In 2018, the FHA loan limit for Portland, Oregon is $448,500 for a single-family property. The median home value in the city is now catching up to that figure.
Federal Housing Administration (FHA) home loans are a popular financing option with some Portland home buyers, particularly those seeking a low-down-payment mortgage product. These government-insured loans offer flexible qualification criteria for borrowers and down payments as low as 3.5%.
FHA Loan Limit for Portland Metro Area
There are limits to how much you can borrow when using an FHA loan to buy a house in Portland, or anywhere else in Oregon. For calendar year 2018, the FHA loan limit for Portland is $448,500. That number is similar to the median home price in Portland, which was around $439,000 as of April 2018.
So where do these limits come from, and how might they affect you as a borrower?
The FHA loan program is managed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. So it’s a government-regulated housing agency. HUD officials establish the FHA loan limits for Portland, Oregon and the rest of the United States.
These limits are actually based on the ones used by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), for non-government-backed conforming mortgage loans. Basically, the FHA cap for a particular area is based on a certain percentage of the conforming limits used by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
At the end of 2017, housing officials announced they were raising the FHA loan limit for Portland, Oregon up to $448,500. This was done to keep pace with rising home values in the area. That’s the limit for single-family home purchases anywhere within the Portland metro area. It applies to the counties of Clackamas, Columbia, Multnomah, Washington and Yamhill.
Home Prices Are Catching Up
Portland home buyers who use an FHA loan to buy a house must make a down payment of at least 3.5% of the purchase price or the appraised value. So the price of the house you are purchasing will influence the size of your down payment.
The median home value for Portland, Oregon is steadily catching up to the current (2018) FHA loan limit in the area. According to the real estate information company Zillow, the city’s median home value rose to $438,549 as of April 2018. That was an increase of about 3.4% from the same month a year earlier. And prices are still rising across the metro area.
Here are those two numbers again:
- The 2018 FHA loan limit for Portland is $448,500.
- The median home price was around $439,000, in spring 2018.
You might recall from the math classes of your youth that the “median” is basically the middle number — or midpoint — for a range of values. So a “median home price” means that half of the properties in the area are priced above that level, while the other half are priced below it.
As of spring 2018, the FHA loan limit for Portland nearly matched the median home value.