Industry Poll Finds Appraisers More Optimistic on State of Housing

Industry Poll Finds Appraisers More Optimistic on State of Housing

04/24/2013 BY: TORY BARRINGER

Even the usually “unmoved” appraiser community is starting to show confidence in today’s housing climate,United States Appraisals revealed in a release.

The Kansas-based company released Wednesday the results of a recently completed survey, showing 54.7 percent of appraisers polled have “mildly or moderately strong” confidence in the housing market. Another 24.9 percent were neutral.

“Appraisers tend to be realistic, focused on their local markets and unmoved by news stories and national numbers,” said Aaron Fowler, president of United States Appraisals. “We believe they provide a good gauge of the status of the housing market. After the last few years, a mildly strong level of confidence shows some definite improvement in appraiser attitudes.”

Regarding home values, 46.2 percent of respondents reported “mild” improvements in their area, while 15.6 percent reported “moderate” increases in values. Twenty-four percent were neutral.

While overall feelings about the market were somewhat subdued, most appraisers reported increased order volume, United States Appraisals said. According to the survey results, 26.1 percent of appraisers saw “mild” increases in orders, 17.8 percent saw “moderate” increases, and 18.5 percent experienced “significant” increases. Only 15.3 percent of those surveyed reported a reduction in order volume.

United States Appraisals also released a few of the comments it received that may grant some insight into appraisers’ current mindsets. Speaking on the housing recovery, one respondent noted the market “[a]ppears to be somewhat fragile but is trying to rebound in a positive way at this time.”

Many remain cautious, however. One appraiser noted that “the resale market could slow down” if cash sale activity slips and interest rates rise. Another observed that “too many foreclosures and short sales still on the market are holding prices down.”

“We all know the real estate market is a zip code by zip code driven business,” Fowler said. “Our appraisers are our eyes into the local markets and the backbone of our business. We want to make sure we stay engaged and understand their vision of the marketplace.”

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