Report: Hawai‘i Residents Will Have More Buying Power in 2020

January 6, 2020, 8:45 AM HST · Updated January 6, 8:45 AM
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Homebridge Financial Services in Hawai‘i announced today that the Federal Housing Finance Agency maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages to be acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2020 will increase for the counties of Honolulu, Hawai‘i, Kalawao, Kaua‘i and Maui.

The new ceiling loan limit for one-unit properties in 2020 will be $765,600—a nearly $40,000 increase from $726,525 in 2019.

“This quite simply means more buying power for Maui residents in 2020,” says Homebridge Maui’s Faith Armanini. “While every county is different, as a result of generally rising home values, the increase in the baseline loan limit, and the increase in the ceiling loan limit, the maximum conforming loan limit will be higher in 2020 in all but 43 counties or county equivalents in the US.”

Baseline limit

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The Housing and Economic Recovery Act requires that the baseline conforming loan limit be adjusted each year for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to reflect the change in the average US home price. FHFA published its third quarter 2019 FHFA House Price Index report, which includes estimates for the increase in the average US home value over the last four quarters.

According to FHFA’s seasonally adjusted, expanded-data HPI, house prices increased 5.38 percent, on average, between the third quarters of 2018 and 2019. Therefore, the baseline maximum conforming loan limit in 2020 will increase by the same percentage.

In most of the US, the 2020 maximum conforming loan limit for one-unit properties will be $510,400, an increase from $484,350 in 2019.

High-cost area limits

For areas in which 115 percent of the local median home value exceeds the baseline conforming loan limit, the maximum loan limit will be higher than the baseline loan limit. HERA establishes the maximum loan limit in those areas as a multiple of the area median home value, while setting a “ceiling” on that limit of 150 percent of the baseline loan limit. Median home values generally increased in high-cost areas in 2019, driving up the maximum loan limits in many areas. The new ceiling loan limit for one-unit properties in most high-cost areas will be $765,600 — or 150 percent of $510,400.

  • More information is available online.
  • For a list of the 2020 maximum loan limits for all counties and county-equivalent areas in the US click here.
  • For a map showing the 2020 maximum loan limits across the US click here.
  • For a detailed description of the methodology used to determine the maximum loan limits in accordance with HERA, click here.

Homebridge Financial Services, Inc. is a privately held, non-bank lender in the United States. Homebridge Hawaiʻi has offices on Oʻahu, Maui, Kauaʻi and Hawaiʻi Island.

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