Home Values Rise, While Inventory Falls and Appraisal Costs Skyrocket – NMP Skip to main content

Home Values Rise, While Inventory Falls and Appraisal Costs Skyrocket

Phil Hall
Oct 20, 2016
Home values in September were 5.5 percent higher since last year

Home values in September were 5.5 percent higher since last year, according to new data from Zillow. During last month, the median value of a home reached $189,400, with Portland leading the nation with a 15 percent year-over-year appreciation that resulted in a median value of $342,100.

But while values were up, inventory took a dive, with a national average of six percent fewer homes for sale from a year ago—and some markets have a more dramatic inventory deficit, most notably Indianapolis and Boston with 26 percent and 25 percent fewer homes, respectively. estimated today’s home search takes an average of 4.2 months, while only 46 percent of buyers were able to acquire the first home where they made offer.

"Increasingly strong demand has been contributing to dwindling inventory stocks across the nation," said Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell. "Healthy demand for for-sale homes amidst low inventory has been driving the market, which is another sign that the housing market is recovering nicely. Buyers in the nation's fastest moving markets can expect the search process to last a few months, as market conditions are often extremely competitive with homes selling for above asking price and receiving multiple offers. It's definitely a seller's market right now, with some homes being more expensive than ever."

Another dramatic shift in the homebuying process involves appraisal fees. New data released by the STRATMOR Group has determined that appraisal fees, on average, increased by nearly 16 percent since TRID took effect, while turn-times were up dramatically for purchase loans (a 79 percent upswing) and refinances (an 81 percent spike). However, STRATMOR Senior Partner Matt Lind was hesitant to put full blame on TRID.

“While STRATMOR’s survey data does show that, on average, post-TRID appraisal costs have risen by nearly 16 percent, we would caution that these turn-time increases may not just be a consequence of TRID,” said Lind. “Likewise for appraisal turn-times, which increased by 5.74 days for purchase loans and 6.28 days for refinances—which corresponds to increases of 79 and 81 percent, respectively, over pre-TRID turn-times. Rather, it seems likely that both of these increases are also a result of sharply increased origination volumes in [the second and third quarters of] 2016, coupled with a lack of qualified appraisers.”

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