Appraisal Alert is a weekly roundup of news, information and trends in the appraisal industry.

The National Appraisal Volume continued it downward slide into September dropping 2.72% for the week beginning 8/30/15.  

“Much of the softness is seasonal as the summer buying season comes to a close as families get settled for the school year,” says Kevin Golden, director of analytics for a la mode inc.

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 appraisal volume:

(Source: a la mode)

This tracks with what the Mortgage Bankers Association is seeing with mortgage applications. Mortgage applications for new home purchases decreased by 6% relative to the previous month

“As the summer winds down, mortgage applications for new homes saw a seasonally-driven decrease in August,” said Lynn Fisher, MBA’s vice president of research and economics. “However, applications for new homes were still up 19% relative to the same month last year, which is consistent with what we've seen so far in 2015.”

Changes to USPAP – What you should know

“We at The Appraisal Foundation have received many questions about what changes appraisers can expect in the 2016-17 edition of USPAP, which will be available for sale next week,” reports David Bunton, president of The Appraisal Foundation. “All adopted changes are intended to help make USPAP simpler and easier to understand. For instance, most of the specific revisions are focused on providing additional clarity to appraisers, including the changes which were made to the record keeping rule and the reporting standards.”

A full list of adopted changes to the 2016-17 edition of USPAP with detailed explanations of the rationale behind each change can be found here.

“At the end of the day, appraisers should understand that no changes to USPAP are made by our Appraisal Standards Board without undergoing significant scrutiny from the public. In fact, the process for adopting changes to the 2016-17 edition of USPAP took 19 months and included several rounds of comments and inputs from appraisers,” Bunton said.

If you have any questions about the changes to USPAP, please reach out directly to Appraisal Standards Board. The 2016-17 edition of USPAP will be available next week.

Appraiser opinions of home values were 2.65% lower than homeowner estimates in August, according to the company’s national Home Price Perception Index, according to Quicken Loans.

Homeowner estimates of their home’s value exceeded appraiser opinions by a wider margin than in July, making August the seventh consecutive month of an increasingly wider gap between opinions.

“While the month-to-month number is interesting to examine, it is not the single most important factor of the HPPI report. Instead, the focus should be on the trend, the direction it’s heading and how fast,” said Quicken Loans Chief Economist Bob Walters. “The perception trend of most of this year suggests homeowners may be assuming that home values have been in a steady, linear path upward. In reality, home values have remained mostly flat this year, and this false assumption may be leaving homeowners disappointed when their appraisals come in.”    

Quicken Loans’ Home Value Index, a measure of home value changes based on actual appraisals, reported national housing values were nearly flat in August from the month prior, with the slight drop of 0.05%.