UNITED STATES APPRAISALS – Appraisers remain mildly encouraged, but less confident than a quarter ago, about the current state of the housing market according to a recently completed survey conducted by United States Appraisals.
When asked, “What is your current level of confidence in the housing market?” 49.6 percent of responding appraisers answered mildly or moderately strong, while only 14.5 percent answered mildly or moderately weak.
The survey was completed by United States Appraisals’ nationwide panel of residential appraisers. United States Appraisals conducted the same poll after the first quarter of 2013 and plans to conduct the survey quarterly to monitor trends and opinions in their appraiser network.
This level of confidence is slightly lower than polling conducted at the end of the first quarter when 54.5 percent indicated a mildly or moderately strong outlook. Neutral replies increased from 24.8 percent to 29.7 percent.
“Appraisers tend to focus on the local markets in which they work and are not typically concerned with national numbers or reporting,” explained Aaron Fowler, president of United States Appraisals.
“By polling our nationwide panel of local appraisers, we believe that in the aggregate we receive a solid interpretation of the national marketplace. Overall, it is good to see continued optimism in our appraiser community,” Fowler added.
Opinions were slightly higher regarding home values with 70.7 percent of respondents reporting an increase in values in their area vs. 65.4 percent at the end of the first quarter. Only 6.6 percent of respondents reported value depreciation in their areas.
The polling also revealed a large shift in order volume, which mirrors the recent decline in mortgage applications – 33 percent reported decreased volume in the quarter vs. only 15 percent reporting decreased volume in the prior period.
Appraiser comments regarding the housing market showed concerns, particularly for low inventory and low rates:
“Looks due for a hit if interest rates rise.”
“Low inventory. Homes priced correctly are moving.”
“Maybe increasing a little too fast due to low inventories.”
“Overall, indicators are positive. I worry about the remaining stock of foreclosures and short sales.”
“The market is trending upward with outside influence from the US government and foreign influence.”
“Worried about artificial interest rates. They will have to go up.”