Mortgage loan limits for King County, Washington will go up in 2017, in response to rapidly rising home prices. This applies to FHA, VA and conventional.
In 2017, the King County mortgage loan limit for all three categories will rise to $592,250. That’s for a single-family home. Multifamily properties have higher limits, as shown below.
2017 Mortgage Loan Limits for King County, WA
Here are the revised (and higher) 2017 mortgage loan limits for King County, Washington:
- One-unit property: $592,250
- Two-unit property: $758,200
- Three-unit property: $916,450
- Four-unit property: $1,138,950
In this context, a “one-unit” property refers to a single-family home. The other three numbers are for multifamily properties like duplexes and triplexes. Again, these limits apply to FHA, conventional and VA mortgage loans.
Threshold for Jumbo Loans Has Also Increased
It’s possible to borrow more than the King County loan limits shown above. Mortgages that exceed these caps are still available in 2017, and they are known as “jumbo” mortgage loans.
What this change means is that the threshold for King County jumbo loans has also been increased for 2017. In 2017, any single-family mortgage that exceeds $592,250 is considered jumbo. These larger loans sometimes come with stricter qualification criteria, due to the higher amount that is being borrowed.
A Reaction to Significant Home-Price Gains
Federal housing officials review mortgage loan limits each year to see how they compare to home prices. When prices rise significantly from one year to the next, loan limits are also lifted as well. That’s what is happening with King County mortgage loan limits in 2017.
Home values across the county rose steadily during 2016, particularly in the Seattle metropolitan area. According to the economic research team at Zillow, the median home price for the Seattle metro area rose by around 12% during 2016, reaching $412,600. Within the city of Seattle, the median rose by more than 13% and exceeded $600,000 by the end of 2016.
As a result of these trends, Seattle and King County mortgage loan limits will rise by more than $50,000 in 2017.
Still a Sense of Urgency Among Buyers
Home prices in the area probably aren’t done rising. According to several forecasts, house values in the Seattle area will continue to rise steadily throughout 2017, though probably at a slower pace than what we saw during 2016. Zillow, for example, expects house values in the metro area to rise by around 5% in 2017, which is less than half of the 2016 gain.
So while the higher King County mortgage loan limits are good news for home buyers, there is still a sense of urgency. Buyers who postpone their purchases until later in 2017 will likely end up paying more for a house. Add in the prospect of rising mortgage rates, and you could easily make the case for buying sooner rather than later.