News Release: Veterans Affairs Shocks Hawaii Military Homebuyers

NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 3, 2014

Veterans Affairs Shocks Hawaii Military Homebuyers

2014 VA Loan Guaranty Limits Fall from $750,000 to $625,500 in Honolulu

(HONOLULU) — Limits on Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loan guarantees for home mortgages dropped at the beginning of this year by $124,500 in Honolulu, even though government-backed mortgage limits in other high-cost counties, including many in California, increased.

In 2013, the maximum guaranty amount for a VA loan in Honolulu was $750,000. The 2014 guaranty amount, released on December 24, 2013 saw that limit drop to $625,500. The reduction comes at a time when the median single family home prices on Oahu have steadily risen to as much as $684,000 in November 2013, according to the Honolulu Board of Realtors.

While a loan guaranty of $625,500 may seem high for a home on the mainland, on Oahu where the average single family home price is $684,000, the impact on liquidity cannot be understated.

“This $124,500 drop in VA loan guaranty will cause stress on the families who depend on these loan guarantees. Veterans and their families will now face potentially higher down payment requirements and/or increased financing rates,” Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine said.

“The VA and lawmakers in Washington, D.C. should consider the impact these reductions will have on unique real estate markets such as Oahu and take into consideration variations in home prices, incomes and cost of living,” Councilmember Pine added.

VA loans have increased 7.8% from 2012 and a total of 5,292 loans were issued in Hawaii in 2013.

“We have numerous veterans who will be impacted negatively by this reduction,” said Tony Dias, Branch Manager for Veterans United Home Loans of Hawaii.

“I trust that our government will recognize the severity of this reduction and do what is right to provide our veterans with the finance options they deserve,” Mr. Dias added.

Descriptions of the 2014 and 2013 VA County Loan Limits are available via these links:

2014 VA County Loan Limits:

http://benefits.va.gov/HOMELOANS/documents/docs/2014_county_loan_limits.pdf

2013 VA County Loan Limits:

http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/documents/docs/2013_county_loan_limits.pdf

Councilmember Pine represents residents of District One (Ewa, Ewa Beach, Kapolei, Honokai Hale, Ko Olina, Nanakuli, Maili, Waianae, Makaha, Keaau, Makua) and chairs the Intergovernmental Affairs and Human Services Committee.

Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine
Tel: (808) 768-5001

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