Appraiser opinions of home values fell further below homeowner opinions in March, according to the lender’s national Home Price Perception Index, according to Quicken Loans’ March report.

On a national scale, appraiser opinions are 0.40% lower than homeowner estimates.

Home values also declined in March. The national Home Value Index showed home values dipped 0.56% according to the appraisal-based report.

This slight change in the national HPPI was consistent with most metro areas examined, nearly all of which saw little perception change from the month prior.

Seventeen of the 27 metro areas analyzed are still seeing appraiser opinions higher than homeowner estimates. Although the difference is minor, Tampa, Florida’s HPPI value turned negative in March, meaning on average, appraiser opinions are now greater than homeowner estimates.  

“While the national HPPI shows appraiser opinions trailing those of homeowners, it is encouraging to see the gap at such a narrow margin,” said Quicken Loans Chief Economist Bob Walters. “Although home affordability for buyers can begin to be a problem in a seller’s market, which we are seeing in many of the country’s metro areas, homeowners in a majority of the nation’s largest markets can take solace in the fact that their home may have more equity than they realize.” 

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(Source: Quicken Loans)

Home values changed course in March, showing a decrease of 0.56%, according to the national HVI. On a yearly basis, homes were valued 6.42% more in March 2015 than in March 2014. This is a slowdown from the previous month, when values showed an 8.46% year-over-year growth in February. All four of the regions analyzed saw similar results of small monthly home value declines and modest yearly increases. 

“Despite negative housing trends garnering attention, home values nationally are still displaying healthy gains over the long term,” Walters said. “The market is in a lull right now, and all eyes are focused on homeowners as they decide whether to list their home. The upcoming peak real estate season could set the course for the market and push home values positively or negatively in a big way.”

The Quicken Loans HPPI represents the difference between appraisers’ and homeowners’ opinions of home values. The index compares the estimate that the homeowner supplies on the mortgage application to the appraisal that is performed later in the mortgage process. This is an unprecedented report that gives a never-before-seen analysis of how homeowners are viewing the housing market. The Quicken Loans HVI is a view of home value trends based solely on appraisal data from home purchases and mortgage refinances. This produces a wide data set and is focused on appraisals, one of the most important pieces of information to the mortgage process.