Real Estate Appraisal in the US: Market Research Report
Thanks to for this Most Interesting info!!

My comment: Unfortunately, the report costs $825. I’m not sure who would buy it, but below are some interesting excerpts. It does confirm that 75% of appraisers do not have any employees.

I did a surveys in 1992, just as licensing was beginning. At that time, relatively few appraisers worked solo (22%). 25% had 2-3 appraisers, 25% had 4-6 appraisers, and 27% had 7+ appraisers. The average was 5.4 appraisers per company. Number of years of experience of The business owners had 5-10 years of experience. I had three appraisers.

Around 1995 came a big crash, and many of us downsized to one appraiser. Few of us went back up to the old days. Newer appraisers in the mid-2000s hired lots of trainees to increase firm size. Most of them have gone back to one appraiser. Same Old Cycle. Nothing New.

Excerpts from report:

The top five firms in the Real  Estate Appraisal industry account for less than 15.0% of industry revenue  with the largest having a market share of just 6.2%. The larger participants in  the industry are generally subdivisions of large multinational property,  brokerage, and global real estate service firms. The vast majority of companies  operating in the industry are small, independent firms with few employees or  single-owner operators.

According to the US Census and IBISWorld estimates, 75.3% of establishments are nonemployers. From 2008 to 2010, the total number of  establishments in the industry was decreasing. The number of nonemployer  establishments was decreasing at a faster rate than employer firms. This trend, however, has reversed recently.

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Excerpt from press release
Over the past two years, however, IBISWorld expects that industry revenue has recovered substantially, and estimates it will grow 6.7% in 2013 as the volume of real estate transactions increases and property values continue to recover from recessionary lows

Link to press release with more info:

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  1. Interesting. Of those 75%, I wonder what the commercial/residential split is?

    • Sorry, there is no information on commercial vs. residential. There are some markets where there are large residential and commercial appraisal firms. But, for most of us, the old days of the large firms are gone, particularly residential firms. In my market, the San Francisco Bay Area, there are a few large commercial firms and no large residential firms (over 10 aprpaisers). There are very few staff appraisers at lenders any more, residential or commercial.

  2. Have we exchanged the sweat shops for AMCs?

    I do believe two things happened. There just is no room in today’s predominate fee structure to pay those pesky taxes associated with employees and take a cut of the fee for the boss. And the value of legacy and mentoring has diminished as the requirements for factual support and transparency have increased.

    Good to hear about the coming pay increases though I do believe our secondary mortgage market lender customers will fight that to the death.

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