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Archive for December, 2010

Property Values Still Sliding, Continuing Education Discounts Ending

December 21st, 2010

Huge Increases in Property Tax Assessment Grievances Reported During Record Deficits

On December 8th, Bloomberg.com discussed the dilemma faced by many local governments in an article titled “Tax Appeals Swamp U.S. Cities, Towns as Property Prices Plunge."  The article discussed the large “…backlog of cases from taxpayers seeking to lower property-tax bills…” in many municipalities.  The Bloomberg.com report discussed examples in numerous states including Michigan, New Jersey, Nevada, California, Florida and Illinois.  Property tax appeals and grievances were reported by Bloomberg.com to be increasing rapidly with property classes as diverse as single family dwellings and casinos. The report discussed the large decline in residential and commercial property values (citing both S&P/Case-Shiller analyses and Moody’s/REAL Commercial Property Price Indexes of U.S. commercial property) and stated that “…property owners are demanding lower taxes after real-estate values plunged…” The article noted how this is occurring at the same time that hundreds of municipalities are facing financial crises.

On Sunday on CBS 60 Minutes, a report by Steve Kroft titled “Day of Reckoning” addressed this “…financial crisis looming involving state and local governments."  In an interview with financial analyst Meredith Whitney, Ms. Whitney noted that the financial meltdown in state and local governments “…has tentacles as wide as anything I’ve seen. I think next to housing this is the single most important issue in the United States, and certainly the largest threat to the U.S. economy". When Ms. Whitney was asked why people weren’t paying more attention she said "Cause they don’t pay attention until they have to." The Kroft report noted that:
“No one is talking about it now, but the big test will come this spring. That’s when $160 billion in federal stimulus money, that has helped states and local governments limp through the great recession, will run out."

Links to the Bloomberg.com and 60 Minutes reports are found here:
Tax Appeals Swamp U.S. Cities, Towns as Property Prices Plunge
State Budgets: The Day of Reckoning

In a special report on property taxes on December 14th, CNBC.com  recommended that property owners “Always appeal. Not only will it save you money on your tax bill but also prospective buyers will appreciate it when you tell them that you’ve challenged your assessment and it’s as low as it can be."  A link to this CNBC.com report is found here:
Things That Make Your Property Taxes Go Up

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Last Chance for Deeply Discounted Continuing Education Courses

Our partnership with McKissock Education will be changing as of January 1st, 2011. This is your last chance to take advantage of generous 25% off discounts on online continuing education. In order to qualify for 25% off of online CE courses, you must be a member of our Appraiser Directory sites, AppraiserHelp.com, FHAAppraisers.com and TaxGrievanceAppraisers.com. (Non members are entitled to 10% off of course fees.)

For a limited time, sign up on AppraiserHelp.com or FHAAppraisers.com and get membership on ALL THREE directory sites, the FREE, fully updated edition of our AMC directory, and you will be able to save 25% on continuing education courses if you sign up for those courses by the end of December. To sweeten the deal, take 35% off of our membership fees with the discount code HOLIDAY35.

After January 1st, members of our directory sites will still be able to receive 10% off on CE course fees, but there will be no discount offered to non-members.

For more information about our continuing education course discounts, please click the following link: Discounted Continuing Education

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Appraiser News is always a FREE publication. Please support our sponsors by clicking here.

Appraiser Help’s partnership with McKissock is changing on 12/31/2010. Please go to Discounted McKissock Continuing Education today to sign up for your courses and receive 10%-25% off of your course fees. After that date, we will only be offering a maximum of 10% off of course fees to members of our directory sites. Sign up today to take advantage of these great savings!

Several New Reports Express Fresh Concern About the Housing Market This Winter and Spring

On December 9th, Bloomberg.com cited a Zillow, Inc. projection that U.S. home values would decline by another $1.7 trillion in 2010, following 2009’s $1.05 trillion drop which brought the overall loss since the mid 2006 peak to more than $9 trillion.  The article also noted that the percentage of “underwater” homeowners reached 23.2% nationally at the end of the third quarter of this year.  Bloomberg.com noted that Walter Molony, a spokesman for the National Association of Realtors disagreed with this assessment and stated that: “We are projecting essentially no change in values from 2009 and view Zillow’s estimates as completely wrong”.  In another report the previous day, Bloomberg.com reported the finding of Morgan Stanley analysts that further declines of approximately 11% were anticipated before the market could stabilize in 2012.

Links to these two reports are found here:
U.S. Home Values to Drop by $1.7 Trillion This Year, Zillow Says
U.S. Home Prices to Fall Up to 11% Before 2012 Bottom, Morgan Stanley Says

One particularly disturbing report in the New York Times on December 10th claimed that there was a 41 month “shadow inventory” (foreclosed homes not yet on the market) in New Jersey and a link to this article is found here: A ‘Shadow Inventory’ Dampens Winter Market

CNBC.com’s Diana Olick has released a number of “Realty Check” reports and links to these reports are found here: Reality Check with Diana Olick

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Don’t Forget to Register Your Comments About Customary and Reasonable Fees With The Fed

As we noted in the last newsletter, on October 28th, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System published an “Interim Final Rule” amending Regulation Z (Truth in Lending or TILA).  This interim rule implements Section 129E of the TILA which was enacted in July as Section 1472 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  As AppraiserNews.com has previously reported, the “Reasonable & Customary Fees” provision bodes well for appraisers as written in the bill with this part of the act scheduled to be implemented on April 1, 2011.  This “Interim Final Rule” has language that concerns appraisers in regard to whether the promising provisions related to reasonable and customary fees will be truly enacted and not be a bad April Fool’s joke.

A link to the Fed’s “Interim Final Rule” is found here:
Truth in Lending: Interim Final Rule (Opens a .PDF File)

More importantly, a link where you can register your comments with the Fed is found below.  The deadline for comments is next Monday, December 27th so please take a few minutes to make your voice heard. Federal Reserve Board Electronic Comment Form

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Rates & Dates

Freddie Mac reported that rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 4.83% for the week ending December 16th, up from the 4.61% rate reported on December 9th.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) in its most recent Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending December 10th reported an increase to 4.84% from the previous week’s average of 4.66%. 

The Wall Street Journal reported on December 17th that HSH Associates reported on December 16th that their most recent survey indicated that the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 5.09%.  The Journal article quoted Wade Douroux, president and CEO of the mortgage banking firm Resource Financial Services as stating that “I’ve been doing this 15 years, and I’ve never seen rates rise this fast."

Additional information from Freddie Mac can be found by going to: Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey PMMS

Additional information from the Mortgage Bankers Association can be found by going to their site at: Mortgage Bankers Association Research and Forecasts

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Appraiser News is always a FREE publication. Please support our sponsors by clicking here.

Appraiser Help’s partnership with McKissock is changing on 12/31/2010. Please go to Discounted McKissock Continuing Education today to sign up for your courses and receive 10%-25% off of your course fees. After that date, we will only be offering a maximum of 10% off of course fees to members of our directory sites. Sign up today to take advantage of these great savings!

The Bottom Line for Appraisers

Most projections for 2011 conclude that rising interest rates will cause a sharp decline in refinancing and the need for mortgage appraisals.  Residential and commercial appraisers are well advised to prepare for this by increasing their efforts to procure more private appraisal business such as tax grievance and appeal appraisals, appraisals for legal purposes, etc.  Forensic review appraisals and appraisals for portfolio analysis are additional areas where growth can be found.

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Appraiser News is always a FREE publication. Please support our sponsors by clicking here.

Limited Time Only: Pay Last Year’s Price for This Year’s AMC Directory! Over 150 AMCs listed with fully updated contact information for only $39.99

Ask Angie

We want to congratulate our most recent winner, Mike O’Mary, a Certified Residential Appraiser with Appraisal Services and Solutions in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. 

Today’s questions:

1) Who said: "Champagne for my real friends, real pain for my sham friends"

a) Natalie Portman
b) Mark Zuckerberg
c) Thomas Alan Waits
d) Sarah Palin
e) None of the above

2. Who said: "A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain."

a) Elizabeth Warren
b) Sheila Bair
c) Robert Frost
d) Ron Paul
e) None of the above

The first person to respond with the correct answers wins a choice of either:

One Free Regular Listing on AppraiserHelp.com

A Free Copy of the NEWLY UPDATED (12/10) Directory of Appraisal Management Companies (Available Now to Members of AppraiserHelp.com and FHAAppraisers.com FREE!)

Angie’s Hall of Fame: Those who have been crowned winners more than once during the past two years and who have been retired from competition for the rest of 2010:
Suzanne Fahien
Pat Reass

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Appraiser News is always a FREE publication. Please support our sponsors by clicking here.

Appraiser Help’s partnership with McKissock is changing on 12/31/2010. Please go to Discounted McKissock Continuing Education today to sign up for your courses and receive 10%-25% off of your course fees. After that date, we will only be offering a maximum of 10% off of course fees to members of our directory sites. Sign up today to take advantage of these great savings!

Tell us what you think!

We invite your responses to any of the issues raised in this newsletter. Please e-mail us at: bill@appraiserhelp.com with your thoughts!

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We really hope you find our newsletter to be informative!  If you have any input on future topics for discussion, please email me your questions and I will do my best to address them in the next issue.  If you want to look back at past issues you can see our archive at www.appraisernews.com

Regards,

Bill Collins, Appraiser Help Inc.

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