Why Are We Seeing Fewer Appraisers in the Housing Industry?

Posted on Mar 17 2017 - 4:45pm by Zoe Eisenberg

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In recent years, there’s been a lot of talk about the importance of appraisers and all that they do for the housing industry. Despite this, the number of appraisers continues to dwindle and the turnover time between when appraisers enter and exit the field has slimmed. These trends beg the question – why are we seeing less of them and is this a concern? To address this, The Mission of the National Association of REALTORS® Research Division surveyed 2,000 respondents to learn all about the current appraisal trends.

“The work of an appraiser is indispensable to our industry,” says NAR President William E Brown. “Appraisers provide the credible, outside opinion on a property value that agents, lenders, and ultimately the consumer depend on to guide them through a transaction. If the regulatory burdens holding appraisers back go unaddressed, the challenge of providing that timely appraisal will only get worse. We have to work together as an industry to clear the way for appraisers to continue doing their good work while building an environment that encourages talented newcomers to get in the game.”

Some of the main takeaways from the survey are below:

- Training is a real issue. Few seasoned appraisers are doing it and those who do often do so for no pay. One challenge highlighted is the unwillingness of lenders to accept appraisals performed in part by a trainee, as well as concerns with liability. Fewer than 20 percent of appraisers train others.

- Appraisers are working to address turnaround time, but there’s less willingness to perform FHA/VA loans. Appraisers also complained of lower compensation from bank-owned asset management companies, or AMCs, as opposed to work done for law firms, lenders, and independent AMCs.

- Dissatisfaction with the profession is high: The average tenure of an appraisal hovered around 22 years, but roughly 10 percent of respondents said they may leave the field within 5 years. Frustrations with regulatory burdens and insufficient compensation are the top two reasons cited for a desire to leave. NAR has worked with FHA closely to address some of these concerns, and those conversations are ongoing.

For more information about current appraisal trends, visit https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics

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