Appraisers valued homes 0.13% lower than homeowners estimated in February, according to the Quicken Loans national Home Price Perception Index.

This is the first time appraiser opinions fell below homeowner estimates since August 2013.

The Quicken Loans Home Value Index, also released Tuesday, showed home values continued at a healthy pace. Nationally, values increased 1% from January to February, and grew 8.45% from the year prior.

Appraiser opinions were lower than homeowner estimates by 0.13% in February, compared to January when appraiser opinions were 0.18% higher than homeowners estimates. Despite the drop in the national HPPI, appraiser opinions remain higher than homeowner estimates in 18 of the 27 metro areas analyzed by the HPPI. Two cities of note are Baltimore and Atlanta, both of which moved from a positive to negative HPPI values — meaning appraisers now have a lower opinion of value than homeowners in these cities, dragging down the national average.

“While it’s significant that appraiser opinions are now lower than homeowners’ nationally, this minimal difference is unlikely to derail a refinance or cause headaches for the homeowner,” said Bob Walters, Quicken Loans chief economist. “The dip in the HPPI is likely caused by a delay of homeowner perceptions. As the economy recovered, homeowners hadn’t realized property values had improved. With the headlines of growing home prices, homeowners are catching up, but are now a bit overzealous in their estimates.”    

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Source: Quicken Loans

February’s measure of home values followed the trend set in January, showing steady, healthy growth. Nationwide, home values increased 1% from January to February and increased 8.45% over the previous February. The West region doubled the growth of the national average with a 2.46% home value increase since January. Home values in the South, Northeast and Midwest regions were nearly flat with an increase of 0.35% and drops of 0.16% and 0.40%, respectively.   

“The Western region continues to glow red hot, while home values in the rest of the country remain frozen,” Walters said. “The spring home-buying season may be a big market mover, depending on the inventory that is available. Bidding wars from a tight market could cause prices to jump, or we could see more gradual growth in a more balanced market.”