Housing markets in Coastal California are dominated by high wage earners. In the more affluent markets, the GSE conforming loan limit is $625,000, yet the FHA limit is $729,750. GSE conforming loans can be obtained with only 5% down with private mortgage insurance of around 0.62%. FHA loans previously could be obtained with 3.5% down with an PHA insurance premium of 1.25%. The FHA loan which only requires 3.5% down instead of 5% has been very popular despite the onerous insurance premiums because after a massive debt binge and severe recession, most potential homebuyers are still broke.
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The changes by HUD reflect the real cost of low down payment programs.
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