HUD Archives: News Releases

Colleen Bickford
Field Office Director
(907) 677-9800
For Release
January 5, 2006

Alaska Communities to Benefit

ANCHORAGE - The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) increased its basic single-family home mortgage limits by more than 15 percent nationally effective Jan. 1, 2006. In Alaska, that means a 5.3 percent increase of mortgage limits for a single-family home from $190,000 to $200,160 for most of the state. Areas excluded from this increase
are Anchorage, Denali, Juneau, the Matanuska-Susitna valleys, Sitka, and Yakutat. These communities saw a mortgage limit increase in October 2005.

Current mortgage limits for single-family homes are: in Anchorage $255,050, in Denali $240,264, in Juneau $294,000,
in the Mat-Su $255,050, in Sitka $327,750, and in Yakutat $240,264.

Colleen Bickford, Anchorage field office director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said: "This increase will put more homes within reach of more families across Alaska, and that is our goal. Our state
has too many families who are homeless or who live in overcrowded conditions. We want to help improve that situation."

These increases may allow more prospective homebuyers to qualify for FHA insured mortgages and home
improvement loans to purchase or refinance one to four-unit residences including condos and manufactured homes. The higher limits will help seniors, age 62 or older, seeking FHA insured reverse mortgages (Home Equity Conversion Mortgages) to potentially access more equity from their homes.

The new loan limits are part of an annual adjustment HUD makes to account for rising home prices. Under federal
law, loan limits are tied to the conforming loan limits of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, federally chartered corporations that buy and package mortgages. HUD calculates the FHA mortgage loan limits for 3,226 geographic areas within the United States. Loan limits for two-, three- and four-unit dwellings also increased.

Many homebuyers are attracted to FHA insured loans because of the program's benefits: a 3 percent down payment, which can be 100 percent gifted from an acceptable source, liberal underwriting criteria, market rate interest, and consumer protections. FHA loans are not restricted to first-time or low-income homebuyers.

These increases will also benefit senior citizens who qualify for FHA-insured reverse mortgages. Reverse mortgages allow homeowners age 62 and older to borrow against the value of their homes without selling them. Homeowners
can select a lump-sum payment, monthly payments or tap into a line of credit. No repayment is required as long as
a homeowner lives in a home with a reverse mortgage. The reverse mortgage is repaid, with interest, when a homeowner sells the home or dies.

Higher FHA loan limits don't cost the government money, because the FHA Insurance Fund is fully supported by premiums paid by borrowers who receive FHA insurance.

HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities, creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans, supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as
enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and


Content Archived: March 8, 2011