The State of the Appraisal Industry

Jonathan Miller speaks about new appraisers and other topics 

Video – 29 minutes

Miller is an excellent speaker and worth listening to. He discusses mostly getting new appraisers (first 15 minutes or so), after commercial break, discusses tips on non-lender work and other issues.

My comments: I don’t like the term “appraisal industry” and prefer “appraisal profession.” I am an “old-timer” of 45 years and have always thought of myself as being in a profession.

I have been reading Miller’s Housing Notes for a long time. Lots of graphs from his markets, and he often has fun, strange, and controversial comments on appraisal issues.

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Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

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To read more of this long blog post with many topics, click Read More Below!!

NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other topics in this long blog post on unusual homes, FHA and Fannie changes, crazy real estate market, mortgage origination stats, etc.


U.S. Real Estate Analogy Using A Big Apple

Just For a Few Laughs. What we all need now!!

Click on image above to play TikTok video

A fun TikTok video on crazy home sales bidding from Jonathan Miller’s Housing Notes

Excerpt: This video went viral and made the rounds with all my appraiser colleagues across the U.S. The shortage of U.S. listing inventory is causing a lot of irrational behavior, but mortgage lending is still historically tight. Watch it.

A hilarious take on frenzied residential real estate bidding environment (blame a lack of housing supply) on TikTok

To read about it in last Friday’s post, click here. Use Control F to search for hilarious Don’t use the search box on the blog post. Too many hits come up!!

Also, search for Appraiserville (control F to search for Appraiserville) to read Miller’s latest AQB and trainee experience comments. Always controversial!

To subscribe to Miller’s Housing Notes, click here


Mortgage rates are too low (and they need to go up)

By Ryan Lundquist

Excerpt: Downplaying demand: Throughout the pandemic, the housing narrative has tended to focus on the supply side of things by saying, “The issue is we don’t have enough listings.” I get it because we definitively need more listings, and we’re absolutely feeling the effect of years of lackluster new construction. But often, it seems like we’re ignoring the demand side of things because we’re so fixated on supply. The reality is one of the big reasons the market feels as aggressive as it does is because rates have juiced demand since they’ve been hovering around three percent since July 2020.

On the one hand it’s great to see so many buyers entering the market, but rates this low have been like a steroid to help the market feel like an auction. Having 20% price appreciation year-over-year in Sacramento and California doesn’t seem sustainable for the long haul either. On a national level, Altos Research states prices are up 17% from last year.

To read more, click here

My comments: Short Post. Very Hot Topic. Over 40 appraiser comments!Getting too many ad-only emails?


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New in the May 2021 Appraisal Today Newsletter

Available May 3, 2021

  • How to communicate your reconciliation by Rachel Massey, SRA, AI-RRS
  • Practical Guide to USPAP Appeasement. Only the first 24 pages matter!! by George Dell, MAI
  • How appraisers use abductive reasoning to provide a value opinion by Tim Andersen, MAI
  • Rules are made to be followed by Claudia Gaglione, Esq.
  • Malwarebytes mobile security for the iPhone By Wayne Pugh, MAI

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‘The Stair Home’ in Idaho

Excerpts: A skinny lakefront retreat in Coeur d’Alene, ID, known as “The Stair Home” comes with a superb location and an amazing dock.However, a few caveats come with this slim, five-level, 936-square-foot building. The $695,000 structure, with stairs everywhere, is missing a few things – like legal bedrooms and bathrooms.“There are a couple homes right next to it with docks that tried to build similar projects, but they lost their battles in court, whereas my seller continued on and made his dream happen. It’s just extremely unique, and nothing else like it can never be done on the lake again.”

To read more about this very interesting home and see lots more photos, click here

My comments: I recently injured my knee getting out of bed. (Homes are sooo dangerous!). Going up and down the stairs in my office building, plus driving for appraisals, has messed it up more. I hope I don’t have nightmares about this home :<About 15 years I broke my ankle and was living in my two story home previous home. Very hard to go up and down stairs. I said I would never live or work anywhere with stairs. In March 2020, we had to move out of our office building as it was being demolished for redevelopment. Had been there for 29 years, always on the first floor. Not many offices were available. Found one on the second floor of a small office building across the street.


FHA Temporary Partial Waiver

By Dave Towne

Excerpts: FHA Appraisers: on April 26, 2021, FHA issued this Temporary Partial Waiver, which is active for one year. This temporary partial waiver is effective for the 12-month period between April 26, 2021, and April 26, 2022.Temporary Partial Waiver of the requirements of the single Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1 Section II.D.4.c.iii.(F)(2) Required Analysis and Reporting that the Appraiser must include, analyze and report a minimum of two active listings or pending sales on the appraisal grid (in addition to at least three recently settled sales) in an Increasing Market when a shortage of housing supply has been documented on the Fannie Mae Form 1004MC/Freddie Mac Form 71.To read more, click here


Fannie changes for appraisal messages coming – New (overvaluation) and old ones removed.  

Excerpt: We’re launching Collateral Underwriter® (CU®) Version 5.0 on June 25. This update includes an enhanced user interface, which will incorporate the two existing versions of CU into one platform, and message updates to provide additional guidance, retire less effective messages, and add overvaluation messages. Check out the release notes for more information.


New: overvaluation

Getting rid of: 

  • No comment on market conditions
  • Basement to GLA composition peer discrepancy
  • GLA >20% different from any peer

Plus, lots more appraisal messages being retired,To read the Fannie notice with a list of the many appraisal messages to be removed, click here.

My comment: Yay for Removals!! I don’t know why so many will be removed. If you know, hit the reply button.


HOW TO USE THE NUMBERS BELOW. Appraisals are ordered after the loan application. These numbers tell you the future for the next few weeks. For more information on how they are compiled, go to 
Note: I publish a graph of this data every month in my paid monthly newsletter, Appraisal Today. For more information or get a FREE sample issue go to or send an email to . Or call 800-839-0227, MTW 7 AM to noon, Pacific time.Mortgage applications decreased 2.5 percent from one week earlier

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 28, 2021) – Mortgage applications decreased 2.5 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending April 23, 2021.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 2.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 2 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 1 percent from the previous week and was 18 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 5 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 4 percent compared with the previous week and was 34 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage applications decreased last week, even as mortgage rates dropped for the third week in a row. The 30-year fixed rate was down 3 basis points to 3.17 percent, which is still 32 basis points higher than the low reported in December 2020. Even with a few weeks of lower rates, most borrowers have likely already refinanced, which is why activity has decreased in seven of the last eight weeks,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “The purchase market’s recent slide comes despite a strengthening economy and labor market. Activity is still above year-ago levels, but accelerating home-price growth and low inventory has led to a decline in purchase applications in four of the last five weeks.”

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 60.6 percent of total applications from 60.0 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 3.5 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 10.7 percent from 11.3 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 12.2 percent from 11.5 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged from 0.4 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($548,250 or less) decreased to 3.17 percent from 3.20 percent, with points decreasing to 0.30 from 0.36 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $548,250) decreased to 3.28 percent from 3.34 percent, with points increasing to 0.30 from 0.29 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 3.12 percent from 3.15 percent, with points decreasing to 0.24 from 0.31 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 2.55 percent from 2.65 percent, with points decreasing to 0.30 from 0.41 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 2.59 percent from 2.67 percent, with points decreasing to 0.47 from 0.52 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The survey covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, and has been conducted weekly since 1990. Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts. Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100.


Ann O’Rourke, MAI, SRA, MBA
Appraiser and Publisher Appraisal Today
1826 Clement Ave. Suite 203 Alameda, CA 94501
Phone 510-865-8041

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