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Appraisal Institute Plots World Domination

June 13th, 2017

Appraisal Institute Plots World Domination

OTTAWA, June 13, 2017—The Appraisal Institute today pronounced that the “2017 International Valuation Conference” held in the Canadian capital from June 8th through June 11th was a “huge success”, as per a spokesperson.  “The world’s largest appraisal organization has taken the next step in its plan to exert complete control over the world’s appraisal industry” said the spokesperson who noted the use of the term “Valuation Conference” rather than “Appraisal Conference” in deference to the many countries that the Institute is targeting where appraisers are known as valuators.

Addressing the conference, keynote speaker Sir David Tweedie (Chairman of the International Valuation Standards Council) emphasized the importance of developing high quality international valuation standards. An unabashed globalist, Sir Tweedie emphasized the benefits of doing so: increased stability and confidence in appraisals; facilitation of doing business globally; and the benefit to appraisers (valuators) of being viewed as a high caliber profession.

AnchorJust Spoofing You

While we were just having some fun with the above story, there are several points that we would like to make now that we have your attention.

Appraisers benefit from having a variety of professional organizations, trade associations and state coalition groups.  Some of these organizations are large (such as the Appraisal Institute) with a wide variety of functions while others are quite small with specific, limited mandates (such as some of the newer state appraiser coalitions).  Obviously larger organizations with a multitude of purposes offer more targets for criticism.

This recent appraisal conference in Ottawa was superbly organized and offered a wide variety of seminars, speakers and educational opportunities; it is hard to imagine any group other than the Appraisal Institute putting together such a high caliber event.  While we are aware of some recent critiques of the Appraisal Institute, it is our wish that appraisers involved in the Institute work to improve the organization.  Speak up, don’t hesitate to criticize, just have your facts in order before doing so.  At the same time, it is important that the Appraisal Institute listen to the critics, as Jonathan Miller has duly noted.

AnchorTakeaways from the 2017 International Valuation Conference

Several speakers discussed how artificial intelligence was moving into the white-collar world and causing downward pressure on fees.  The commoditization of the residential appraisal business was lamented by many along with a warning that this could move into the commercial appraisal arena.

Speakers and panel participants noted the exponential increase in “real estate tech” investments over the past five years with the $221 million figure for 2012 increasing to $2.665 billion by 2016.  The sobering question “how will this impact the appraisal profession over the next five years?” was asked.  A common answer was that automated valuation models (AVMs) and other tech could be utilized by appraisers and not as a substitute for appraisers. One warning to appraisers: prepare to be disrupted. Another more specific warning: prepare for 50% fewer appraisals in the future.

A link to the CBInsights report on real estate tech investments is found here:

CBI Report on Real Estate Tech Investments

We appraisers have been hearing dire warnings about the impact of AVMs for decades and, guess what, we’re still here and many of us are thriving.  Perhaps the Zillow lawsuit by a homeowner/real estate attorney alleging that Zillow’s undervaluing of her house created a “tremendous road block” to its sale will be a watershed event resulting in a warranted concern over the problems that result when human appraisers are removed from the valuation equation.

A link to Kenneth R. Harney’s May report in the Washington Post on this case is found here:

Kenneth R. Harney’s Zillow Report

Just pick up the phone: Catherine Ann Marshall has had a distinguished career in global real estate asset investment, real estate research and portfolio management.  Catherine takes pride in her communication abilities and offers this advice when looking to order an appraisal: avoid online ordering, just pick up the phone!

Other recurring tidbits of advice for appraisers: carve out niches; become more of a consultant; everything now is in real time; provide not just a snapshot in time appraisal but give scenarios for the future (and use more graphics).

Appraisers interested in international valuation opportunities were provided with a great deal of information whether it be in developed regions such as Europe and Asia or developing areas in Latin America. Any appraisers who were not at the conference who desire additional info can contact us here at Appraiser Help or contact the Appraisal Institute.

AnchorO Canada!

2017 marks the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation and Ottawa was a festive setting for the valuation conference.  It was fun comparing notes with Canadian appraisers who shared the same concerns as U.S. appraisers: AMCs (they have some bad ones too); and a possible housing bubble.

One conference event was held at the Canadian War Museum amongst a large tank and armament collection.  This year is the 100th anniversary of the Battle of VIMY Ridge in World War I, of which the primary combatants were the Canadian Corps and the German Sixth Army.  3,598 Canadians were killed in the battle and  VIMY is a symbol to Canadians of national achievement and sacrifice.  Spending the evening at the war museum so shortly after Memorial Day was a sobering reminder of how lucky Americans and Canadians are to be free and how indebted we are to those who sacrificed all.

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AnchorRates & Dates

Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Brokers Association (MBA) reported downward movement in mortgage interest rates last week.

In their survey on June 8th, Freddie Mac reported that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell from 3.94% the previous week to 3.89%, the lowest point this year. They also noted that one year ago, the 30-year rate was at 3.60%.

Freddie Mac’s chief economist, Sean Becketti, noted that:

“The 10-year Treasury yield fell 3 basis points this week. The 30-year mortgage rate moved in tandem with Treasury yields, falling 5 basis points to 3.89 percent. Mixed economic data and increasing uncertainty are continuing to push rates to the lowest levels in nearly seven months.”

The MBA reported on June 7th (for the week ending June 2nd) that 30-year rates with conforming loan balances ($424,100 or less) fell from 4.17% to 4.14%. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $424,100) dropped from 4.11% to 4.08% while FHA backed 30-year mortgage rates also declined, from 4.03% to 4.01%.

Mortgage applications rose by 7.1% from the previous week.  Refinance applications as a percentage of all applications fell from 43.2% to 42.1%. The FHA share of applications increased from 10.5% to 10.9% while the VA share increased from 10.8% to 11.1%. Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Brokers Association (MBA) reported downward movement in mortgage interest rates last week.

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

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

AnchorAngie’s Contest

Angie would first like to acknowledge the winners of her last contest: California appraiser Steve Hassoldt; South Carolina appraiser Tim Kastner; Texas appraiser Christopher Rieve; and Michigan appraiser Gord Hoerner. They were the first to answer correctly that Greg Allman was the author of all three quotes in the last newsletter: “I said, other people can write songs, let’s see if I can. So, the first 400 or 500 wound up on the floor somewhere. Then I wrote one called Melissa”; “I would like to be remembered as a – somebody who could rock your soul or make you cry with a song. And somebody who’s kind, who loved to laugh, and loved his God”; “I play every show like it’s my last. Fortunately, that’s never turned out to be the case”.

Today’s questions:

Who said all of the following:

1. “Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read”.

2. “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member”.

3. “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others”.

a) Groucho Marx

b) Harpo Marx

c) Charlie Chaplin

d) None of the above

The first to respond with the correct answers wins:

One Free Regular Listing on

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