Tag Archives: Appraisal Institute

SUBDIVISION APPRAISERS NEED TO ADJUST ABSORPTION IMMEDIATELY

LAST UPDATED – SEPTEMBER 18, 2022

JULY 17, 2022 – REMINDER TO CHECK BACK AS I WILL UPDATE THIS WITH NEW INFORMATION AS I RECEIVED SUCH.

There are times when the data available to us real estate appraisers suddenly become (almost) useless. For example, after Hurricane Katrina almost all real estate data in New Orleans prior to the hurricane was all but worthless. Manhattan had 9/11. The entire country had the lockdown in Spring 2020.
Today the entire nation is facing this in regard to residential real estate. Basically, the data thru Spring 2022 is no longer reflective of current market conditions. Nor future market conditions.
It is time for subdivision appraisers to look almost solely through the windshield and no longer the rear-view mirror. There is no excuse for using absorption rates over the past year to forecast absorption over the next year or two.
We have the training to forecast future supply and demand. It is critical we do such now. For those familiar with the Appraisal Institute’s books on Market Analysis, you know that it is time to perform Level C analyses. Look forward, not backward.
I will add items to this post as they come out. For starters, the following items are support for reducing absorption rates significantly. I am sure you will come across similar items in your research.

ADDED SEPTEMBER 18th – Mortgage rates are above 6% for the first time Since 2008. These rates are still cheap. But, people have been spoiled with the artificially low rates over the past decade. If you can’t afford a loan at 6%, you shouldn’t be buying a house anyway.

Per the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the average home purchase loan size is only increasing at a 2.1% YoY rate now versus a 12.1% YoY back in April. This is a leading indicator for home prices.

Redfin’s weekly pending home sales tally of homes under contract has tightly tracked MBA purchases this year. Through the week ended September 4, this forward-looking gauge was down -29.3% versus year ago levels. Because demand is softening, supply is likewise loosening — Redfin’s age of inventory has risen on an annual basis since mid-July. (Quill Intelligence)

Pinto now predicts that by the December holidays, average home prices will hover around 6% higher than 12 months earlier. But the first seven months of 2022 are already in the can, and they show a total gain of 10% from January through July. To register a 6% increase for the year, prices must fall 4% over the next five months. That course would mark a severe reversal from the ever-rising tide of the last few years. And the drop will be anything but consistent across America. “The declines in the West will continue to be the most severe,” says Pinto. “The high end will also continue to be hit hardest.” So far, America faces nothing resembling an outright crash. But for the average homeowner, it will hardly bring cheer that the closer they get to the holidays, the more they’ll be watching the value of their cherished ranches and colonials fade. (American Enterprise Institute)

MBA noted that in addition to mortgage application activity remaining at a 22-year low, it was seeing, “average purchase loan sizes continuing to trend lower, as purchase activity at the high end of the market is weakening.” Blasting a warning to not be premature in looking for a bottom, this report was followed by the National Association of Realtors’ July Pending Home Sales Index, which registered the lowest reading since September 2011. Because this gauge is the most leading within the residential real estate universe, the best that can be said is to expect more of the same. (Quill Intelligence)

ADDED JULY 29th – Taking the unexpected in turn, June new home sales fell 8.1% to a 590,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate; each of the prior three months were revised downward. Chalk up revisions to cancellations. Nonetheless, the -50.5% annualized decline in the six months ended June has so few precedents, you can count them on one hand: 1966 near recession, 1980 recession, 1981-82 recession, 2007-09 recession and 2010 payback from home buyer tax credit. 
 
Pending total home sales collapsed 8.6% in June to the levels consistent with the last three recessions. The near-40% annualized plunge in the six months ended June was rivaled by the 2007 housing bust, 2010’s homebuyer tax credit hangover, and the COVID-19 flash recession. (Quill Intelligence)

((One of the best services I subscribe to is Quill Intelligence by Danielle DiMartino Booth. They analyze data in unique ways. Homepage – Quill Intelligence They have a Daily Feather sub that I think is $500/year. I guaranty it will be the best $500 you spend on a subscription!))

From Joel Kan, a Mortgage Bankers Association economist. ‘After reaching a record $460,000 in March 2022, the average purchase loan size was $415,000 last week, pulled lower by the potential moderation of home-price growth and weaker purchase activity at the upper end of the market.’

“Americans are canceling deals to buy homes at the highest rate since the start of the Covid pandemic. The share of sale agreements on existing homes canceled in June was just under 15% of all homes that went under contract, according to… Redfin. That is the highest share since early 2020, when homebuying paused immediately, albeit briefly. Cancelations were at about 11% one year ago. Higher mortgage rates and surging inflation are causing many potential homebuyers to reconsider their purchases.” CNBC (Diana Olick)

((I will add that a local Realtor told me that in the past 7 years she had six purchasers walk away from their contract. In the past 2 weeks, she had 16 (!) purchasers walk away.))

On Tuesday, Zumper’s National Index for two-bedroom apartments falling 2.9% in May was all the rage in chatrooms (link above for full skinny). After the close, Black Knight dropped this bomb: “The annual home price growth rate fell by more than a full percentage point in May, the largest monthly decline at the national level since 2006.” We would remind you that May is the strongest seasonal time of the year for rent and home price gains. Both have begun to stumble. (Quill Intelligence)

All in all, about half (53) of the metros in this analysis saw more than 25% of home sellers drop their asking price in May. More than 10% of home sellers dropped their price in all 108 metros, driving the national share of price drops to a record high.  The uptick in price drops is symbolic of the slowdown in the housing market. Many buyers are backing off amid skyrocketing home prices, surging mortgage rates, high inflation and a faltering stock market.  (Redfin)

June 27 – Bloomberg (Alex Tanzi): “US cities that saw some of the biggest jumps in home prices during the pandemic now have the largest shares of price cuts, according to… Zillow… Overall, the proportion of active real estate listings with lower prices has increased in all 50 of the largest US metropolitan markets tracked by Zillow. In these cities, 11.5% of homes saw a price cut in May, on average, up from 8.2% a year earlier. The share of lower listing prices rose the fastest in real estate hotspots like Salt Lake City, Las Vegas and Sacramento, California… Among the 50 metros in Zillow’s data, 32 had more than 10% of listings with a price decline.”

June 30 – Bloomberg (Prashant Gopal): “The housing slowdown is helping to solve one of the US real estate market’s most intractable problems: tight inventory. With fewer buyers competing, the number of active US listings jumped 18.7% in June from a year earlier, the largest annual increase in data going back to 2017, Realtor.com said… And new sellers entered the market at an even faster rate than before the pandemic housing rally began… Active listings more than doubled from a year earlier in metro areas including Austin, Texas; Phoenix; and Raleigh, North Carolina, the data show. They climbed 86% in Nashville, Tennessee, and 72% in the Riverside, California, region.”

June 29 – New York Times (Conor Dougherty): “For the past two years, anyone who had a home to sell could get practically any asking price. Good shape or bad, in cities and in exurbs, seemingly everything on the market had a line of eager buyers. Now, in the span of a few weeks, real estate agents have gone from managing bidding wars to watching properties sit without offers, and once-hot markets like Austin, Texas, and Boise, Idaho, are poised for big declines.”

“Despite the small gain in pending sales from the prior month, the housing market is clearly undergoing a transition,” says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Contract signings are down sizably from a year ago because of much higher mortgage rates.” Pending home sales have fallen 13.6% from a year ago. Economists have pointed to rapidly rising mortgage rates to explain buyers growing more cautious. The monthly payment on a median-priced single-family home, assuming a 10% down payment, has risen by about $800 since the beginning of the year due to the increase in mortgage rates. Rates have jumped by 2.5 percentage points since January.

Home buying conditions for the top third match the lowest on record. If you’re curious, that top tier is responsible for 58.7% of home sales. By extension, they account for 56.5% of furniture sales. In a weekend chat with Ivy Zelman, she said she expects home inventories to be up by 70% YoY by the time we ring in the New Year. Redfin’s latest data corroborate the downside building — the brokerage’s proprietary gauge of pending home sales fell 10% YoY to the lowest since May 2020 while requests to tour homes sunk 16% YoY, the biggest decline since April 2020 when the pandemic slammed the sector. (Quill Intelligence)

On the heels of the release, Zelman & Associates warned, “In the months ahead we expect homebuilders to respond to softening demand with increased incentives and even price cuts in an effort to stimulate activity.”
 
Excerpts from Monday’s NAHB corroborate Zelman’s concerns: 
 “Production bottlenecks, rising home building costs and high inflation are causing many builders to halt construction because the cost of land, construction and financing exceeds the market value of the home.”

“In another sign of a softening market, 13% of builders…reported reducing home prices in the past month to bolster sales and/or limit cancellations.”

“Affordability is the greatest challenge facing the housing market. Significant segments of the home buying population are priced out of the market.”

Rather than move, a growing number of investors are making their way for the exits. As reported yesterday by Bloomberg, KKR, Blackstone and Amherst are among housing investors who have “cut buying activity by more than 50%.” At least they’re not joining Starwood Capital in jettisoning portfolios of single-family rental portfolios…yet. Yes, this will leave a nasty bruise on a market overly dependent on leveraged, deep-pocketed, price-agnostic buyers. (Quill Intelligence)

((I will finish by adding this thought. With interest rates up at least 250bp since the beginning of the year, I believe it would be prudent for appraisers to look at the past sales rate for houses that were priced about 50% higher than your subject’s houses will be. My logic follows.

Your subject expects to sell houses at $400,000. Assuming a 30-year mortgage with a 5.5% interest rate, the monthly payment will be $2,271. I just assumed a 100% LTV to make the analysis shorter. We all know that people buy a monthly payment, not a price. Last year, the same $2,271 monthly payment at a 3.0% interest rate could buy a $540,000 (Rounded). Therefore, I think it would be better to look at the past absorption rate for houses in the $550,000 price range instead of the $400,000 range.

That said, we still need to look to the future. All past absorption rates still need to be adjusted downward SIGNIFICANTLY. I don’t know by how much. Personally, I would apply a 50% drop to begin with. In a few months the data may well suggest a 75%+ drop. And I wouldn’t project any rebound for at least 2+ years. My two cents.))

Shalom,

The Mann

FANNIE MAE STUDY CONCLUDES NO RACIAL BIAS IN APPRAISALS

MARCH 12, 2002 – Now, two studies of millions of appraisals by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and Fannie Mae have concluded that there is no racial bias in real estate appraisals.
For those involved in the industry, this comes as no surprise. It is essentially impossible for real estate appraisers to be biased. Probably 95% of the time the appraiser knows nothing about the physical characteristics of the borrower. Nearly 100% of the time the appraisal reviewers know nothing about the borrower. And ALL appraisals must be approved by a reviewer.
Also, the market sets prices and all appraisers do is analyze recent comparable sales and arrive at a value for the subject. Which, in purchase situations, is equal to or higher than the sales price 95%+ of the time.
Racist organizations like the Brookings Institution and others that are falsely complaining about appraisal bias need to ‘follow the science’ as they like to say. Scientific studies 100% conclusively say there is no appraisal bias.
Maxine Waters and President Biden owe the appraisal industry an apology. And so does the Appraisal Institute for not supporting its own members.
The real estate appraisal industry is the gold standard for an unbiased profession. We have been the independent referee for 80+ years.
Lastly, we all know about the Fair Housing Act, redlining, discrimination being illegal, et al. To say we need to be educated about such is ridiculous. If you have lived in America since the 1970’s, you know all about fair housing laws and what is and is not discrimination.
The true racists are those that accuse everyone else of being racist. These people need to be exposed and told where to stick their unfounded claims. They should be sued for slander and defamation, also.
Hey, Appraisal institute, get a backbone and stand up for your members! There is no legislation that can change 4,000+ years of economic theory. The appraisal industry does not need to make any changes. It is already fully diverse and inclusive of people of all socio-economic classes (I grew up in mobile homes and am Jewish….I have the low-priced housing and minority characteristics covered!). Remember, skin-color and the only two genders have nothing to do with diversity and inclusivity.
Shalom,
The Mann

GEORGIA CLARIFIES LAW ON EVALUATIONS

SEPTEMBER 26, 2020 – The following is from the Appraisal Institute’s Washington Report:

The Georgia Real Estate Commission & Appraisers Board on July 30 adopted a rule change that “eliminates language that has caused confusion in the industry concerning when Georgia appraisers can conduct evaluations.” The change addresses the reporting format for evaluations that are prepared by appraisers for financial institutions that are not regulated by a federal financial institution’s regulatory agency.
The previous rule stated that evaluations are allowed to be “prepared in any reporting format, such as, but not limited to, a self-contained appraisal report, a summary appraisal report and a restricted use appraisal report if the reporting format meets the requirements of the nonfederal financial institution.”
The updated rule, which took effect Aug. 19, removes specific references to the transactions for which an appraiser may provide an evaluation, stating instead that appraisers can provide evaluations “for any transaction that qualifies to be performed as an evaluation under the Interagency Appraisal and Evaluation Guidelines.”
The rule also eliminates enumeration of an evaluation’s required content in favor of language that states, “at a minimum, the development and content of an Evaluation Appraisal shall comply with the guidelines set forth in the Interagency Appraisal and Evaluation Guidelines.”

THE APPRAISAL OF REAL ESTATE – 15TH EDITION

SEPTEMBER 26, 2020 – The Appraisal Institute has published the latest edition of the industry’s bible.  I will let them describe noteworthy items in the new edition.  See below.  You can purchase it at their website.

“The Appraisal of Real Estate,” 15th edition, is a book that fits current times. It reflects a renewed commitment to the essential principles of appraisal and the sound application of recognized valuation methodology. In addition to updated information on changes in real estate markets and valuation standards, longtime readers of “The Appraisal of Real Estate” will notice these significant changes in this edition:

  • New chapters focused on applications of market analysis and highest and best use analysis;
  • Additional emphasis on identifying the property rights to be appraised in an appraisal assignment; and
  • Deeper discussion of accepted techniques for allocating value among real estate, personal property and non-realty items.

In this book, readers will notice the expanded discussion of market analysis and highest and best use, with new chapters clarifying these important concepts and demonstrating procedures for their application. Readers will also notice the relationship between market analysis and highest and best use is made explicit and described in a step-by-step analytic procedure. Lastly, the major development in this new edition is the emphasis on the necessity of definitively describing the property rights to be appraised in an appraisal assignment to ensure that all the necessary steps are taken to produce a credible value conclusion.

Order your copy today!

WELCOME SOUTH DAKOTA TO THE EVALUATION WORLD

JUNE 29, 2020 – South Dakota has become the 11th state to allow licensed/certified appraisers to perform non-USPAP Evaluations.  We have 39 more to go:)  When we get back to in-person classes, if you are in a state that allows non-USPAP Evaluations, I have a 7-hour seminar on Evaluations and Validations that I will gladly come and teach.  I don’t teach over the web.  I can only share my 28 years of experience with Evaluations in person.  The Appraisal institute’s news item on this follows:

South Dakota Passes Legislation Allowing Appraisers to Perform Evaluations

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem on March 4 signed HB 1127, legislation that allows appraisers to provide real property evaluations to federally regulated financial institutions. When the law takes effect July 1, the state will join at least 10 others that allow appraisers to provide evaluation services. Several other states are considering similar laws.
Evaluations provided by appraisers must conform to Interagency Appraisal and Evaluation Guidelines. South Dakota’s secretary of the Department of Labor and Regulation will be authorized to promulgate rules relating to “exemptions and standards allowing appraisers to perform an evaluation for a federally insured depository institution.”
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Everyone stay safe.
The Mann

2 MORE STATES JOIN THE NON-USPAP EVALUATION WORLD!!!

June 6, 2019 – Most importantly, my thanks to all past and present Veterans on this 75th Anniversary of D-Day.  I visited Normandy and Omaha Beach last year.  So serene.  Humbling.  One of my wife’s uncles was in the second wave that landed at Omaha Beach.  He didn’t tell anyone that until a few months before he died in his 90’s.  The Greatest Generation rarely talked about the War.  But, they saved the World.  Literally.  We owe those young men everything.  God Bless them all and our Country.

Per the Appraisal Institute’s Appraiser News Online, 2 more states will allow licensed/certified appraisers to perform non-USPAP Evaluations.  As predicted, this is the year for this to finally take off across our country.

If you are an appraiser in adjacent states, you should start a campaign to get your state to pass a similar law.  Else, you are missing out on a ton of business!  I hope North and South Carolinas wake up and join the movement.  Soon, the entire Southeastern USA will allow appraisers to perform non-USPAP Evaluations.  Following is from the AI:

ALABAMA

Alabama enacted legislation, effective May 29, allowing state-licensed appraisers to perform evaluations for federally regulated financial institutions.
HB 304 states that appraisers “shall not be subject to any provision” of the state’s appraiser licensing law when performing an evaluation that includes a disclaimer stating it is not an appraisal, and the requirements for a licensed real estate appraiser to comply with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice do not apply.
Additionally, the law clarifies that evaluations are “governed by federal law and rules of the federal financial institution regulatory agencies, and not the board.”
LOUISIANA
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards on May 30 signed HB 340, legislation that allows appraisers in the state to provide evaluations for federally insured depository institutions. The law takes effect Aug. 1.
The legislation states that appraisers are not prohibited by the state’s appraiser licensing law from providing evaluations to federally regulated institutions in accordance with “federal law, regulation or the guidance for evaluations established by the federal financial institutions regulatory agency of the depository institution.”

OREGON – WELCOME TO THE NON-USPAP EVALUATION WORLD

May 23, 2019 – Licensed appraisers will finally be allowed to perform non-USPAP Evaluations for financial institutions.  I like how the State makes it clear that Evaluations are not even real estate appraisal activity.  Strong statement.  Below is from the Appraisal Institute:

SB 109 will allow state-licensed and state-certified appraisers to provide evaluations to financial institutions beginning Jan. 1.
The new law clarifies that a person who is licensed or certified as an appraiser is not engaged in real estate appraisal activity when providing an evaluation that includes a required disclaimer and are not required to, but may choose to, comply with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice when providing evaluation services to financial institutions. Providing evaluations is not considered a real estate appraisal activity, and therefore appraisers are not subject to the jurisdiction of the Oregon Appraiser Certification and Licensure Board.
SB 109 also clarifies that financial institutions may utilize evaluations provided by third parties, and such activity does not constitute real estate appraisal activity. Currently, an evaluation is only exempt from the definition of “real estate appraisal activity” if it is prepared by the financial institution.
In testimony supporting the legislation, the Coalition of Oregon Real Estate Appraisers stated, “We believe Oregon’s citizens and financial institutions would be best served and protected by allowing appraisers to perform evaluation services.” COREA concluded, “We are not opposed to qualified non‐appraisers performing evaluations, however, [sic] we strongly feel that it is in the best interest of Oregonians that those most qualified to perform evaluations (appraisers) not be prohibited from doing so.”

2019 – THE YEAR EVALUATIONS BREAK THROUGH

April 19, 2019 – It has been exactly 25 years that I have been campaigning for non-USPAP Evaluations to be performed by licensed/certified appraisers.  Most of the time it has been a one-man campaign.  Thankfully, times have changed and appraisers have come around to the need for Evaluations.

It looks like this year will see many States pass the requisite law to allow its most qualified valuers to finally perform non-USPAP Evaluations.  If your State isn’t mentioned below, I encourage you to take action.  For almost 30 years, non-appraisers have been doing all the Evaluation work in your State.   With Evaluation volume about 4x-6x that of Appraisal volume think how much business you have missed out on:(

The following are from the Appraisal Institute:

Utah Allows Appraisers to Perform Evaluations for Federally Regulated Lenders
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert on March 26 signed SB 140, legislation that allows state-licensed and state-certified appraisers to perform evaluations for federally regulated financial institutions.
Under the new law, appraisers who provide evaluations in compliance with the Interagency Appraisal and Evaluation Guidelines are exempt from compliance with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. Appraisers will sign the evaluations, certifying that they comply with the IAEG. However, they must still abide by the basic elements of USPAP’s Ethics, Competency, Scope of Work and Recordkeeping rules. This concept has been advanced by several Appraisal Institute chapters in recent years.
The legislation takes effect May 14.
• Evaluations
Alabama (HB 304) Louisiana (SB 42) and Oregon (SB 109) are considering bills that will amend appraiser licensing laws so that appraisers can perform for financial institutions evaluations that do not comply with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice when not required by federal law. If the laws pass in these states, they will join Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia in allowing appraisers to perform these services.

 

RESIDENTIAL APPRAISAL THRESHOLD INCREASE – MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

February 1, 2019 – The Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency proposed raising the residential appraisal threshold from $250,000 to $400,000.

The Appraisal Institute and numerous other groups are opposing this increase.  That is understandable.  But, the hyperbole that these organizations and appraisers put out there is no different than the Fake News problem.

Based on my experience of over 25+ years in banking, I estimate that less than one-hundredth of 1% of residential appraisals will be affected.  Probably less than that.

GSEs are responsible for 90%-95% of residential loans and, thus, residential appraisals.  All such loans are exempt from FIRREA.  So, the Federal Agencies can increase the residential threshold from $250,000 to $1 Trillion and it wouldn’t be noticed by 99%+ of   residential appraisers!  Also, it will have no effect on the national economy.

For the most part, the only residential properties that stay under FIRREA are second/vacation homes, model homes in subdivisions, and rental homes (e.g. an investor rents 20 houses around a city).   Some ‘regular’ house loans remain under FIRREA – this is when the bank does not sell the loans to the secondary market.  Banks typically don’t keep many of these loans on their books.  But, yes, they do keep some.

Appraisers just need to keep an eye on the GSEs.  They are the ones who make decisions that affect the entire residential appraisal industry in a significant way.  Don’t worry about the FIRREA issue at hand.  As they say, it is a nothing burger:)

The Mann