Home value estimates continue to stick close to appraisals

The average homeowner's estimate of their property's value continued to fall short of the appraised value in August, according to the retail mortgage lender Quicken Loans. However, this variance continued to stick within the range where it would not cause problems or delays with a mortgage application.

The typical home appraisal during the month was 0.64 percent lower than a homeowner's expectation. This was up slightly from a 0.63 percent gap in July and a 0.28 percent one in August 2018.

"Homeowner perceptions have remained in a relatively tight band, with less than a percent gap between expectations and actual appraisal values, for the last two years. This is a good sign that homeowners have kept their finger on the pulse of their local housing market as home values continued to rise," said Bill Banfield, executive vice president of capital markets at Quicken Loans. "This is a great news for those who haven't already tapped their growing home equity. Based on the report, they are likely to have a good estimate of their home's value and, as a result, have a smooth process when it comes time for the appraisal in the mortgage process."

Average price perceptions showed little change between regions. The typical appraised value was 0.67 percent less than expected in the South, 0.66 percent lower in the Northeast, 0.6 percent lower in the West, and 0.59 percent lower in the Midwest.

Quicken Loans also looks at price perceptions in 27 major metropolitan areas. The typical appraisal was within 1 percent of a homeowner's expectation in 19 of these cities. Appraisals were higher than anticipated in 16 metro areas and lower than expected in 11.

Homeowners in Boston were most likely to underestimate their home's value, with the average appraisal coming in 2.05 percent greater than expected. Appraisals were typically 1.8 percent higher than expected in Charlotte, N.C. and 1.35 percent higher in Minneapolis. Conversely, they were 1.77 percent less than the average homeowner's estimate in Chicago, 1.5 percent lower in Cleveland, and 1.42 percent lower in Philadelphia.

Quicken Loans also issues monthly updates to its Home Value Index, where a figure of 100 is equal to typical home values in January 2005. In August, the national index stood at 115.1 – up 0.95 percent from the previous month and 4.64 percent from the previous year.

The index in the Northeast was down 0.36 percent from July, but rose 4.32 percent from August 2018 to 105.87. The Midwest had the strongest annual growth at 5.44 percent, with its index rising 0.07 percent from July to 95.02.

In the South, the index of 115.78 was up 1.09 percent from July and 4.03 percent from August 2018. The figure in the West increased 0.35 percent from the previous month and 1.93 percent from the previous year to 139.66.

Quicken Loans' Home Price Perception Index is based on a national database of refinance mortgage applications, where a homeowner estimates how much their property is worth and an appraiser assigns their own value later in the process. The Home Value Index is based on a database of both purchase and refinance mortgages.


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