Condominiums are often the most affordable homeownership option for first time buyers, small families, single people, and older Americans. In 2019, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released the long-awaited final rule on project approval for single-family condominiums insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). For many years, NAR urged HUD to finalize changes to the previous rule that would ease restrictions on FHA financing for condominiums, thus enabling more first-time buyers, older adults, and low to moderate-income families to achieve the dream of homeownership. For additional information about the final rule, visit NAR's FHA Condo Rule Assessment. NAR continues to work with FHA to ensure the Rule is working as designed, and condominiums are more accessible to FHA borrowers.
In November of 2020, Fannie Mae updated their condominium guidelines, with Freddie Mac following suit. These new FAQs make it clear that in vacation communities, condominiums that function more like a hotel or resort will not be eligible for GSE financing. NAR continues to work with the GSEs on how this will impact communities.
None at this time
What is the fundamental issue?
After more than a decade of advocacy by NAR, FHA has published new condominium guidelines that reduce burdens on properties to become approved.
I am a real estate professional. What does this mean for my business?
We believe the new changes could result in 60,000 more units available per year.
Condominiums continue to be the most affordable homeownership option for many first time buyers, small families, single people, and older Americans. NAR strongly supports loosening FHA’s condominium rules to ensure that more homeowners will be able to sell their units, and homebuyers will have more opportunities to buy affordable properties.
On August 14, 2019, HUD published the long-awaiting condo rules; which went into effect on October 15, 2019. These rules reduce owner-occupancy requirements for some properties; raise commercial space limits; extend approval time frames; re-instate single-unit approval, and reduce the burdens of the re-certification process. NAR estimates this could provide up to 60,000 more condominum units for FHA buyers per year. NAR is now monitoring the implementation to ensure the program works as well as expected.
Federal Financing and Housing Policy Committee
NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require the member's nar.realtor login.
Condos: The Basics
When Can I Start Using My Building’s Gym Again? (The New York Times, Apr. 30, 2020)
An Introduction to Buying a Condominium (Investopedia, Jan. 15, 2020)
5 Reasons to Consider a Condo or Townhouse (RIS Media, Dec. 3, 2019)
The Pros and Cons of Condo Ownership (The Balance, Aug. 29, 2019)
What is the Difference Between Co-Ops and Condos? (The Balance, Jul. 3, 2019)
Home Owners Associations (HOAs) and Fees
Marijuana Ignites Skirmishes Between Users, Neighbors (REALTOR® Magazine, May 13, 2020)
Amenities Off Limits: Reduce HOA Fees? (Fort Meyers News-Press, Apr. 19, 2020)
A Guide for Community Association Members Navigating Complexities of the Coronavirus Pandemic (Forbes, Mar. 21, 2020)
Homeowner’s Association Fee (HOA Fee) (Investopedia, Feb. 16, 2020)
Arizona HOA Wants to Fine Residents Over Social Media Rants (REALTOR® Magazine, Jan. 30, 2020)
A Homeowner’s Guide to HOAs: Homeowners Associations Explained (realtor.com®, Aug. 30, 2019)
The Condo Market
Yes, Co-ops and Condos are Still Selling (Habitat, May 8, 2020)
“The Day of Reckoning is Coming” Warns Miami Condo Market Expert Peter Zalewski (The Real Deal, Apr. 30, 2020)
Co-Ops and Condos Fight to Join Paycheck Protection Program (Habitat, Apr. 22, 2020)
The Decade Dominated by the Ultraluxury Condo (The New York Times, Jan. 10, 2020)
7 Tips for Buying a Condo in 2020 (Bankrate, Jan. 7, 2020)
Pet Spa? Private Elevator? The Amenities Race Heats Up (The New York Times, Aug. 30, 2019)
Project Approval for Single-Family Condominiums [Final rule] (Federal Register, Aug. 15, 2019)
Voice for Real Estate: New Condo Rules Championed by NAR Will Open Doors for Homebuyers all Across America (National Association of REALTORS®, Sep. 3, 2019)
Condo Rule Opens Door to Homeownership for Middle Income Americans (National Association of REALTORS®, Aug. 22, 2019)
FHA Single Family Housing Policy Handbook - Condo Project Approval (United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Aug. 14, 2019)
National Association of Realtors® Applauds Long-Awaited FHA Condo Rule (National Association of REALTORS®, Aug. 14, 2019)
NAR Assessment: FHA Final Condo Rule (National Association of REALTORS®, 2019)
VA Loan Guarantee (United States Department of Veterans Affairs)
FHA Approved Condos — Complete 2020 Guidelines and Updates (The Mortgage Report)
Condominiums (Department of Housing & Urban Development) — Search by city
Living in a Housing Cooperative (National Association of Housing Cooperative) — FAQs
Condominium Unit Mortgages (Freddie Mac)
eBooks & Other Resources
The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:
Condo Owner's Answer Book (Kindle, eBook)
Make Money with Condominiums and Townhouses (Kindle, eBook)
Tips & Traps When Buying A Condo, Co-Op, or Townhouse (Kindle, eBook)
Books, Videos, Research Reports & More
The resources below are available for loan through Member Support. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Member Support at 800-874-6500 for assistance.
Condos and Co-ops (Chicago, IL: Dearborn Real Estate Education, 2006) HD 1377 M48c
Everything You Need to Know Before Buying a Co-op, Condo, or Townhouse (New York, NY: AMACOM, 2006) HD 1341 R74
Condominiums: The Pros and Cons of Ownership (Port Orchard, WA: Windstorm Creative, 2005) HD 1377 L16
Make Money with Condominiums and Townhouses (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley, 2003) HS 1377 E2
How to Invest in Condominiums: The Low-risk Option for Long-term Cash Flow (New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, 2002) HD 1377 V81
The Condo and Co-op Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Buying and Owning a Condo or Co-op (New York, NY: Macmillan, USA, 1998) HD 1377 W86
How to Buy an Condominium or Townhome: with Sample Forms and Worksheets (Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks, 1997) HD 1377 Ir9
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The inclusion of links on this page does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this page complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.