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View from the street: Appraisers less confident in housing recovery

July 23, 2013
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Ask most people how they feel about the national housing recovery, and they will probably answer they feel pretty good. On the street, it's a different view. Appraisers, as it turns out, are more on the fence.

National appraisal management company, United States Appraisals, sent out an anonymous survey to its associates. About 600 appraisers around the country answered back.

When asked, "What is your current level of confidence in the housing market?" A little less than half answered they feel the recovery is even mildly strong or stronger.

This is down from the last time the AMC checked, at the end of the first quarter, when nearly 55% reported feeling positive. So don't look to appraisers for a vote of confidence right now. One-third reported that they don't feel one way or another about the strength of the housing recovery.

"Appraisers tend to focus on the local markets in which they work and are not typically concerned with national numbers or reporting," said Aaron Fowler, president of United States Appraisals. "By polling our nationwide panel of local appraisers, we believe that in the aggregate we receive a solid interpretation of the national marketplace."

Fowler noted that the numbers are still broadly optimistic, when mixed with the fact that more appraisers are reporting rising home prices.

"Maybe increasing a little too fast due to low inventories," commented one appraiser.

However, from the appraiser perspective, rising interest rates create a concern, as this could impact already lower order volume.

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