The ceiling on loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration will also rise next year, to about $362,790 (87% of the Freddie Mac limit) in about three dozen high-cost markets.The FHA "floor" in 2006, or the maximum loan amount in most other places, will be about $200,160 (48% of the Freddie ceiling). Because the FHA must determine a limit for each of more than 3,300 jurisdictions nationwide, a formal announcement won't be made until the end of December, at the earliest. In addition, the maximum no-downpayment loan that will be guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs will be $417,000 in 2006. Eligible veterans can still purchase higher-priced houses, but because the VA "guaranty" is accepted by some lenders as a substitute for a 25% downpayment, buyers will have to put up $1 of their own money for every $4 they want to borrow above the limit.

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