Director's Message


WRE Issues

Lending Crisis: A Bright Side?

My message this issue is short and sweet this issue of Working RE; I’ll simply refer you to the cover story: Appraisers Fighting Back! It details the efforts of a handful of individuals who are making a difference to improve the industry.

Many issues are coalescing and building upon one another: Tim Vining’s copyright fight; the challenge to data mining, and most of all, the record number of loan defaults and the new lending landscape.

How will regulators react to the still deflating real estate market and rampant mortgage fraud, with respect to appraiser independence, mortgage broker regulation, AVM use and closer scrutiny of appraisers?

How will lenders react with Wall Street breathing down their necks: will they begin choosing the best appraiser rather than the fastest or most compliant? Will they be more willing to pay full fees for a more reliable and complete appraisal?

If appraisals are copyrightable, that puts data mining without permission in a whole new light. If appraiser’s data can’t be used without permission (or compensation), what will the impact be on the current price advantage of AVMs over appraiser-assisted products?

I hope you agree that change can and does happen. I remember my early 20s, looking around the world and thinking that the Iron Curtain was a sad but immutable fact of my lifetime. Look how wrong you can be and look how quickly things can change. Anything is possible– at least until the next cycle.

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