Appraisers and Homeowners Near a Balance on Home Value Opinions

The opinions of homeowner and appraisers on home values are slowly becoming more aligned on a national scale, according to Quicken Loans’ recent Home Price Perception Index (HPPI).

The Quicken Loans HPPI showed that appraisers’ opinions of home values in November were 1.56% higher than homeowners’—making the respective opinions closer to equilibrium than the previous month, when appraisers valued homes 1.58% higher than homeowners estimated. However, the value in November represents a larger spread than the previous year, when the difference was 1.34% in November 2013.

“It is reassuring to see the gap between appraiser opinions and homeowner opinions narrow, and if we had to choose a side of the fence, it makes for a much smoother mortgage process if appraisers are valuing homes above homeowners’ estimates like we’re seeing, as compared to the composite,” said Quicken Loans Chief Economist Bob Walters in a written statement.

Although three-quarters of metro areas examined by the HPPI had appraiser opinions higher than homeowner estimates, the difference between their opinions of value varies widely among them. 

In San Jose, California, for example, appraisers value homes 6% higher than homeowners’ opinions. Meanwhile, in Kansas City, Missouri, appraisers’ opinions are 2.53% lower than homeowners’.

Home values, on the other hand, measured by the Quicken Loans Home Value Index (HVI), increased 0.27% from October to November 2014, according to the national composite. Regionally, values made only slight movements, ranging from values falling 0.19% in the West to a 1.23% increase in the Northeast.

Tampa, Florida; Phoenix and Minneapolis were a few outliers, seeing monthly home value drops of 6.91%, 6.17% and 7.87%, respectively.

The majority of metros, however, had monthly home value increases, according to the HVI, which noted Boston as having the largest monthly gain in November at an increase of 3.88%. 

“The great differences in home value changes across the country show just how localized housing markets really are,” said Walters. “The housing market is mending at a national level, but the recovery in some areas is moving more swiftly and others have been lagging.”

Written by Jason Oliva

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