UAD and Forms Redesign Update

Excerpts: Improving the Quality and Consistency of Appraisal Data

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (the GSEs) have worked on the UAD redesign since 2018, leveraging extensive stakeholder input to update the appraisal dataset, align it with current mortgage industry data standards (MISMO® v3.6), and replace the GSE appraisal forms with a single data-driven, flexible, and dynamic appraisal report for any residential property type.

To watch the Excellent UAD and Forms Redesign Video (3 min. 47 seconds) Click Here

For more detailed information on web page Click Here

My comments: Watch the short video. On the links list on the right side of the webpage, GSE Experts Answer Your UAD Redesign Questions is short and understandable.

The UAD and Appraisers – Past, Present, and Future

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 Non-lender appraisals, handline wide swings in appraisal volume, economic analysis for appraisers, Wells Fargo Mortgage discrimination, unusual homes, mortgage origination stats, etc.



Santa’s House on Zillow

Take an AI-powered tour of Santa’s $1.18M North Pole cabin


2 bedroom, 2 bath, 2,086 sq.ft.

One of Zillow’s most viewed homes now includes an interactive floor plan, a 3D Home tour and a virtual treasure hunt

There’s an all-new, interactive way to tour Santa’s House on Zillow®. Starting today, families can take a virtual 3D tour of the Clauses’ North Pole cabin and explore every charming corner using a floor plan generated by artificial intelligence (AI). They’ll also find bigger, high-resolution photos of never-before-seen spaces, such as Santa’s mailroom and gift-wrapping suite, organized room by room.

Santa added more fun this year with a virtual treasure hunt, hiding more than a dozen holiday items throughout his cozy cabin. Mistletoe, fruitcake and 15 other traditional trimmings are now hidden within the 3D Home tour. The Clauses are also unveiling a few festive upgrades to their cabin, including a custom elf door, a naughty-or-nice detector and a hot cocoa bar.

Santa’s House is now worth $1.18M, up more than 2% since last Christmas. Zillow first calculated a special Zestimate® for Santa’s one-of-a-kind property by using comparable homes in remote locations and adding a Santa premium.

To read more and get links to lots more, Click Here

My comments: Lots of fun! Santa Premium Adjustment? Wow!


Wells Fargo, other mortgage lenders under scrutiny for mortgage pricing exceptions: CNBC

December 11, 2023

Excerpts: Wells Fargo, once the largest mortgage lender in America, was accused of discrimination through the common industry practice of offering mortgage loan discounts to select borrowers, CNBC reported.

Wells Fargo, once the largest mortgage lender in America, was accused of discrimination through the common industry practice of offering mortgage loan discounts to select borrowers, CNBC reported.

The bank received Matter Requiring Attention (MRA) notice from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on problems with loan discounts, CNBC reported on Monday, citing anonymous sources.

It is unclear whether Wells Fargo was accused of discrimination or sloppy oversight, the report noted.

Loan discounts — known as pricing exceptions — is when a lender makes exceptions to its established credit standards. Whether certain borrowers – based on race, gender and age – received fewer pricing exceptions, violating U.S. fair lending laws has been on regulators’ radar in recent years.

According to the CNBC report, mortgage bankers at Wells Fargo would request pricing exceptions that typically lowered a customer’s Annual Percentage Rate (APR) by between 25 and 27 basis points to help secure deals in competitive markets.

To read more, Click Here

My comments: Quite a contrast to the relatively few appraisers accused of bias who did not make any money from it! How many WFB employees will be required to take any discrimination classes?


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The Past and The Future of Residential Lender Appraising – Handling Large Ups and Downs in Appraisal Demand

The Past – Hire then Layoff trainees. Lenders and fee appraisers have done this for decades. I had to do it once in my business and laid off two experienced appraisers. I trained one of them.

After AMCs took over – No trainees or licensed appraisers were allowed. Often required 5 years of certified experience. Few new appraisers.

The future – shortage of appraisers keeps increasing. Many baby boomers are retiring, similar to other professions. Also, some appraisers don’t like working for AMCs and may also quit. No residential trainees to handle high volumes.

GSEs will need to adjust to fewer appraisers. The alternatives of hybrids, using AI to determine when human appraisers are needed, risk analysis, GSEs using large databases with data from our appraisals and ?? will be used.

Possible solution? AMC clients require AMCs to allow trainee or licensed, appraisers to sign.

What to do now for appraisers? Lender volume will come back, as it always does. Plan for the next inevitable downturn. We have no control over what happens, as far as I have seen.

I recommend non-lender appraisals as I have done many types of them since 1986. No lender/AMC appraisals with all the requirements, reviews, revisions, low fees, etc.

Residential conventional lender appraisal options include direct lenders (who don’t use AMCs) and relationships with AMC employees. Private money lenders are another option in my monthly newsletter.

Another option is to upgrade to general certification, which I write about in my monthly newsletter. I have always done commercial and residential appraisals, which worked well in my practice.


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December 2022 Fannie Mae Appraiser Update

Excerpts: In addition to the normal challenges that come with the profession, appraisers today are grappling with new headwinds, including concerns about bias and decreases in volume due to rising interest rates. Understandably, some may feel negative emotions like anxiety, fear, or frustration.

At such times, it is helpful to reflect on the big picture. The mortgage business has always been cyclical — this is not new.

Topics include:

  • Verification tips for desktop appraisals
  • Don’t fear third-party data (1004 Desktop Limiting Condition)
  • Improve appraisal commentary with facts, not feelings

To read more, Click Here

My comments: Don’t miss the Contact Us link at the bottom of the page. I have heard from Fannie staff and fee appraisers that Fannie reads them and sometimes responds.


Appraisal Volume, Waivers and Property Data Collections

By Isaac Peck

Graph above is for PDCs.

Excerpts: Appraisers don’t need a data scientist to tell them that the appraiser profession is experiencing a record-breaking slowdown. Indeed, we have not seen anything like this in recent history—at least for the last 12 to 15 years.

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) publishes data tracking the mortgage and appraisal production numbers of both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs) going back to 2013. AEI’s data shows that GSE appraisal volume is at the lowest point since they started tracking it.

Appraisal Waivers

The use of appraisal waivers by the GSEs reached 49 percent during the height of COVID-19. Thankfully, the use of waivers has dropped dramatically. Over the last six months, appraisal waivers have been hovering around 12 to 13 percent of all GSE mortgage transactions.

Property Data Collections

Many residential appraisers are very alarmed about the recent promotion of the GSE’s Appraisal Waiver + Property Data Collection (PDC) options, however AEI’s data reveals that the actual number of PDCs being performed is so small as to be nearly insignificant. In fact, in the last 12 months, the number of PDCs ordered by both GSEs combined has averaged less than 1,000 per month.

In terms of the total valuations (including waivers) the GSEs have processed in the last 12 months, PDCs have made up between 0.17 percent and 0.57 percent of the total, depending on the month.

Despite the incredibly low numbers of PDCs being accepted by the GSEs, over a dozen technology companies and appraisal management companies (AMCs) have been chomping at the bit to develop and roll out a plethora of home measuring applications and an army of property data collectors.

So far, the GSEs seem sensitive (at least somewhat) to the plight of the boots-on-the-ground appraiser and are keeping waivers and PDCs as a smaller percentage of the total volume.

To read more and see all the graphs Click Here

My comments: Worth reading. Good understandable discussion and analysis of AEI data, plus some opinions by the author.

The worst downturn I experienced was 1980 – 1985, when mortgage rates were 18% plus. Most appraisers were staff appraisers at lenders. Many were laid off.


The Full Measure with Kevin Hecht: Economic Recap November 2023

November 30, 2023

Excerpts: Welcome to the latest installment of The Full Measure with Kevin Hecht — your destination for the most current economic insights and analyses. Catered to real estate appraisers, agents, and other professionals, this monthly blog series helps you navigate the ever-evolving economic environment. Uncover this month’s economic trends and insights—written from an appraiser’s standpoint—in the following economic recap for November 2023.

For real estate appraisers, the shifting dynamics in October indicate that remaining agile and responsive to rapid market changes will be key. Given the regional variations in housing data and affordability trends, appraisers should pay close attention to localized price movements rather than rely solely on national metrics. With the pivot towards new construction gaining steam, development patterns for single-family homes, in particular, should be closely tracked.

As the market stabilizes further, appraisers may need to smooth out recent extreme value fluctuations in their modeling and analyses rather than make dramatic adjustments. Maintaining a perspective on broader economic contexts will also help provide reasoned explanations around value changes. Precision, adaptability, and localized insight are pivotal for appraisers in this transformative environment.

To read more, Click Here

My comment: This is the only economic analysis I always read as it is written by an appraiser for appraisers!


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 increased 7.4 percent from one week earlier

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 13, 2023) — Mortgage applications increased 7.4 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending December 8, 2023.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 7.4 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 6 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 19 percent from the previous week and was 27 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 4 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 1 percent compared with the previous week and was 18 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage rates dropped last week, as incoming data point to a slowing economy and support a pivot by the Federal Reserve to begin cutting rates next year. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate declined to 7.07 percent, the lowest level since July,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s SVP and Chief Economist. “Borrowers who had seen rates near 8 percent earlier this fall are now seeing some lenders quote rates below 7 percent. Refinance volume picked up in response to this drop in rates, with a particularly notable increase for FHA and VA refinance applications. Purchase volume was running about 18 percent below last year’s pace, as prospective homebuyers are still challenged by a lack of inventory, even as rates have decreased.”

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 39.2 percent of total applications from 34.7 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 6.3 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications increased to 16.1 percent from 15.0 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 14.2 percent from 12.8 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications decreased to 0.4 percent from 0.5 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 7.07 percent from 7.17 percent, with points decreasing to 0.59 from 0.60 (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) decreased to 7.22 percent from 7.35 percent, with points decreasing to 0.37 from 0.44 (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 6.84 percent from 6.98 percent, with points decreasing to 0.72 from 0.84 (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 6.67 percent from 6.80 percent, with points decreasing to 0.58 from 0.77 (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 6.47 percent from 6.58 percent, with points increasing to 0.76 from 0.69 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

Please Note:

MBA Offices will be closed Monday, December 25, 2023 and will reopen on Tuesday, January 2, 2024.  Due to the holiday, the results for weeks ending December 22, 2023 and December 29, 2023 will both be released on January 3, 2024.

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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