WASHINGTON - The Department of Housing and Urban Development is expected to announce next week that it will raise the single-family loan limits for FHA-insured mortgages by 5.3%.

The increases, part of annual changes HUD makes to adjust for rising housing costs, would take effect Jan. 1 and would raise the FHA loan limit for single-family homes to $219,849 in areas where it considers housing costs high, and to $121,296 in areas considered more moderate to low cost.

HUD is also expected to increase the loan limits to $281,358 for two-family units in high-cost areas and $155,232 for lower cost; to $340,083 and $187,632 for three-family units; and to $422,646 and $233,184 for four-family units.

The department said it expects the higher loan limits to drive the nation's homeownership rate above its current level of 67%.

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