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Mar 04, 2015 12:30 PM

Court: Appraisers Don’t Need Access to Homes

The New York State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division in Rochester ruled that the city of Buffalo does not have the right to send appraisers into private homes without approval, the Buffalo News reported Feb. 23. The court said interior inspections violated homeowners’ privacy rights, which are protected by the Fourth Amendment.

 
Mar 04, 2015 12:30 PM

Cushman & Wakefield Looks for a Buyer

Commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield is on the market, and banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have been hired to help it find a buyer, Bloomberg reported Feb. 24. The firm is majority-owned by Exor SpA, and they are seeking approximately $2 billion and a buyer that isn’t a direct competitor.​

 
Mar 04, 2015 12:30 PM

Yellen Says Rates May Rise with Low Inflation

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told the House Financial Services Committee Feb. 25 that the central bank could raise interest rates before inflation goes up, provided price increases move ahead and the job market picks up, USA Today reported.

 
Feb 25, 2015 12:30 PM

Survey: Appraisers Want Collateral Underwriter Transparency

Nearly 90 percent of appraisers responding to the Illinois Coalition of Appraisal Professionals’ Collateral Underwriter survey said they think Fannie Mae should make the CU process transparent and nearly 70 percent said they would raise fees to cover extra work required by CU, the organization reported Feb. 18.

 
Feb 25, 2015 12:30 PM

ASB Adopts Changes to 2016-17 USPAP

The Appraisal Standards Board on Feb. 6 adopted modifications to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice for 2016-17. The action followed a 19-month process during which four exposure drafts were issued, as well as another one on proposed Advisory Opinions; the Appraisal Institute provided input to ASB during the process.

 
Feb 25, 2015 12:30 PM

Attorney General Targets Banking Executives

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced Feb. 17 that he gave federal prosecutors 90 days to determine whether cases can be brought against top bank executives and other individuals whose misconduct in the pooling and sale of residential mortgage-backed securities contributed to the 2008 financial crisis, Reuters reported.

 
Feb 18, 2015 12:30 PM

Study: Appraisers, Homeowners Agree on Home Values

Mortgage lender Quicken Loans reported Feb. 10 that appraisers’ opinions of home values in January were nearly identical to those held by homeowners; the gap was 0.18 percent, with appraisers offering a slightly higher opinion of value, according to the Home Price Perception Index.

 
Feb 18, 2015 12:30 PM

Military Members Receive $123 Million for Illegal Foreclosures

Mortgage servicers that are part of the National Mortgage Settlement are required to pay out $123 million in relief to compensate 952 U.S. service members whose homes were illegally foreclosed on, HousingWire reported Feb. 10.

 
Feb 18, 2015 12:30 PM

HUD Secretary Challenged on Mortgage Insurance Premiums

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro was grilled by House Republicans during a Feb. 11 hearing on the Federal Housing Administration’s plan to reduce mortgage insurance premiums, The Hill reported.

 
Feb 11, 2015 12:30 PM

Fannie Clarifies CU Details; AI Wants More Answers

Fannie Mae clarified key details of its new Collateral Underwriter tool in a Feb. 4 lender letter, noting that CU does not accept or reject appraisal reports or characterize such reports as “good” or “bad.” The Appraisal Institute sees the clarifications as a necessary step because it has received numerous questions about CU.

 
Feb 11, 2015 12:30 PM

FHFA: Debt Reductions Possible for Underwater Homeowners

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt said Feb. 4 that he still supports the idea of principal reduction on properties where borrowers owe more than their homes are worth, Bloomberg reported. Watt is working out how to accomplish that goal without passing along the costs to taxpayers.

 
Feb 11, 2015 12:30 PM

Farm and Ranch Land Values Stabilize in 2014

Farm and ranch land values stabilized in 2014 after years of double-digit increases, according to a Feb. 5 report from Farmers National Company, a firm that specializes in farm and ranch land real estate. The biggest drivers for land values remains location and quality.

 
Feb 11, 2015 08:00 AM

New Appraisal Institute Form Helps Analyze ‘Green’ Commercial Real Estate Features

The nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers today released a form intended to help analyze values of commercial buildings’ energy-efficient features. It is the first of its kind intended for appraisers’ use.

 
Jan 28, 2015 12:30 PM

Housing Gets Little Attention at State of the Union

During his Jan. 20 State of the Union address, President Obama only briefly mentioned housing and mortgage issues and only when talking about the Federal Housing Administration’s decision to reduce mortgage insurance premiums, MarketWatch reported. Experts say that failure to address the still “broken” housing finance system was a mistake.

 
Jan 28, 2015 12:30 PM

S&P to Pay $77M for Alleged CMBS Misrepresentation

Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s settled with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for $77 million over claims it misled investors on some commercial mortgage-backed securities it rated, Reuters reported Jan. 21. S&P also will be banned from rating any CMBS for one year.

 
Jan 26, 2015 08:00 AM

New Fannie Mae Program Shows Importance of Hiring Qualified Real Estate Appraisers

A new Fannie Mae program available to mortgage lenders today shows the importance of hiring qualified appraisers, according to the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers.

 
Jan 21, 2015 12:30 PM

Homebuyers Willing to Pay More for Solar; AI Aids in Research

Homebuyers are willing to pay more for homes with host-owned solar photovoltaic energy systems, according to a report released Jan. 13 by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Two Appraisal Institute professionals contributed to the landmark study as part of a multi-institutional research team.

 
Jan 21, 2015 12:30 PM

CFPB Launches Mortgage Toolkit, Critics Fault Disclosures

Nearly half of all homebuyers don’t shop around for mortgages, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reported Jan. 13, and so the agency launched “Owning a Home,” an online toolkit to help consumers navigate the mortgage process. However, the toolkit is being criticized for sharing rates and costs without including required disclosures, HousingWire reported.

 
Jan 21, 2015 12:30 PM

Supreme Court Gives Consumers Mortgage Cancellation Rights

The U.S. Supreme Court gave homeowners an additional opportunity to cancel their mortgages if lenders fail to provide required disclosures, Bloomberg reported Jan. 13. The case centered on a three-year deadline for borrowers wishing to rescind their loans; the justices unanimously agreed that borrowers don’t have to file suit within three years and instead can meet the deadline by sending a letter to lenders.

 
Jan 14, 2015 12:30 PM

Montana Mulls Updates to Appraiser Licensing and AMC Laws

During its 2015 session, the Montana legislature will consider House Bill 29, which would revise the state’s appraiser licensing and appraisal management company oversight laws, the Appraisal Institute reported Jan. 8.

 
Jan 14, 2015 12:30 PM

FHA to Reduce Annual Insurance Premiums

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Jan. 8 said that the Federal Housing Administration will lower by a half-percent the annual premiums borrowers will pay. This action is projected to save more than two million FHA homeowners an average $900 annually and spur 250,000 homebuyers to purchase a home over the next three years.

 
Jan 14, 2015 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Members Contribute to Landmark Solar Valuation Study

Two members of the Appraisal Institute contributed to a landmark study released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that found that home buyers consistently have been willing to pay more for homes with host-owned solar photovoltaic energy systems.

 
Jan 07, 2015 12:30 PM

FHFA Warns Against ‘Super Priority’ Liens

The Federal Housing Finance Agency issued a warning Dec. 22 to homeowners, financial institutions and state authorities regarding super priority liens created by energy retrofit programs or homeowner associations. The FHFA expressed concern that such liens can sometimes force a Freddie Mac or a Fannie Mae lien into a risky secondary position.

 
Jan 07, 2015 12:30 PM

Ambac Sues Bank of America over Faulty Mortgage Bonds

Insurance firm Ambac Assurance Corp. filed suit against BofA Dec. 30 in an effort to recover hundreds of millions of dollars it lost during the financial crisis from insuring approximately $1.68 billion of securities backed, in part, by risky mortgages issued by Countrywide, Reuters reported Dec. 31.

 
Jan 07, 2015 12:30 PM

CoreLogic: Top Housing Market Drivers in 2015

More millennials are expected to enter the housing market in 2015, analytics firm CoreLogic reported Dec. 29 in its 2015 Housing Outlook. The prediction was one of several the firm identified for the coming year; among the others: housing will benefit from oil price drops and Houston will be the most interesting housing market to watch.

 
Dec 17, 2014 12:30 PM

Fannie Mae Adjusts Comparative Sales Guidelines, Solar Policy

Fannie Mae released on Dec. 16 its updated Selling Guide for single-family homes, which includes an adjustment to comparable sales that eliminated the 15 percent net and 25 percent gross adjustment guidelines. It also clarified its policy on the valuation of homes with solar panels.

 
Dec 17, 2014 12:30 PM

Ratings Agency Suspension Could Damper CMBS Outlook

While commercial mortgage-backed securities have experienced a major boost over the past few years, a move by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to suspend ratings agency Standard & Poor’s abilities to rate CMBS could dampen future growth, commercial real estate data firm CoStar Group reported Dec 10.

 
Dec 17, 2014 12:30 PM

GSEs Introduce 3 Percent Down Payment Programs

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Dec. 8 that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will offer new mortgage programs that allow individuals to make down payments of only 3 percent in a bid to help first-time and lower-income buyers enter the housing market, The Wall Street Journal reported.

 
Dec 10, 2014 12:30 PM

AQB Proposed Background Checks Focus on ‘Public Trust’

The Appraiser Qualifications Board of The Appraisal Foundation released on Dec. 2 a new exposure draft of proposed revisions to the 2015 Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria. Included among the revisions is a requirement that all applicants for real property appraiser credentials have a background that does not call into question public trust.

 
Dec 10, 2014 12:30 PM

SEC Decision on IFRS Could Affect Appraisals

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is once again reviewing issues related to whether or not U.S. public companies can utilize the International Financial Reporting Standards for financial reporting purposes, the Appraisal Institute reported Dec. 10.

 
Dec 10, 2014 12:30 PM

Court Won’t Unseal Files on Washington Mutual Appraisal Scheme

A federal judge said he will not unseal files related to an alleged appraisal rigging scheme that Washington Mutual launched in an effort to favor mortgage lenders just before the 2008 market crash, Courthouse News Service reported Dec. 3.

 
Dec 10, 2014 08:00 AM

Importance of Property Attributes Key to Market Value: The Appraisal Journal

Appraisers can simulate the actions and thought processes of buyers by analyzing the importance of the quality of property attributes in the market, according to an article published this week in The Appraisal Journal.

 
Nov 19, 2014 01:52 PM

Bank of America Won’t Loosen Lending Standards

Bank of America Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan said the bank will not loosen mortgage lending standards even though regulators are trying to increase credit availability, Bloomberg reported Nov. 12. He said the bank has no incentive to create more mortgage availability when customers are susceptible to default.

 
Nov 19, 2014 01:47 PM

CFPB Changes Compliance Guide for Mortgage Rules

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Nov. 10 announced two changes to its compliance guide for the new major qualified mortgage rules that took effect this year. The changes address lender and policymaker concerns.

 
Nov 19, 2014 01:44 PM

AI Cautions USDA about Raising Appraisal Threshold

The Appraisal Institute and the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers jointly submitted a letter Nov. 14 to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in which they cautioned against proposed changes to the Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program that would raise the threshold for when appraisals are required.

 
Nov 04, 2014 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Encourages Consumers To Plan Now for Home Winterization

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today encouraged consumers to winterize their homes to potentially reduce energy costs, increase comfort in cold months and possibly improve resale value.

 
Oct 21, 2014 08:00 AM

New Appraisal Institute Book Addresses Latest Methods for Valuing Contaminated Properties

Properties impacted by contamination raise challenging appraisal issues, according to a new book from the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers.

 
Sep 18, 2014 08:00 AM

Deconstructing Elements Key to Valuing Defunct Railroad Corridors: The Appraisal Journal

When appraising obsolete railroad corridors, each element of the land’s value as-is must be deconstructed in order to develop a credible opinion of value for the land, according to an article published this week in The Appraisal Journal.

 
Aug 26, 2014 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Unveils Standards of Valuation Practice

The nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers today announced to global users of real estate valuation services the availability of its Standards of Valuation Practice. The SVP can serve as an alternative for valuation professionals where national or other standards are not required.

 
Aug 14, 2014 08:00 AM

New Appraisal Institute Book Supports Development of Market Analysis

The analysis of real estate markets is a core skill of modern appraisal and is critical for risk management in the marketplace, according to a new book from the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers.

 
Aug 08, 2014 01:59 PM

Appraisal Institute Honors 8 National Award Winners

Peter D. Bowes, MAI, of Denver and Reaves C. Lukens Jr., MAI, SRA, of Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, were honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award and Michael G. Miller, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, of Richmond, Virginia, and Charles J. Lentz, MAI, of Orlando, Florida, were named the recipients of the Outstanding Service Award during the Appraisal Institute Annual Meeting Wednesday in Austin, Texas.

 
Aug 08, 2014 08:19 AM

Austin’s Jim Amorin Elected 2015 Appraisal Institute Vice President

Jim Amorin, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, of Austin, Texas, was elected 2015 vice president of the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers by its Board of Directors Thursday in Austin. Amorin’s one-year term at the Appraisal Institute will begin Jan. 1, followed by one year each as president-elect, president and immediate past president.

 
Jul 31, 2014 08:00 AM

Drop in US Real Estate Appraisers Slows: Appraisal Institute Research

The number of active real estate appraisers in the United States fell less than 1 percent in the first half of 2014, the Appraisal Institute announced today, lower than the average annual decrease of 2.6 percent over the past six years.

 
Jul 16, 2014 12:30 PM

Citigroup Settles Mortgage Probe, Pays Record Penalty

Citigroup will pay $7 billion to resolve claims it misled investors who purchased shoddy mortgage-backed securities that helped lead to the financial crisis six years ago, Reuters reported July 14. The deal includes the largest civil fraud penalty ever levied by the U.S. Department of Justice.

 
Jul 08, 2014 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Supports USGBC’s ‘Green’ Home Report Findings

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today announced its support for a U.S. Green Building Council report released June 19 that found green labeled homes can sell at higher prices.

 
Jun 12, 2014 08:00 AM

Special Skills Crucial for Restaurant Valuation: The Appraisal Journal

Appraisers should understand and correctly use methods and techniques employed by investors to determine the value of restaurants, according to an article published this week in The Appraisal Journal.

 
Jun 11, 2014 12:30 PM

South Carolina Passes New Appraiser Licensing Standards

South Carolina has instituted the new Real Estate Appraisers License and Certification Act in order to bring appraiser licensing and standards in line with uniform national standards, Valuation Review reported June 5. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley signed HB4644 into law May 16.

 
Jun 05, 2014 08:00 AM

Only Certain Home Improvements Pay Off, Appraisal Institute Says

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today encouraged homeowners to exercise good judgment when deciding which home improvement projects to take on, saying that not all renovations enhance property values.

 
May 08, 2014 12:55 PM

Appraisal Institute Unveils New Certification Organization

The nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers today announced the formation of a new certification organization: the International Center for Valuation Certification.

 
Apr 29, 2014 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Seeks Comments on Standards of Valuation Practice

The nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers today invited valuation professionals to provide additional input on the organization’s proposed standards of valuation practice, one of the Appraisal Institute’s three previously announced major strategic initiatives.

 
Apr 08, 2014 08:00 AM

New Appraisal Institute Book Aids Valuation of ‘Green’ Homes

Appraisers need to get up to speed on the latest energy efficient home features and should learn to determine how green a property is, according to a new book by the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers.

 
Apr 01, 2014 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Expands Registries of ‘Green’ Appraisers

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today announced it has expanded its Valuation of Sustainable Buildings Professional Development Program’s online registries of residential and commercial appraisers.

 

CFPB Scrutinizing ‘Zombie Foreclosures’

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is starting to scrutinize mortgage servicers’ practice of starting foreclosures and then walking away from them, leaving homeowners who may already have vacated the property on the hook for mortgage debt, taxes and maintenance, National Mortgage News reported March 12.

 
Mar 18, 2014 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Provides Its First Education in Persian Gulf

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today concluded an historic week-long teaching opportunity at Kuwait University – Real Estate Academy.​

 
Mar 11, 2014 08:00 AM

Appraisers Key to Property Loss Deductions: The Appraisal Journal

Natural disasters often cause damages to properties that qualify for deductions on federal income tax returns, but property owners need a qualified appraiser to substantiate and defend those losses, according to an article published this week in The Appraisal Journal.

 
Feb 18, 2014 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Tells Homeowners How to Prepare for Appraisal

With the spring home-buying season approaching, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers today encouraged homeowners to be prepared with all relevant property information when an appraiser visits.

 
Feb 18, 2014 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Tells Homeowners How to Prepare for Appraisal

With the spring home-buying season approaching, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers today encouraged homeowners to be prepared with all relevant property information when an appraiser visits.

 
Jan 28, 2014 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Bestows First Review Designations in its History

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today announced it has issued the first appraisal review designations in its more than 80-year history.​

 
Jan 22, 2014 12:30 PM

Congress: Qualified Mortgage Rule Could Stall Recovery

Some congressional members have expressed concern that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's new Qualified Mortgage Rule could curb mortgage credit access and slow the housing recovery, HousingWire reported Jan. 14.

 
Jan 09, 2014 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Issues Guidance on Valuing ‘Green’ Buildings

When valuing green buildings, real estate appraisers’ analysis must be supported by market data on the subject property that helps explain why it stands out from its conventional peers, according to guidance issued today by the Appraisal Institute and the Institute for Market Transformation.

 
 
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