Effective January 1, 2018 Alaskans will have new maximum mortgage amounts for single family, duplex, triplex and four-plex owner occupied loans. This is good news for buyers who are struggling, in particular, with the increased costs of new home construction. Alaska is one of the few states that periodically see maximum loan amounts increase beyond most states in recognition of our higher cost of living along with Guam, Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The FHA increase is particularly beneficial to first time home buyers in Anchorage where the average sales price for single family homes consistently hovers around $366,000.

VA buyers will now also have an opportunity to move up in the market with the increase to $679,650. Any VA loan above that amount will require a down payment but the $679,650 loan can go triple zero down.

One caveat accompanying these higher loan limits for owner occupied multi family is the six months of reserves required and the fact that only 75 percent of any rental income can be attributed to the buyer’s income qualification. Those two requirements are a stumbling block for some first time investors.

Nevertheless, these higher mortgage limits across our residential market are good news for the 2018 housing market.