N.C. Housing Finance Agency Offers Mortgages at 4.95 Percent—Lowest Rate in its History; Eases Requirements for Qualifying

Press Contact Only:

Margaret Matrone, NCHFA, 919-877-5606, 

RALEIGH--It just got easier to buy your first home in North Carolina. 

The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency is offering the lowest interest rate ever for its 30-year. fixed-rate mortgages--4.95 percent.

And that’s not all. The board of directors today (May 22) made it easier to qualify for the loans by raising both the income and sales price limits. Down payment assistance continues to be available for homebuyers with lower household incomes. 

A new HomeSaver feature will help homeowners with N.C. Housing Finance Agency mortgages keep their homes even if they lose their jobs. If homeowners become unemployed, the agency will make principal and interest payments on their behalf for up to four months. The homeowner repays the funds at the end of the mortgage term at no interest.

“Today’s economy makes it hard for families to buy their first home,” said Lucius S. Jones, chairman of the agency’s board of directors. “More often than not, it takes two incomes,” Jones said, “and rising home prices can make it hard to find a home in the same community where the buyer works.”

Jones said that the housing agency’s actions today should help. “We want to turn the current low-interest-rate environment into an opportunity for North Carolina families,” he said.

Under the new guidelines, families earning up to $79,500 qualify for the 4.95 percent loans if they buy in the Raleigh-Durham area, where the average income is the highest in the state. The previous limit in the Triangle was $65,000. In non-metropolitan counties, where median incomes are lowest, the maximum qualifying income was raised to $60,500 from $60,000. The maximum income was raised to $70,000 in the Charlotte area, $63,500 in the Greensboro-Winston-Salem area, $62,500 in Currituck, Dare and Iredell counties, and $61,500 in the Wilmington area. Income limits also vary with family size.  (editor: for incomes by family size, See Table on page 2. Limits for down payment assistance are lower; a separate listing is enclosed, or see www.nchfa.com.)

Sales price limits were also raised in most counties, bringing the eligible sales prices more in line with housing markets across the state. New limits are: Raleigh-Durham area, $165,000 for new construction and $150,000 for existing homes; Charlotte area, $158,500 for new construction and $150,000 for existing homes; Currituck, Dare and Iredell counties, $156,000 for new construction and $140,000 for existing homes; Wilmington area, $154,000 for new construction and $138,000 for existing homes; Greensboro-Winston-Salem area, $129,500 for new construction and $129,000 for existing homes; Fayetteville area, $151,000 for new homes and $109,500 for existing homes; and all other counties, $151,000 for new construction and $132,500 for existing homes. The Greensboro-Winston-Salem area and Fayetteville area were the only places where allowable sales prices dropped, in response to market data.

The first-time homebuyer mortgages are available statewide through 150 banks and mortgage companies. (Editor: a list of participating lenders is enclosed and is also available on www.nchfa.com.)

The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages can be FHA-insured, VA- or RD-guaranteed, or privately insured. Buyers with lower incomes may qualify for down payment assistance up to $5,000 in the form of zero-interest, deferred second mortgages. The assistance is repaid after primary mortgage has been retired, or when the house is sold.

A complete description of the program is available at www.nchfa.com; or citizens may call the N.C. Housing Finance Agency, 919-877-5700, to speak with a homeownership underwriter.

The N. C. Housing Finance Agency is a self-supporting public agency.  Nearly 65,000 families and individuals have used its mortgages, which are financed by the sale of tax-exempt bonds.

Household Income & Sales Price Limits for 4.95 Percent Mortgages from the N.C. Housing Finance Agency

Maximum Income


Maximum Sales Prices


1-person household

2-person household

3+-person household


Existing Home

Charlotte MSA*
Cabarrus, Gaston, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Union






Currituck, Dare & Iredell






Fayetteville MSA






Greensboro/ Winston-Salem & High Point MSA
Alamance, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Guilford, Randolph, Stokes, Yadkin






Raleigh/Durham, Chapel Hill MSA
Chatham, Durham, Franklin, Johnston, Orange, Wake 






Wilmington MSA
Brunswick, New Hanover  






All Other Counties






*MSA is an abbreviation for Metropolitan Statistical Area

Lower limits apply for Down Payment Assistance. Editor, see enclosed list or visit www.nchfa.com.

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