WASHINGTON – Dec. 2012 – Mortgage loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) won’t change in 2013 for most of the nation. The only exception: a handful of cities in Arkansas and Texas.

FHA’s loan cap in most areas is $417,000 for single-family homes, though it’s higher in selected areas with above-average home prices. FHA’s extension of the 2012 caps follows a November announcement from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) that maximum mortgage loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would also stay the same next year.

For homebuyers, the cap represents a cutoff point for less expensive loans. Home purchases that require a loan higher than the cutoff require a jumbo loan that usually charges higher interest.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published the 2013 FHA guidelines in FHA Mortgagee Letter 12-26, which can be downloaded through HUD’s website.

HUD also announced last week that properties could be flipped (resold) in less than 90 days per an existing rule. HUD waived the no-flipping rule in 2010 to help the housing market recover, but the latest extension was set to expire Dec. 31. However, the new extension extends the no-flipping waiver through Dec. 31, 2014.

For FHA technical support, search the FHA Frequently Asked Question site, email the FHA Resource Center at: answers@hud.gov, or call toll-free (8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET) to (800) CALLFHA or (800) 225-5342.

© 2012 Florida Realtors®