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Home arrow Real Estate News arrow General News arrow Appraisers look beyond housing comparables

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Appraisers look beyond housing comparables
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Monday, 18 September 2006

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In cooling real estate markets, it's the hottest question: How do you value a specific piece of property when local home sales are down 20 percent to 40 percent from last year, inventories of unsold homes have ballooned by 200 percent or more, and all the trend lines are pointing negative?

Traditionally, real estate appraisers focused heavily on sales of similar properties to make their valuations. But that doesn't work well in markets that had been super heated  but are now stalled out or falling.  It also doesn't work well in markets where recent closed sales prices often were inflated by incentives provided by sellers to buyers -- contributions to closing costs, for example, 'buydowns' of mortgage interest rates and other sweeteners not always on the public record.

Some mortgage lenders and relocation companies now expect appraisers to examine a wide range of data that they never emphasized during the boom years.

Another emerging challenge for appraisers in cooling markets: Some relocation companies and lenders are asking them not only for current market values, but forecasts of where the property value will be in the coming 60 to 120 days.

If the recorded contract price on a pending or recently closed sale is $395,000, but the seller is kicking in $25,000 in concessions, the value of the property for comparable purposes is $370,000.

 

Edwina Baniqued

 
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