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Condominiums are often the most affordable homeownership option for first time buyers, small families, single people, and older Americans. On August 14, 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. NAR continues to work with FHA, VA, and Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to insure that people who wish to purchase a condominium have safe affordable access to mortgage credit.

For additional information about the final rule, visit NAR's FHA Condo Rule Assessment.

Condominiums Topics

Political Advocacy

Current Legislation/Regulation

HUD's Final Rule: Project Approval for Single Family Condominium


Issue Summary - FHA Condo Financing

Letters to Congress - FHA Condo Financing

Letters to federal agencies - FHA Condo Financing

Congressional testimonies- FHA Condo Financing

NAR Federal Issues Tracker

Legislative Contact(s):

Megan Booth


Sydney Barron


Regulatory Contact(s):

Sehar Siddiqi


What is the fundamental issue?

After more than a decade of advocacy, 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.

NAR Policy

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.

Legislative/Regulatory Status/Outlook

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 condominium units for FHA buyers per year. NAR is now monitoring the implementation to ensure the program works as well as expected.

NAR Committee

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 a password.

Condo vs. Co-ops

Before condominiums there were co-ops—short for cooperative housing project. While common in New York (80% of the market) co-ops are also found in most large cities. There are differences between the two, as shown below.

Condo: title, same as a house
Co-op: own shares of a corporation

Property Taxes
Condo: unit owners taxed separately
Co-Op: typically lower taxes

Condo: same as a house
Co-op: few lenders willing to give a mortgage

Deductions at Tax Time
Condo: same as a house
Co-op: more complicated

Monthly Assessment
Condo: includes maintenance
Co-Op: includes maintenance, property taxes

Condo: same as a house
Co-op: less costly; sale not recorded (no title)

Source: Condo or Co-op? What's the Difference? (ChicagoDownTownLiving Blog)

Condo ​Tr​ends

For Dumbo, a Different Kind of Condo (The New York Times, Apr. 29, 2019)

Making a Profit on a Condo? D.C. Man Shares His Strategy (Washington Post, Apr. 18, 2019) E

New Condo Development for DTC (The Villager, Apr. 3, 2019)

Feast or Famine in Detroit Condo Market: Pair of Projects Shelved as Another is Nearly Sold Out (Crain’s Detroit Business, Apr. 1, 2019) E

Million-Dollar Condos on Old Skid Row: No Sooner Did One West Loop Developer Sell Out of Dozens of Units at $1 Million-Plus Than Another Announced a Plan to Build Two Dozen More (Crain’s Chicago Business, Mar. 18, 2019) E

With Wave of Large D.C. Condo Projects, Developers Hope to Pull Demand from Apartment Buildings (Bisnow, Mar. 5, 2019)

High-Priced Condos Sell at a Loss More Often Than Non-Luxe Apartments (Curbed New York, Feb. 18, 2019)

High-End Condominium Market Becomes Cat-and-Mouse Game (Miami Today, Feb. 12, 2019)

High-End Condos Eating Up Energy (Crain’s New York Business, May 14, 2018)


Existing-Home Sales (National Association of REALTORS®)

Making the Case for Condo Hotels: Condo Hotels Seek Their Own Category (VRMintel, Mar. 13, 2019)

An Upscale Condo for Hudson Yards (The New York Times, Feb. 28, 2019)

Tax Incentive Eyed for Blue Mountain Condo Hotel (, Nov. 29, 2018)

Club Pins Hope on Condo Hotel for Year-Round Resort Business (VT Digger, Oct. 3, 2018)

Williamsburg Will Get a New 26-Story Condo-Hotel Hybrid (Curbed New York, Feb. 26, 2018)

Are Condo Hotels a Smart Investment? (SkyFive Properties Blog, Jan. 7, 2018)

Condo Association Issues

HOA Responds to Gulf Shores Condo American Flag Flap (ABC News 4, May 2, 2019)

Gender-Segregated Pool Schedule for Seniors Condo Discriminates Against Women, 3rd Circuit Says (ABA Journal, Apr. 24, 2019)

When Condo Boards and Residents Clash, Legal Bills Mount (The New York Times, Mar. 29, 2019)

Killington Condo Association Fined for Failing to Respond to Elevated Lead Levels in Drinking Water (Vermont Biz, Mar. 13, 2019)

New Jersey Condo Association Charged with Disability Discrimination (HousingWire, Oct. 29, 2018)

Loan Policies

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 Condo Approval (United States Department of Veterans Affairs)

Related Websites

FHA Approved Condos — Complete 2019 Guidelines and Updates (Department of Housing & Urban Development)

Community Associations Institute

Condominiums (Department of Housing & Urban Development) — Search by city

Institute of Real Estate Management

Living in a Housing Cooperative (National Association of Housing Cooperative) — FAQs

Condo, Co-op, and Planned Unit Development (PUD) Eligibility (Fannie Mae)

Condominium Project Reviews (Freddie Mac)

eBooks & Other Resources

The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

The Complete Guide to Purchasing a Condo, Townhouse, or Apartment (Kindle, eBook)

Condo Owner's Answer Book (Kindle, eBook)

Financing Your Condo, Co-op, or Townhouse (eBook)

How to Buy a Condominium or Townhouse (eBook)

Make Money with Condominiums and Townhouses (Kindle, eBook)

Tips & Traps When Buying A Condo, Co-Op, or Townhouse (Kindle, eBook)

Your Dream Home: A Comprehensive Guide to Buying a House, Condo, or Co-op (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.


Featured Links

FHA Final Condo Rule

NAR Assessment: FHA Final Condo Rule

Approval Checklist for Existing Condominium Projects

FHA Condo Lookup

VA Condo Approval

Condo Financing Guides

Fannie Mae Condominium Processes

Freddie Mac Condominium Processes

FHA Single Family Housing Policy Handbook - Condo Project Approval

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