For First Time In 8 Years, Federally Insured Mortgage Limits Increase In Idaho

Dec 6, 2016

Credit Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has increased the price of mortgages they will insure in 2017.

This is the first time since 2009 that HUD has increased the amount for federally backed mortgages. Growing demand for housing in Idaho is a factor.

For example, if you want to buy a house worth $275,000 in Boise, you may be eligible for a Federal Housing Administration 30-year fixed mortgage. That’s an increase of about two percent. In more expensive places like Blaine and Teton counties, the limits have also increased. 

According to Lee Jones of HUD, this relatively small increase could help people who can’t afford shorter, more expensive loans. 

“Certainly a lot of younger buyers, first-time buyers," says Jones, "for that matter folks who are trying to refinance out of risky mortgages – FHA is a very attractive product.”  Jones says in Idaho, the agency has seen a growing number of people buy these kind of lower-risk mortgages. 

Last year, there was a record of more than eight thousand homes purchased in the Gem State through the program. The number of homes this year is on track to match – if not exceed – 2015’s record. 

“[Idaho is] a booming housing market; as markets boom the prices go up. And we just want to make sure that those kinds of folks who in some sense when they buy a home realizing it’s the biggest investment they’re likely to make in their lifetime, that they want to do it in a prudent, thoughtful way.”

He says the economic recovery has paved the way for more opportunities for first-time home buyers, while home buying competition in places like Boise keeps demand high. 

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