Changes to the 2024 USPAP Improve Clarity Surrounding Nondiscrimination


Revising the ETHICS RULE with a Nondiscrimination section

To provide clarity and eliminate concerns, the ASB removed the previous ETHICS RULE language regarding supported and unsupported conclusions, and crafted a new Nondiscrimination section which clearly indicates to appraisers and stakeholders that discrimination is prohibited.

Advisory Opinions

For 2024, the ASB has retired Advisory Opinion 16 (AO-16) and replaced it with two new Advisory Opinions, AO-39 and AO-40.

How do the USPAP revisions to the Nondiscrimination section affect appraisers?

Appraisers were also always prohibited from performing assignments with bias. These requirements are carried forward in the 2024 edition of USPAP. The primary difference is that the new USPAP contains clear and concise language regarding an appraiser’s ethical obligation not to engage in discrimination.

To read more, click here 

My comments: Be sure to read this blog post. USPAP 2024 is effective January 1, 2024. You may, or may not, take the mandatory USPAP class prior to this date.

2024 USPAP for Appraisers

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

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NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other topics in this long blog post on Investigation of desktop appraisals, economic analysis, Bias, hybrid appraisals, unusual homes, mortgage origination stats, etc.


Mediterranean Villa in Lafayette CA $5,888,888

4 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms, and the flexibility to use an office as a 5th bedroom. The property has 8,282 sq ft +/- of living space, with an additional 1,114 sq ft +/- in a guest house or ADU. 3.23 acres. Built in 1958, renovated in 1990

Excerpts: Architectural Splendor-The Signature Estate of Henry Bud Conversano This exquisite estate, located in the serene hills of Lafayette’s sought-after Upper Happy Valley neighborhood, offers unparalleled seclusion…

The estate is defined by its unique character, striking architectural details, and high-end amenities. Its most remarkable attribute is the breathtaking views of Lafayette’s hills and Mount Diablo, visible from the expansive home and the vast outdoor area designed for living and entertaining.

To read more and see 96 photos and 3d video, click here

My comment: Interesting sales price!


FHFA’s Desktop Appraisal Oversight: OIG Report Highlights Documentation Gaps

Oct 31, 2023

Excerpts: The lack of consistent record-keeping on desktop appraisal reports could pose risks to financial safety, with the OIG pushing for increased transparency and improved monitoring.

The Office of Inspector General found in a recent audit that the Federal Housing Finance Agency did not adequately document desktop appraisal reports. They said this oversight hinders clarity on the effectiveness of the desktop appraisal program.

Between Oct. 18, 2021, and March 31, 2023, the OIG conducted an audit focusing on FHFA’s supervision of Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s use of desktop appraisals. Policy analysts traditionally examine these quarterly appraisal reports to pinpoint deficiencies or areas that need improvement.

The report said due to this lack of documentation, the FHFA might be unable to detect trends or significant issues concerning mortgage desktop appraisals, and such blind spots could potentially jeopardize the financial safety and stability of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs).

One reason cited for the documentation oversight is the relatively low volume of desktop appraisal reports, as they represent “less than 1% of the Enterprises’ total loan volume.”

To read more, click here

To read the full PDF report, “FHFA Did Not Document Reviews of Desktop Appraisal Reports”, Dated Oct. 25, 2023 click here

My comments: I hope they are (or will be) keeping close track of the Hybrid Desktop appraisals, but relatively few have been done. I assume these will replace most, or all, Driveby Desktops.


New in the November 2023 issue of Appraisal Today

·       Property Data Collectors (PDCs) Will Be Widely Used by Lenders in the GSEs Value Acceptance + Property Data Option Yes for appraisers with slow business. Also good for trainees and others – no license is required. If your business is slow and you want more part-time work, with PDCs you can use your appraisal skills to make money. I have many details, plus a 2 page Fannie list of approved AMCs and companies selling PDC apps.

·       Hybrid Desktop Appraisals – still not ready to go, maybe “some time” in 2024 No for appraisers. Need an online form available by AMCs so you don’t have to copy and paste from a PDF. Fee issues – too low? The big issue – the competency of PDCs.

·       Don’t Make The Same Mistake Twice. Making mistakes is very easy to do when re-appraising the same property. Excellent case studies. By Claudia GaglioneIf these articles helped you understand Hybrids and PDCs and what they mean for you, it is worth the subscription price!


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HUD Discrimination Complaints Skyrocket

by Isaac Peck

Excerpts: There is a growing liability threat from HUD that appraisers need to be aware of.

Definitive numbers are difficult to come by since the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has failed to respond to public record requests on this question. However, Working RE’s “off-the-record” conversations with HUD officials, plus our own experience at OREP Insurance serving over 10,000 appraisers with E&O insurance every year, has given us an inside look into what has otherwise been an obfuscated prosecutorial process for appraisers.

OREP and Working RE estimate that over 300 complaints alleging appraisal discrimination have been filed against appraisers with HUD—just in the last three years.

The vast majority of complaints (but not all) stem from an appraisal that comes in below the contract price or the targeted refinance “number” where the homeowner, or even the buyer, identifies as part of a minority racial or ethnic group.

Unlike state boards, generally HUD is not pre-screening the complaints for validity before opening a file, starting an investigation, and sending an appraiser a letter demanding a response within ten days.

While commercial appraisers have, for the most part, avoided the flurry of HUD complaints and lawsuits alleging appraisal discrimination—that might be changing soon. Leading civil rights firm Katz Banks Kumin LLP on behalf of the NCRC and Terry Horton, a Black property-owner in Cincinnati, Ohio, recently filed a complaint alleging appraisal discrimination with both HUD and the CFPB. The HUD complaint names the appraiser, the AMC, and the lender. According to the complaint, Horton is Black and the owner of a multifamily property in Ohio that is fully occupied by Black tenants who are on Section 8. When trying to do a cash-out refinance of his multifamily property in 2022, Horton did not get the value he was looking for.

To read more, click here

My comments: Well written and worth reading.


The Full Measure with Kevin Hecht: Economic Recap October 2023

October 27, 2023

Excerpts: The real estate market is constantly evolving, and staying current with trends and shifts is essential. The housing market, in particular, is witnessing remarkable dynamism, with limited housing stocks and escalating mortgage rates reshaping the paradigms for buyers and builders alike.

Mortgage markets navigate through a storm

This year, mortgage markets have been stirred by significant volatility. October witnessed Treasury yields reaching a 16-year high, a shift that directly impacted mortgage rates, catapulting them to figures reminiscent of 23 years ago. Freddie Mac’s insights confirmed this, noting that the U.S. average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage had risen to an imposing 7.49% earlier in October.

This surge had a domino effect on mortgage demands, with a striking reduction in total mortgage applications — they plummeted by 25% year-over-year during September’s third week. Despite these fluctuations, most homeowners continue to meet their repayment commitments. However, August 2023 did register a marginal uptick in mortgage delinquencies.

It’s more than just numbers; it’s about gauging the narratives behind them. In these dynamic times, staying updated and adaptable ensures our appraisals remain accurate and relevant in a rapidly changing market landscape.

To read more, click here

My comments: This is the only economic real estate analysis I read. Written for appraisers by an appraiser who is an Adjunct Professor of Economics at Maryville University


Sculptor-Designed Home in Ohio Is a $400K Work of Art, Rising From the Earth

Excerpts: 5 bedroom 2.5+ baths 3,597 sq.ft. 1.02acre lot. Built in 1970

Excerpts: “The house was originally commissioned in 1970 by a family that was looking for a unique place to raise their eight children,” explains listing agent Jacqueline Ward, with Howard Hanna – Chardon. “After a two-year house search, they couldn’t find anything that fit their style of nature-bound organic.”

So the Charles W. Clear family sought out an artisan to build a sculpture they could live in. The result? A home known as Chant du Cygne, designed by sculptor Wayne Trapp, who died in 2016.

Hewing to the idea of an organic structure, the residence appears to be part of the surrounding landscape.

“The idea for it was it was supposed to look like it came right out of the ground,” Ward explains. “They wanted something that looked like it belonged there. I think they achieved their goals. It does look like it belongs there, and it looks like it is very old even though it’s not.”

Care was taken to move as little earth as possible during construction.

“When they were preparing the property to put the structure on, they did very little as far as changing the topography of the ground,” Ward says. “They did almost no excavation. It literally sits right there, so it didn’t disturb anything in the natural environment around it.”

To read more and see lots of photos plus a virtual tour, click here

My comments: Very unusual! Check out the photos and tour!


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, click here.

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 go to Or call 510-865-8041, MTW, 7 AM to noon, Pacific time.

My comments: Rates are going up and down. Many appraisers are not busy. Some are busy, usually with non-lender appraisals.


Mortgage applications decreased 2.1 percent from one week earlier

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 1, 2023) — Mortgage applications decreased 2.1 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending October 27, 2023.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 2.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 3 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 4 percent from the previous week and was 12 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 1 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 2 percent compared with the previous week and was 22 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage applications declined for the third straight week as mortgage rates remained elevated, with all rates around 30 basis points higher than they were a month ago. The 30-year fixed rate dipped slightly to 7.86 percent but remained close to 23-year highs and has been above the 7-percent level since early August 2023,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist. “The impact of higher rates continued to be felt across both purchase and refinance markets. Purchase applications decreased to their lowest level since 1995 and refinance applications to the lowest level since January 2023. Applications for government loans saw much larger weekly declines than conventional, with government purchase applications down 3 percent and refinances down 9 percent.”

Added Kan, “As higher rates continue to impact affordability and purchasing power, ARM loans increased almost 10 percent last week and continued to gain share, growing to 10.7 percent of all applications.”

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 31.2 percent of total applications from 31.4 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 10.7 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 14.7 percent from 15.2 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 10.1 percent from 10.5 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications increased to 0.5 percent from 0.4 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($726,200 or less) decreased to 7.86 percent from 7.90 percent, with points decreasing to 0.73 from 0.77 (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 $726,200) increased to 7.80 percent from 7.78 percent, with points decreasing to 0.67 from 0.71 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 7.57 percent from 7.52 percent, with points decreasing to 1.03 from 1.15 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.  The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 7.14 percent from 7.08 percent, with points decreasing to 1.22 from 1.42 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate remained unchanged from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 6.77 percent from 6.99 percent, with points increasing to 1.46 from 0.68 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.  The effective rate increased 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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