The week beginning Aug. 9 stopped the month-long downward trend with a 2.34% rise in the number of appraisals nationally, says Kevin Golden, director of analytics for a la mode inc.

Appraisals rose 2.34% for the week.

HousingWire is partnering with a la mode, inc., an appraisal forms software company which has tracked the appraisal volume throughout the country since 2006, to provide a weekly read on appraisal volume.

Appraisal volume is an indicator of market strength and has a few advantages over mortgage applications, especially since fallout is less for appraisals since they are ordered later in the mortgage process after credit worthiness has been approved. 

Here’s the latest:

Valuation Partners announced it has developed a new purchase appraisal process to help meet the mortgage industry's growing demand for fast, high-quality valuations on purchase transactions. The company's proprietary purchase appraisal process ensures every appraisal is tracked to avoid delays and undergoes an accelerated quality review, and that final delivery is expedited after inspection.

"Because the mortgage industry is undergoing extraordinary change, purchase appraisals that are accurate, fast, reliable and compliant have become more important than ever," said Bill Fall, CEO of Valuation Partners.

"Our new proprietary process for securing high quality appraisals was designed specifically to meet the industry's growing demand for superior appraisals and appraisal delivery," he said.

Fall noted that independent mortgage bankers, banks and credit unions are in great need of appraisal partners they can trust. "Obtaining quality appraisals through a process they can rely on is critical to these originators, and our new appraisal offering fills their needs perfectly," he said.

MCS Valuations, a nationwide provider of appraisals, broker price opinions, and other valuation-related products to the financial services industry, will be moving its operations into the Plano, Texas, headquarters and the Tampa, Florida, and Ruston, Louisiana, offices of Mortgage Contracting Services.

“After nearly a year of evaluating the skills and experience of our management and staff in our various offices, we made the business decision that we could best serve our valuations customers by consolidating our valuations operation into our other locations,” says MCSV CEO Caroline Reaves. “This will allow us to leverage our quality control, audit and business continuity capabilities, and better serve our clients by supporting all our products at centralized sites.”

The move will close the company’s Sandy, Utah, office.

All MCSV employees will have the opportunity to relocate into one of the other three offices, expanding teams currently supporting the valuations operations. MCSV became part of the MCS corporate family in September 2014, when it was purchased from Irvine, California-based CoreLogic.

In her latest FM Commentary and Topic Analysis, Sarah Shahdad analyzes data from Fannie Mae's National Housing Survey to examine own vs. rent preferences among Millennials – the largest generation in U.S. history, according to some estimates.

Shahdad's analysis reveals that Millennial renters today have as much desire to own a home as the general population of renters. According to NHS data, the substantial majority of renters age 25-34 say that owning makes more sense than renting from a financial perspective, and a majority also agree that owning makes more sense from a lifestyle perspective.

Additionally, the vast majority of Millennial renters say they plan to own a home at some point in the future, and Shahdad examines the reasons they cited for not yet pursuing those aspirations. She also notes that the implications are worth considering given Millennials' potential to generate significant homeownership demand.