As the data for last year comes in, the appraisal volume ended slightly better than 2014, a la mode, an appraisal forms software company that tracks appraisal volume throughout the country, said.

The National Appraisal Volume Index dropped 1.1%, following a 33.6% drop the week prior.

Despite the decline, with Christmas and New Years in the last few weeks, the flat volume was expected. 

While 2015 proved to be a slightly better year than 2014, it was not as good as 2013, explained Kevin Golden, director of analytics with a la mode.

“The stable plodding along of 2015 looks like it will continue into 2016. However, if the problems in the Mid-East and China hit the economy hard, the fragile housing market could suffer,” said Golden. “The odds of the market booming are small and tanking has a reasonable chance, but the most probable is continuing slowly as we have been.”

Appraisal volume is an indicator of market strength and has some advantages over mortgage applications. Fallout is less for appraisals since they are ordered later in the mortgage process after credit worthiness has been approved and there are few multiple-orders.

a la mode captures 50% of the appraiser market – more than 6 million appraisals per year since the fourth quarter of 2006.