield $535,900 $535,900 0% Roanoke
Virginia Clarke $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Roanoke
Virginia Colonial Heights $535,900 $535,900 0% Roanoke
Virginia Culpeper $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Roanoke
Virginia Cumberland $535,900 $535,900 0% Roanoke
Virginia Dinwiddie $535,900 $535,900 0% Roanoke
Virginia Fairfax $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Roanoke
Virginia Fairfax Independent $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Roanoke
Virginia Falls Church $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Roanoke
Virginia Fauquier $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Roanoke
Virginia Fredericksburg $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Roanoke
Virginia Gloucester $458,850 $458,850 0% Roanoke
Virginia Goochland $535,900 $535,900 0% Roanoke
Virginia Hampton City $458,850 $458,850 0% Roanoke
Virginia Hanover $535,900 $535,900 0% Roanoke
Virginia Henrico $535,900 $535,900 0% Roanoke
Virginia Hopewell City $535,900 $535,900 0% Roanoke
Virginia Isle of Wight $458,850 $458,850 0% Roanoke
Virginia James City $458,850 $458,850 0% Roanoke
Virginia King and Queen $535,900 $535,900 0% Roanoke
Virginia King William $535,900 $535,900 0% Roanoke
Virginia Loudoun $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Roanoke
Virginia Louisa $535,900 $535,900 0% Roanoke
Virginia Manassas $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Roanoke
Virginia Manassas Park $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Roanoke
Virginia Mathews $458,850 $458,850 0% Roanoke
Virginia New Kent $535,900 $535,900 0% Roanoke
Virginia Newport News $458,850 $458,850 0% Roanoke
Virginia Norfolk City $458,850 $458,850 0% Roanoke
Virginia Petersburg City $535,900 $535,900 0% Roanoke
Virginia Poquoson City $458,850 $458,850 0% Roanoke
Virginia Portsmouth City $458,850 $458,850 0% Roanoke
Virginia Powhatan $535,900 $535,900 0% Roanoke
Virginia Prince George $535,900 $535,900 0% Roanoke
Virginia Prince William $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Roanoke
Virginia Rappahannock $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Roanoke
Virginia Richmond City $535,900 $535,900 0% Roanoke
Virginia Spotsylvania $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Roanoke
Virginia Stafford $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Roanoke
Virginia Suffolk City $458,850 $458,850 0% Roanoke
Virginia Surry $458,850 $458,850 0% Roanoke
Virginia Sussex $535,900 $535,900 0% Roanoke
Virginia Virginia Beach $458,850 $458,850 0% Roanoke
Virginia Warren $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Roanoke
Virginia Williamsburg City $458,850 $458,850 0% Roanoke
Virginia York $458,850 $458,850 0% Roanoke
Washington King $592,250 $667,000 12.6% Denver
Washington Pierce $592,250 $667,000 12.6% Denver
Washington San Juan $483,000 $483,000 0% Denver
Washington Snohomish $592,250 $667,000 12.6% Denver
West Virginia Jefferson $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Roanoke
Wyoming Teton $636,150 $679,650 6.8% Denver