COVID-19 Appraisal Update: Do You Need to Update Your Market Template?

Breaking News for Appraising During COVID-19!
The latest news on appraising during COVID-19

Trying to keep up with the latest appraisal guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic? Staying current with the latest news is a full-time job in and of itself! We’re here to help! As the fallout from the pandemic impacts the real estate appraisal world, Jared Preisler, chief appraiser at DataMaster, CE instructor, and busy practicing appraiser has stayed apprised of the latest appraisal news. Here he shares some well-researched insights and helpful resources with you, his fellow appraisers.

“This morning, I felt the need to update my Market template. I have been adding some commentary about COVID-19, but I thought it best to revisit all of my statements and see if they were still relevant.

It seems like every other day, there is a new webinar updating or explaining the COVID-19 appraisal process. I have participated in many of the webinars, but not all.

Fannie “Mae” and Freddie “Mac” expect appraisal reports to clearly and accurately report the current market and the anticipated impact on the subjects’ specific market in the near future. I see more active inventory, more canceled contracts, more withdrawn listings, and more price reductions in most of the markets I work – all indications of a softening market. As I talk to homeowners, there is less confidence in the future. I have not seen the typical spring “bump” we usually get. So how do I separate these impressions and anecdotal conversations from the facts and then report them to my clients?

I know that I am spending more time analyzing each specific market. I am trying to use and rely on the most recent sales (30-45 days) and sticking to my opinions when challenged. So, how will COVID-19 impact the housing market?

Here are some published insights by Jim Wood that I found valuable:

The global spread of COVID-19 has pushed mortgage rates to the lowest level on record-3% or less. Through refinancing or home purchase, these low rates offer an unprecedented opportunity for homeowners and homebuyers to capture sizable long-term savings on their housing costs. The best strategy for current owners is to refinance with a 15-year low-interest rate mortgage. In this case, the mortgage term decreases while taking advantage of exceptionally low rates. The economic uncertainty will very likely dampen housing price increases in the short-term. Slow price increases combined with the record low-interest rates enhance the economic environment and potential savings for the home buyer. Low mortgage rates will cushion the home building industry from the worst impacts of the global spread of COVID-19

‘Potential Housing Impacts’ by Jim Wood, Ivory-Boyer Senior Fellow

Here is a report from the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah that gives U.S. economic indicators for the week ending April 26, 2020.

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Also, a great web page to bookmark for the latest economic, demographic, and public policy info is This web page shows the economic impact and not the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Another relevant report is the Coronavirus Economic Commentary by Natalie Gochnour, Associate Dean and Director at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah.

This information is for the Utah market, but I am sure that you have similar resources in your geographic area. Feel free to share in the comments section!

Be safe and wash your hands…and don’t touch your face.”

We hope that you find this information informative and helpful!

Happy appraising!

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