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Conservative Appraisals Increasingly Mentioned in 2015; Did Something Change?

Friday, March 20, 2015

A few weeks ago there were a flurry of comments on MBS Live from members expressing concern about a sudden increase in appraisals reflecting market values well below what had been expected.  In some cases the low appraisals had merely required the restructuring of the loan, in others they killed the deal.  There were enough of these comments that we decided to see if there was a trend or if we could identify any cause for this apparent phenomena.

We spoke to several of the loan officers and sales managers who had reported receiving multiple low appraisals, but we could discern no particular pattern.  At first it appeared that it was refinances that were being affected.  Matt Hodges, sales manager for Presidential Mortgage Group, said over 50 percent of his refinancing appraisals had come in low over the previous few weeks but none of those for purchases.  This made a certain amount of sense, he said, given that appraisal requests for refinancing cannot carry any guidance about value or the size of the intended loan.  Requests for purchase appraisals, on the other hand, are accompanied by the sales contract making appraisers at least aware of the approximate target.  

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