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Appraiser License Renewals Trend With Mortgage Rates

As mortgage rates trend up in Colorado, the number of appraisers who choose not to renew their licenses is increasing [RISMedia]. [1] As mortgage rates trended down over the past several years, the number of refinance applications increased, drawing in new appraisers. It follows that when rates rise, appraisers leave the business. This is fairly representative of the remainder of the country.

A common mix of business for a typical appraiser has been 70% refinance and 30% purchases over the past several years, especially those who specialize in work with mortgage brokers. Historically, the home purchase index has not been as volatile as refinance.

As mortgage rates trend up (assuming this will continue) then the amount of refinance business available usually contracts proportionally. Two things will happen:

Historically, this is not a unique phenomenon. What makes this pattern troublesome is the number of appraisers that have succumbed to lending pressure has surged as the business has changed. More focus on turn times and overstating values has made the remaining appraisers particularly vulnerable to being even more morally flexible.

A telling quote from the article:

The pressure to appraise in Colorado is terrible,” Shannon said. “I don’t think the normal person is threatened with losing work if they don’t do something unethical.”