Category: News

Texas home sales and prices up about 7%


gallery_03REAL ESTATE CENTER:  Latest Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data show Texas home sales had a 7% year-over-year increase last month while the median price was up 7.4%.
According to August 2015 Texas MLS data, 29,685 homes were sold last month, almost 1,900 more than a year ago but about 1,500 fewer than in July.
The median price was $203,300 compared with $189,300 a year ago and $204,700 in July.

Study Finds: First-time Homebuyers are Not Riskier

First-Time Buyers are Younger, Less Sophisticated, Poorer – but Not Riskier

Mortgage News Daily, July 10, 2015

by:  Jann Swanson

A working paper just released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) attempts to determine the reasons why mortgages given to first-time homebuyers perform more poorly than those given to repeat buyers.  The Marginal Effect of First-Time Homebuyer Status on Mortgage Default and Prepayment was written by Saty Patrabansh of FHFA’s Office of Policy Analysis and Research.

Given that homeownership is generally considered a societal benefit and that many government policies focus on incentivizing first-time buyers the author says it is important to understand whether first-time buyers as a group are likely to default at higher rates than repeat buyers both in order to anticipate that an increase in the rate of first-time homeownership could lead to increased foreclosures and negatively affect communities and because, if they do not default at higher rates it is important they not be treated as more risky buyers.

Read entire article Here.

A Computer Can’t Look at a House and Tell if 35 Cats Lived in it

Valuation Review

Appraiser News, May 18, 2015

Experts from across the mortgage industry got together at the Realtors Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo held May 10-16 in Washington D.C. to discuss the state of the appraisal industry and technology’s role in the future of the profession.

The forum touched on a number of issues, including AVMs and smart technology, but clarification on Fannie Mae’s Collateral Underwriter (CU) unsurprisingly was front and center, Realtor Magazine reported.

Fannie Mae’s risk assessment tool has generated a substantial amount of controversy from those who feel it leads to more scope creep from lenders and additional work for the appraiser, but Bob Murphy, Fannie Mae’s director of property valuation and eligibility, contends that CU is merely a guide for lenders, not something that offers the final verdict.

“Collateral Underwriter is not a decision engine,” Murphy said, noting that CU’s risk scores ranging on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being the reports that appear most at-risk) aren’t the ultimate determiner of an appraisal’s soundness. “Just because a property gets a 5 doesn’t necessarily mean there’s something wrong with it.”

Quicken Loans Vice President of Operations Mike Lyon agreed, stating that CU hasn’t been the wrench in the gears of the mortgage process that many feared it would be.

“Collateral Underwriter has not slowed our process down at all,” Lyons said. He acknowledged that although higher scores sometimes necessitate added oversight, CU has the propensity to help lenders streamline their appraisal processes. “It’s going to allow us to do our reviews in a more efficient manner.”

The panel also addressed the changing nature of AVMs. Tom Hosack, broker of Pennsylvania-based Northwood Realty Services, predicted that AVMs will continue to become more advanced as Big Data gets more comprehensive.

“You will see them get more accurate. They are constantly working toward that,” Hosack said. “The challenge with Zillow is that they can’t monetize accuracy. … Their profit center is not based on accuracy.”

The caveat with AVMs, the panel noted, is that they never will be able to replace the insight offered by appraisers working in the field, which provides an opportunity for appraisers to showcase their worth.

“I haven’t seen an AVM that doesn’t have qualifiers on it,” MLSListings Inc. President and CEO James Harrison said. “Your clients are coming to you and they’ve already done the research. … It’s a good opportunity to sit down and explain to them your value.”

“In almost every market there’re outliers,” Hosack said. “A computer can’t look at a house and tell if 35 cats lived in it.”

The panel articulated the enduring importance of appraisers amid continuing technological advancements, but also advised valuation professionals to embrace technology themselves.

“[Appraisers] absolutely have to have a tablet and a smartphone or you’re at a huge disadvantage,” Harrison said. “As you’re interacting in real time with your clients, you need to have the apps lined up to bring them the information you need.”


In 5 Years the Banking Industry will not have Many Appraisers Left to do their Mortgages

Appraiser Shortage Could Gum Up the Works at Mortgage Lenders

American Banker, May 20, 2015

Mortgage lenders are facing a potential threat to their business that has nothing to do with new regulations or the uneven economic recovery: a persistent shortage of home appraisers.

Since the height of the housing boom in 2007, the number of individuals certified or licensed to do home appraisals has declined by 23,000, or 28%, according to the Appraisal Institute.

It’s not a crisis — at least not yet — but with older appraisers retiring and fewer and fewer college graduates entering the profession, some industry observers say that, in five to 10 years, there won’t be enough appraisers to handle the volume of home sales. For lenders, that could mean higher appraisal fees and long delays in closing loans — at a time when technology could be speeding up the process.

“In five years the banking industry will not have many appraisers left to do their mortgages,” said Rick Hiton, the owner of the Chicago appraisal firm Rick Hiton & Associates.

See entire article here

North Texas median home prices soar above $200,000.

In my 32 years in real estate, I have never seen a “seller’s market” like the one today in North Texas. The North Texas economy and corporate relocations are driving this market to prices we have never seen before. REALTORS are seeing multiple offers over list price in many segments of the market. Great for sellers, but a true nightmare for buyers and appraisers.

See the Dallas Morning News Real Estate Editor, Steve Brown’s article for more details.
NT Home Prices 4-2015


RAC Members Recognized by Worldwide ERC

RAC members Tom Allen, SCRP, and Craig Gilbert, CRP, SRA, have been recognized by Worldwide ERC and will be honored at the National Relocation Conference this week in Las Vegas.

Tom Allen, SCRP, has earned WERC’s 2015 Distinguished Service Award.  By earning this award he also achieves Senior Certified Relocation Professional status, and joins only 170 Worldwide ERC members who hold this designation.

Tom has been a member of RAC since 1995, and is RAC’s treasurer.  He started his real estate appraisal and consulting firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1971.

Craig Gilbert, CRP, SRA, has been awarded Worldwide ERC’s 2015 Meritorious Service Award.  Craig was previously awarded the President’s award for development of the 2010 WERC relocation appraisal report.

Craig is one of the founding members of RAC, and serves on the board of directors.  He has been an active appraiser since 1975.  His firm is located in Huntington Beach, California.