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Aug 19, 2015 12:30 PM

Mandatory Registration Begins for FHA Appraisal Portal

The mandatory registration period for the Federal Housing Administration's Electronic Appraisal Delivery portal began Aug. 17, and all FHA-approved mortgagees must register for and participate in a 60-day onboarding phase to familiarize themselves with the portal, HousingWire reported. Onboarding begins Oct. 15 and all users must be registered by June 26, 2016.

 
Aug 19, 2015 12:30 PM

Gap Widens between Homeowner, Appraiser Opinions

The gap between homeowner and appraiser opinions of home values has nearly doubled since May, mortgage lender Quicken Loans reported Aug. 11 in its Home Price Perception Index. The discrepancy was attributed to homeowners seeing national headlines about increased home values.

 
Aug 19, 2015 12:30 PM

Bank of America Sells Appraisal Business

Bank of America announced Aug. 8 that it's selling its real estate appraisal business to analytics firm CoreLogic for an undisclosed sum, the Charlotte Observer reported. The bank acquired the business in 2008 through its acuisition of mortgage company Countrywide Financial Corp.

 
Aug 12, 2015 12:30 PM

NC Passes Recordkeeping and Background Check Legislation

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory on Aug. 5 signed into law HB 651, legislation that eliminates the discovery rule for civil action related to real estate appraisals and establishes a five-year statute of limitations that brings the state in line with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.​

 
Aug 12, 2015 12:30 PM

New Collateral Underwriter Releases in September

Fannie Mae announced Aug. 4 that it will release Collateral Underwriter 3.0 on Sept. 26. The updated version will provide access to appraisal data, risk score, flags and messages in the CU Web application within 10 minutes of submitting an appraisal through the Uniform Collateral Data Portal (Forms 1004/1073 only).

 
Aug 12, 2015 12:30 PM

Fed Repo System Could Impact Millions of Mortgages

The Federal Reserve reportedly will expand its use of overnight reverse repo agreements to help drain the $4.5 trillion it has on its balance sheet from years of quantitative easing, and doing so while raising interest rates could significantly affect the mortgage-backed securities market, Bloomberg reported Aug. 5.

 
Aug 05, 2015 12:30 PM

Mortgage Rates Drop as Foreign Markets Disappoint

Average fixed mortgage rates dropped during the past week as foreign markets - particularly China - reported disappointing economic performance, Freddie Mac reported July 30 in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

 
Aug 05, 2015 12:30 PM

House Committee Says Dodd-Frank Hurting Recovery

The House Financial Services Committee held a hearing July 28 to review the nation's economic prosperity in the five years since Dodd-Frank was enacted, with committee Republicans saying the law's regulatory burdens have done more harm than good, HousingWire reported.

 
Aug 05, 2015 12:30 PM

CFPB Asks Mortgage Industry to Stop Using MSAs

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reportedly is concerned about the business model behind marketing services agreements and wants mortgage lenders to stop using them, HousingWire reported July 30. The CFPB recently has fined lenders for alleged kickbacks and other MSA-related violations.

 
Jul 31, 2015 08:00 AM

Jim Murrett Elected 2016 Appraisal Institute Vice President

James L. Murrett, MAI, SRA, of Hamburg, New York, was elected 2016 vice president of the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers Thursday by its Board of Directors in Dallas. Murrett’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 30, 2015 10:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Honors 8 National Award Winners

John P. Fredrickson, MAI, SRA, of Walla Walla, Washington; Jerome Haims, MAI, SRA, of New York; and Richard A. Stephens, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, of Little Rock, Arkansas, were honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award and Michael V. Tankersley, MAI, SRA, AI-RRS, of Lewisburg, Tennessee, was named the recipient of the Outstanding Service Award during the Appraisal Institute Annual Meeting Wednesday in Dallas.

 
Jul 15, 2015 01:08 PM

Industry Groups Join Fannie, Freddie to Create Advisory Group

Multiple trade associations joined Fannie, Freddie and Common Securitization Solutions, the company formed by the government-sponsored enterprises to help design and implement a single security, to create an industry advisory group to provide feedback on single-security development, HousingWire reported July 8.

 
Jul 15, 2015 12:30 PM

Study Shows Housing Value in Every US County

New York City's five counties account for less than 1 percent of the nation's total land area but constitute 5 percent of its housing value, analytics firm Metrocosm reported July 7 in a series of cartograms that track housing values by U.S. county.

 
Jul 15, 2015 12:30 PM

White House Introduces Tougher Housing Segregation Rules

The White House on July 8 announced new rules that will require cities and localities to account for how they use federal housing money to reduce racial disparities or face possible penalties, The New York Times reported. The rules seek to enforce the civil rights-era fair housing law that prohibits overt residential discrimination.

 
Jul 08, 2015 12:30 PM

CalPERS Pension to Sell $3 Billion in Real Estate Holdings

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the nation’s largest pension, intends to sell up to $3 billion of its real estate portfolio as part of a broader cost-cutting plan, Bloomberg reported June 30. The $303 billion fund could sell up to12 percent of its $25.5 billion commercial real estate holdings.

 
Jul 08, 2015 12:30 PM

Small Lender Loan Purchases Rise as G-fees Drop

The percentage of loans that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac purchased from small lenders grew significantly in 2014 as the guarantee fees they charge small lenders decreased, the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported June 30. The government-sponsored enterprises charge lenders G-fees as compensation for guaranteeing timely payment of principal and interest.

 
Jul 08, 2015 12:30 PM

Coalition Challenges Corporate Sustainability Standards

A coalition of real estate stakeholders sent a letter June 30 to the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board challenging its attempt to create corporate reporting standards for property companies’ sustainability efforts. The letter noted that the proposed standards seem inconsistent with current economic and market trends driving sustainability programs.

 
Jul 01, 2015 12:30 PM

Report: Risk of Valuation Fraud Up, Mortgage Fraud Down

The overall risk of mortgage fraud, which includes valuation, identity, occupancy and employment/income fraud, dropped 4 percent between 2013 and 2014, but the specific risk of valuation fraud increased 17 percent during the same reporting period, analytics firm Interthinx reported June 25 in its Mortgage Fraud Risk Report.

 
Jul 01, 2015 12:30 PM

Fair Housing Act Claims can Include Disparate Impact

The U.S. Supreme Court announced June 25 its decision that the legal doctrine of disparate impact is recognizable under the Fair Housing Act, HousingWire reported. Disparate impact refers to policies, practices or rules that appear to be neutral but have a discriminatory effect.

 
Jul 01, 2015 12:30 PM

Fannie Mae Drops Desktop Underwriter Fee

Fannie Mae announced June 23 that it eliminated the fee for its Desktop Underwriter mortgage underwriting system and Desktop Originator tool, HousingWire reported. The government-sponsored enterprise also indicated it would soon unveil a new loan delivery system.

 
Jun 30, 2015 08:00 AM

New Appraisal Institute Book Cites Unique Demands for Valuing Auto Dealerships

Auto dealerships are unique property types whose characteristics can make valuation fun but challenging, according to a new book from the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers. ​

 
Jun 23, 2015 08:00 AM

Valuing Excess Land Creates Challenges for Appraisers: The Appraisal Journal

Appraisers tasked with valuing excess land are often met with unique challenges for developing opinions of the value for the unneeded tract, according to an article published this week in The Appraisal Journal.

 
Jun 10, 2015 12:30 PM

CFPB Institutes Grace Period on TRID Enforcement

The TILA-RESPA Regulated Disclosure requirements will still be implemented Aug. 1, but the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced an open-ended grace period during which it would delay enforcement so mortgage lenders can get up to speed, HousingWire reported June 3.

 
Jun 10, 2015 12:30 PM

Supreme Court Upholds Second Mortgages in Bankruptcies

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 1 that a debtor in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding cannot cancel a second mortgage lien when the home used as collateral is underwater on its first mortgage lien, HousingWire reported.

 
Jun 10, 2015 12:30 PM

Texas Governor Signs Updates to Appraiser Law

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on June 9 signed into law Senate Bill 1007, legislation that contains many revisions and additions to the state's current appraiser licensing and certification law, the Appraisal Institute reported. The provisions in the bill will take effect Jan. 1, 2016.

 
Jun 03, 2015 12:30 PM

Freddie Mac Drops Loan Prospector Fee

Effective June 1, Freddie Mac stopped charging lenders $20 to use Loan Prospector, its automated underwriting service and risk-assessment tool that gives lenders access to Freddie’s credit and pricing terms, HousingWire reported May 27.

 
Jun 03, 2015 12:30 PM

Fed says Weak Global Economy Could Slow Rate Hikes

Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer noted in a May 26 speech at Tel Aviv University that policy makers will consider international growth as they start to increase interest rates, and that borrowing costs could increase slowly if the global economy falters, Bloomberg reported.

 
Jun 03, 2015 12:30 PM

Housing Market Continues to Stabilize

The U.S. housing market continues to stabilize, with the most improved metro markets seeing strong demand for home sales during the spring homebuying season, according to Freddie Mac’s Multi-Indicator Market Index released May 27. Overall, the index shows 80 percent of the country’ top housing markets are improving.

 
Jun 02, 2015 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Aids U.S. Department of Energy on Home Energy Efficiency

The Appraisal Institute today announced it has joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s new Better Buildings Accelerator, which will convene leaders to focus on key solutions to expanding energy efficiency in the residential sector.

 
May 27, 2015 12:30 PM

Appraiser Shortage Could Hurt Mortgage Lenders

A shortage of residential appraisers could create a situation where, in the next 5-10 years, lenders won't be able to have their volume of home appraisals sufficiently handled, National Mortgage News reported May 20. The result could be higher appraisal fees and longer closing times. (Log-in required).​

 
May 27, 2015 12:30 PM

Fannie Mae Downgrades Economic Forecast

Low mortgage rates helped keep homebuyer affordability high during the first quarter, but housing markets likely will see increased volatility for the remainder of the year as market participants try to determine the Federal Reserve's timing on short-term interest rate increases, Freddie Mac reported May 19.

 
May 27, 2015 12:30 PM

FHFA Issues New Single-family Lender Requirements

Single-family mortgage seller/servicers that want to continue doing business with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will have to comply with new operational and financial requirements, including a minimum net worth of $2.5 million, the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported May 19.

 
May 20, 2015 12:30 PM

Illinois Appraisals Halted

Appraisals in the state of Illinois came to an abrupt halt last week after the state’s Department of Financial and Professional Regulation revoked the licenses of 70 appraisal management companies over non-compliance with Illinois bonding regulations, HousingWire reported May 14.

 
May 20, 2015 12:30 PM

Report: Gap Grows Between Homeowner, Appraiser Opinions

For the third consecutive month, homeowner opinions of home values are higher than the value assessed by professional appraisers, according to the Home Price Perception Index released May 13 by mortgage lender Quicken Loans, HousingWire reported May 13.

 
May 20, 2015 12:30 PM

Nomura, RBS Settle with FHFA over ‘Enormous Deception’

Financial holding company Nomura Holdings and the Royal Bank of Scotland will pay $806 million in damages to the Federal Housing Finance Agency for exhibiting “enormous deception” in the sale of allegedly flawed mortgage-backed securities to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Bloomberg reported May 15.

 
May 19, 2015 08:00 AM

Landscaping Can Drive Property Values, Appraisal Institute Says

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today encouraged homeowners to maintain their landscaping in order to potentially enhance their property’s value.

 
May 13, 2015 12:30 PM

Report: Mortgage Fraud Up, Valuation Fraud Down

The Mortgage Fraud Risk Report released May 5 by risk management firm Interthinx showed that mortgage fraud during the fourth quarter 2014 was up slightly from the previous quarter while valuation fraud saw a slight 2 percent drop during the same reporting period.

 
May 13, 2015 12:30 PM

FHA Delays Revised Single-family Handbook

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced April 30 that stakeholder concerns have delayed by three months implementation of the revised Single Family Housing Policy Handbook. Policies in the handbook now will take effect Sept. 14.

 
May 13, 2015 12:30 PM

Survey: Consumers Positive, Cautious on Housing

Consumers want to purchase homes, but rising house prices have convinced them now isn't a good time to buy, according to the April 2015 National Housing Survey released May 7 by Fannie Mae. Overall, the survey showed improved housing sentiment, but not enough to trigger any breakout housing market activity.​

 
May 06, 2015 12:30 PM

Final Rule Released on Minimum Requirements for AMCs

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the National Credit Union Administration, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Housing Finance Agency issued a final rule April 30 that implements minimum requirements for state registration and supervision of appraisal management companies.​

 
May 06, 2015 12:30 PM

Expanded Fiduciary Rule Addresses Appraisals, Seeks Comments

The U.S. Department of Labor is seeking comment by July 6 on its proposed rule to change who is considered a fiduciary of a qualified plan, IRA or health savings account. A more expansive proposal was released in 2010, but it faced significant pushback and was quickly withdrawn.

 
May 06, 2015 12:30 PM

SBA Issues Revised Appraisal Policies

The U.S. Small Business Administration on May 1 issued revised appraisal policies for change-in-ownership transactions involving special-purpose properties. The SBA removed requirements for business valuation credentials and repositioned such scenarios as real property-centric valuation scenarios.

 
May 05, 2015 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Shares Property Tax Appeal Tips

Homeowners who are considering property tax appeals should be prepared with all the relevant information and be mindful of local rules, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers said today.

 
Apr 29, 2015 12:30 PM

Report says US Land Worth Nearly $23 Trillion

The estimated value for the 1.89 billion acres of land that comprise the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia is $22.98 trillion, according to U.S. government economist William Larson, The Wall Street Journal reported April 22.

 
Apr 29, 2015 12:30 PM

US Sues Quicken Loans over FHA Loan Violations

The U.S. Department of Justice filed suit against Quicken Loans alleging it improperly originated and underwrote loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration from September 2007 to December 2011, HousingWire reported April 23.

 
Apr 29, 2015 12:30 PM

Treasury: Fannie, Freddie Bailout Not a Loan

The U.S. Department of the Treasury responded to questions from Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, about the $187.5 billion taxpayer bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2008 by reporting it wasn’t a loan but an investment on which taxpayers are now being compensated, The Wall Street Journal reported April 21.

 
Apr 23, 2015 08:00 AM

New Appraisal Institute Book Addresses Evolving Role of Appraisal Review

Reviewing appraisals has become increasingly important in recent years with many appraisal reports being more closely scrutinized, according to a new book from the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers.

 
Apr 22, 2015 12:30 PM

Final Rule Released on Minimum AMC Requirements

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency released on April 21 its final rule on minimum requirements for state registration and supervision of appraisal management companies, as required by the Dodd-Frank Act.

 
Apr 22, 2015 12:30 PM

House Members Want Greater CFPB Transparency

A total of 401 members of Congress — both Democrats and Republicans — voted April 14 in favor of HR 1265, the Bureau Advisory Commission Transparency Act, which calls for more transparency and accountability from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by subjecting it to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, HousingWire reported.

 
Apr 22, 2015 12:30 PM

Report: Appraisers, Homeowners Not Aligned on Home Values

Home prices were down in March, and as a result, the disparity between homeowners and appraisers on home value perception increased as homeowners’ estimates remained higher than appraiser opinions, according to the Home Price Perception Index released April 14 by Mortgage Lender Quicken Loans.

 
Apr 15, 2015 12:30 PM

FHA Hosting April 16 Call on New Appraisal Requirements

The Federal Housing Administration will host a conference call April 16 for appraisers and underwriters interested in hearing about changes in the revised Single-Family Handbook, including to the Appraiser and Property Requirements section and the Appraisal Report and Data Delivery Guide.

 
Apr 15, 2015 12:30 PM

Fed to Unwind Trillions in Bond Purchases

The Federal Reserve faces the challenge of when and how to start unwinding billions of dollars in bonds that were purchased as part of the quantitative easing program, Bloomberg reported April 7. The bonds constitute the world's largest fixed-income portfolio. > FULL STORY

 
Apr 15, 2015 12:30 PM

GE to Sell Real Estate Portfolio

General Electric is nearing a deal to sell its $30 billion real estate portfolio to a group led by private-equity firm Blackstone and Wells Fargo, Reuters reported April 9. The sale would be the largest commercial real estate deal since Blackstone's 2007 purchase of Equity Office Properties Trust.

 
Apr 14, 2015 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Expands ‘Green’ Education Offerings

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today announced it has extended its partnership with Build It Green, a California-based “green” building organization, enabling more valuation professionals to take relevant education courses.

 
Apr 08, 2015 12:30 PM

Golding Likely to Lead FHA

The White House and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development plan to name senior HUD advisor Edward Golding as head of the Federal Housing Administration, HousingWire reported March 26.

 
Apr 08, 2015 12:30 PM

Credit Program Expected to Impact Millions of Consumers

Financial data firms FICO, LexisNexis Risk Solutions and Equifax announced a pilot program April 1 that potentially could help millions of consumers qualify for mortgages, HousingWire reported.

 
Apr 08, 2015 12:30 PM

Retail Investment Up, Underwriting Standards Down

Investment in retail properties grew 16 percent between 2013 and 2014, and competition among lenders to make retail real estate loans led to a "modest" easing in underwriting standards last year, according to real estate investment firm Marcus & Millichap, MBA NewsLink reported April 2.

 
Apr 01, 2015 12:30 PM

Electronic Appraisal Submissions Coming June 2016

The Federal Housing Administration will require appraisals for single-family homes to be submitted through an online electronic delivery portal starting in June 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced March 26.

 
Apr 01, 2015 12:30 PM

Virginia Enacts Law on Reasonable and Customary Fees

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on March 23 signed into law S.B. 1445, which requires appraisal management companies operating in the state to compensate appraisers at a reasonable and customary rate. ​

 
Apr 01, 2015 12:30 PM

Fannie, Freddie Likely to Remain in Conservatorship

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., chair of the Senate Banking Committee, said he’d rather leave the government-sponsored enterprises in conservatorship than pass a bill that includes specific government support for the housing market, Bloomberg reported March 25. Bloomberg noted the comments appear to confirm that the GSEs will remain under federal control for years.

 
Mar 31, 2015 08:00 AM

Lack of Data Complicates Valuation of Green Homes: The Appraisal Journal

Valuation professionals, real estate agents and homebuyers face challenges in the process of valuing, selling and purchasing green and energy-efficient homes due to a lack of comparable properties and a lack of data, according to an article published this week in The Appraisal Journal.

 
Mar 25, 2015 12:30 PM

Report: Fannie, Freddie Might Need another Bailout

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may need another taxpayer bailout due to increased risks caused by shrinking reserves, according to a report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General, Reuters reported March 18. The government-sponsored enterprises received a $187 billion taxpayer bailout in 2008.

 
Mar 25, 2015 12:30 PM

AQB Adopts New State Background Check Requirements

The Appraiser Qualifications Board on March 20 adopted significant changes to the background check requirements of the Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria. The new requirements are modifications to original background check requirements adopted by the AQB in December 2011, which never took effect. The new requirements will take effect Jan. 1, 2017.

 
Mar 25, 2015 12:30 PM

Fed Prepares for Rate Increase, Downgrades Outlook

The Federal Reserve, citing its confidence in the U.S. economy, set the stage March 18 for its first rate hike since 2006 — at the same time it slightly downgraded its economic outlook, USA Today reported. The Fed said growth “had moderated somewhat” due to several factors, including a sluggish housing market.

 
Mar 24, 2015 08:00 AM

Appraisal Institute Heads to Dallas for 2015 Annual Meeting

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, announced today that its 2015 Annual Meeting will take place July 27-29 in Dallas. Registration is now open.

 
Mar 18, 2015 12:30 PM

Report: Appraisers, Homeowners Differ on Opinions of Value

Appraisers’ opinions of home values dropped below homeowner estimates in February, the first time in 18 months that appraised value was not higher than homeowner opinion, according to the Home Price Perception Index released March 10 by mortgage lender Quicken Loans.

 
Mar 18, 2015 12:30 PM

Arizona Passes Law Eliminating Appraisal Board

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on March 12 signed into law SB 1480, legislation that eliminates the Arizona Board of Appraisal effective July 1. The ABOA’s administrative functions will be reassigned to the Department of Financial Institutions. Arizona joins a handful of states that don’t have an appraiser board or commission.

 
Mar 18, 2015 12:30 PM

Cleveland Fed: Rate Hike Needed ‘Soon’

Cleveland Federal Reserve President Loretta Meister told an association of business economists on March 9 that improved economic conditions indicate that the Fed should increase rates “soon,” Reuters reported. Mester said that while inflation remains weak, she is “reasonably confident” that prices will rise by the end of 2016.

 

AI Report Analyzes State Rules on Appraiser Background Checks

The Appraisal Institute announced March 11 that it has analyzed and compiled all state licensing and certification statutes and regulations pertaining to background checks for applicants seeking appraiser credentials and published them in the special report “State Requirements Regarding Background Checks for Real Estate Appraisers.”

 
Mar 11, 2015 12:30 PM

Beige Book: Residential, Commercial Markets Continue to Improve

The Federal Reserve Beige Book released March 4 showed continued improvements at a modest-to-moderate pace in most markets, with home sales and prices increasing in most districts. Commercial real estate also showed positive growth, with vacancy declining in some districts and construction increasing in others.

 
Mar 11, 2015 12:30 PM

Washington Strips Power from New York Fed

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has been stripped of its power in a behind-the-scenes reorganization at the nation’s central bank, The Wall Street Journal reported March 4.

 
Mar 10, 2015 08:00 AM

Minor Home Improvements Offer Best Return, Appraisal Institute Says

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today advised homeowners to choose upgrades instead of major remodeling projects to see the greatest potential return on investment.

 
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 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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