Summary: Home prices have increased steadily in King County, prompting federal housing officials to decide to raise conforming loan limits in the county for 2020. This article will address what these numbers are and how that will impact you as a homebuyer.
The current threshold for a jumbo loan in King County, Washington in 2019 is $726,525. But we will see higher conventional loan limits in King County for 2020, as a result of steady home-price growth over the last year. Here’s an updated look at jumbo and conforming loan limits with the county, with an outlook for 2020.
What Is a ‘Jumbo’ Mortgage, Exactly?
By definition, a jumbo loan is one that exceeds the maximum size limits for purchase by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
Each year, these two government-sponsored enterprises (and their regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency) establish a maximum amount for the loans they can buy from mortgage lenders. In 2019, these “conforming” limits ranged from $484,350 to $726,525. They vary by county, because they are based on median home prices.
However, the conforming loan limits for 2020 in King County will be increased to $741,750. The baseline for the state of Washington is $510,400.
When a mortgage loan exceeds these conforming limits, it is referred to as a jumbo loan. Generally speaking, the qualification criteria for jumbo mortgage products can be a bit more strict, when compared to their smaller / conforming counterparts.
So what’s considered a jumbo loan in King County, Washington, in 2020? As already mentioned, in 2020, the conforming loan limit will be $741,750 for a single-family property. So anything above that would be considered jumbo.
To be clear, it’s possible to borrow more than this amount. But a higher down payment might be required, due to the larger size of the loan. Please contact us if you have questions about applying for a jumbo loan in King County, Washington.
The loan limits for King County are the same as Pierce and Snohomish Counties, as noted in the table below.
|County Name||1-Unit Loan Limit||2-Unit Loan Limit||3-Unit Loan Limit||4-Unit Loan Limit|
Home Prices Rising Steadily
Home prices across the county – and within the Seattle metropolitan area, in particular – have risen steadily and sharply over the last few years, though they slowed down in the middle of 2018. King County has seen some of the biggest year-over-year price increases of any county in the country, with prices now hovering around $617,400 compared to the state average of $395,500.
You’ll recall that the 2020 conforming loan limit for conventional (non-government-backed) mortgage loans in King County is $741,750 for a single-family home. The median, or midpoint, for home prices in the county is below that level. So buyers have some wiggle room when it comes to taking out a mortgage that falls within conforming loan sizes.
Will King County Jumbo Limits Increase in 2020?
As a result of these trends, the jumbo loan threshold in King County will go up in 2020. Federal housing regulators review FHA and conventional / conforming limits every year to make sure they are keeping pace with home values. When prices rise considerably during the year, the limits are often increased as well. We saw this last year, and it will happen again for 2020.
King County home prices are expected to continue rising over the coming months, though they could slow down a bit. The economists at Zillow, for example, recently predicted that the median house price in the county will likely remain stable without much fluctuation over the coming months.
Here is a full list of loan limits for the state of Washington. We will update that page in November or December. That’s when housing regulators will announce any revisions for 2018.
Need a Mortgage? Sammamish Mortgage is a local mortgage company serving the broader Pacific Northwest region, including Washington state, Idaho, Colorado, and Oregon. We are proud to offer a wide variety of mortgage programs and products with flexible qualification criteria. Please contact us if you have any questions or are ready to apply for a home loan.