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Inflation Slows but Fed Says Future Rate Hikes Possible

Originally published on November 22, 2023, by Erik Sherman for

In the minutes of the last Federal Open Market Committee’s meeting, held from October 31 to November 1, the overall take was, “Financial conditions continued to tighten, driven by higher yields on Treasury securities as well as by lower equity prices and a stronger dollar, which themselves partly reflected higher interest rates.”

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ASC Holds Third Hearing on Appraiser Bias

Originally published on November 1, 2023, by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council’s Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC).

On Wednesday, November 1, 2023, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council’s Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC)  held its third public hearing on appraisal bias to discuss how a residential appraisal is developed and reviewed, the process for reconsiderations of value for residential real estate valuations, and the development of rural appraisals.

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White House Announces Actions Backing CRE Conversions

Originally published on October 27, 2023, by The White House. 

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing new actions to support the conversion of high-vacancy commercial buildings to residential use, including through new financing, technical assistance, and sale of federal properties. These announcements will create much-needed housing that is affordable, energy efficient, near transit and good jobs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, nearly 30 percent of which comes from the building sector.

Office and commercial vacancies across the country are affecting urban downtowns and rural main streets. A new blog released today by the Council of Economic Advisers finds that office vacancies have reached a 30-year high from coast-to-coast, placing a strain on commercial real estate and local economies. At the same time, the country has struggled for decades with a shortage of affordable housing units, which is driving up rental costs, and communities are seeking new ways to cut emissions, especially from existing buildings and transportation.

The actions announced today build upon the initiatives in the White House Housing Supply Action Plan, which is lowering housing costs, boosting housing supply, and promoting fair housing, and the Administration’s actions to lower energy costs and tackle the climate crisis. Lowering costs, increasing access to good jobs, and building the clean energy economy are key tenants of Bidenomics — the President’s agenda to grow the economy from the middle out and the bottom up. 

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White House Designates 31 Emerging Tech Hubs Hoping to Create Next Silicon Valley

Originally published on October 23, 2023, by the White House.

Today, President Biden and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo will announce the designation of 31 communities across the country as Regional Innovation and Technology Hubs (Tech Hubs) through the Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration. These Tech Hubs will catalyze investment in technologies critical to economic growth, national security, and job creation, and will help communities across the country become centers of innovation critical to American competitiveness. The Tech Hubs program was authorized by the CHIPS and Science Act – signed by President Biden in August 2022 – and is part of the President’s Bidenomics agenda to grow the economy from the middle out and bottom up.

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FHFA Fails to Fully Review Desktop Appraisal Reports: OIG

Originally published on October 25, 2023, by the Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has failed to adequately document desktop appraisal reports, and the lack of oversight can make it difficult to determine the effectiveness of the program and hinders the ability to detect trends or problems with the appraisals, the Office of Inspector General reported Oct. 25 in an audit of the FHFA's supervision of Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's use of desktop appraisals.

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AI PAREA Receives Certified Residential Path Approval

Originally published on October 17, 2023 by Craig Steinley, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, AI-RRS for the Appraisal Institute. 

The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s leading professional association of real estate appraisers, announced that the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) has approved the certified residential real property credential (CR) path for the Appraisal Institute Practical Applications of Real Estate Appraisal (AI PAREA) program.
This follows the May approval and September public release of the AI PAREA licensed residential (LR) path, an online, simulated appraisal experience program that is an alternative pathway for aspiring appraisers to gain the required experience to become a licensed or certified appraiser. Historically, the primary option for an appraiser to complete experience hours was through a supervisor/trainee model that required the aspiring appraiser to find a supervisory appraiser.
“We are proud to be the first-to-market with this innovative program,” said Appraisal Institute Board President Craig Steinley*. “Following significant initial interest in our licensed residential path, we are determined to continue opening more virtual doors to new communities of aspiring appraisers.”

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Another Rate Hike Expected by Federal Reserve Officials, According to Fed Minutes

Originally published on October 11, 2023, by Bryan Mena for

Most Federal Reserve officials said last month that they expect one more rate hike, according to minutes from their September policy meeting released Wednesday. Some officials said that how fast inflation cools in the coming months will determine how long rates remain elevated.

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FHFA to Focus on Appraisal Modernization in 2024: OIG Report

Originally published on October 9, 2023, by Tony Cantu for

The inspector general’s office of the Federal Housing Finance Agency has released its report on management and performance challenges for the upcoming year, key among them the continued conservatorship of the GSEs – both of which have a combined adjusted total risk-based capital shortfall of more than $400 billion, according to the document.

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FHFA Reports Fewer Home Appraisals on Annual Basis

Originally published on October 5, 2023 by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

While the number of U.S. home appraisals and median appraised values declined year-over-year between the second quarters of 2022 and 2023, both indicators increased between the first and second quarters of 2023.​

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Fannie Offers Guidance on Appraisals for 3D-printed Homes

Originally published on September 6, 2023, by Fannie Mae. 

Are unique or nontraditional homes eligible for delivery?

Unique Housing Types

In the appraisal and appraisal report review processes, special consideration must be given to properties that represent unique housing for the subject neighborhood. Mortgages secured by unique or nontraditional types of housing, including, but not limited to, earth houses, geodesic domes, and log houses are eligible for sale to Fannie Mae provided the appraiser has adequate information to develop a reliable opinion of market value. It is not necessary for one or more of the comparable sales to be of the same design and appeal as the property that is being appraised, although appraisal accuracy is enhanced by using comparable sales that are the most similar to the subject property. On a case-by-case basis, both the appraiser and the underwriter must independently determine whether there is sufficient information available to develop a reliable opinion of market value. This will depend on the extent of the differences between the special or unique property and the more traditional types of houses in the neighborhood and the number of such properties that have already been sold in the neighborhood.

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SEC Adopts Fund Adviser Rules, Requires Valuation Opinion

Originally published on August 23, 2023 by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Securities and Exchange Commission today adopted new rules and rule amendments to enhance the regulation of private fund advisers and update the existing compliance rule that applies to all investment advisers. The new rules and amendments are designed to protect private fund investors by increasing transparency, competition, and efficiency in the private funds market.

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Revised Waters of the US Rule Affects Property Rights, Appraisals

Originally published on August 29, 2023, by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

On August 29, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of the Army (the agencies) issued a final rule to amend the final “Revised Definition of ‘Waters of the United States’” rule, published in the Federal Register on January 18, 2023. This final rule conforms the definition of “waters of the United States” to the U.S. Supreme Court’s May 25, 2023, decision in the case of Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency. Parts of the January 2023 Rule are invalid under the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Clean Water Act in the Sackett decision. Therefore, the agencies have amended key aspects of the regulatory text to conform it to the Court’s decision. Read more about the conforming rule.

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Banks Plan to Further Tighten CRE Loan Standards: Survey

Originally published in July 2023 by the Federal Reserve.

The July 2023 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices

The July 2023 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices (SLOOS) addressed changes in the standards and terms on, and demand for, bank loans to businesses and households over the past three months, which generally correspond to the second quarter of 2023.1

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White House Launches HUD Program to Lower Housing Costs, Increase Supply

Originally published on July 27, 2023 by the White House.

resident Biden’s economic vision is about building an economy from the middle out and bottom-up, not the top down— that’s Bidenomics. A critical foundation of that vision, and the central goal of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Housing Supply Action Plan, is an economy where everyone has access to a safe and affordable home. That vision means lowering costs, including by building and preserving more housing, particularly for lower- and middle-income households. Today’s announcements will lower housing costs by tackling challenges that have stifled affordable housing for decades, as well as seizing immediate opportunities:

  • Reducing barriers to building housing like restrictive and costly land use and zoning rules;
  • Expanding financing for affordable, energy-efficient and resilient housing; and
  • Promoting commercial-to-residential conversion opportunities, particularly for affordable and zero-emissions housing.
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Fed Raises Interest Rates to Highest Level Since 2001, More Increases Possible

Originally published on July 26, 2023 by Jeff Cox for

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday approved a much-anticipated interest rate hike that takes benchmark borrowing costs to their highest level in more than 22 years.

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Fed Beige Book Reveals Elevated Home Purchase Demand Stymied by Lack of Inventory

Originally published on July 12, 2023, by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

Demand for residential real estate remains high, but low inventories of available properties continue to dampen sales, according to the latest Beige Book released by the Federal Reserve on July 12. Construction of both residential and commercial buildings declined during the same timeframe.

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Agencies Update Policies on CRE Loan Accommodations

Originally published on June 29, 2023, by the Federal Reserve.

Federal financial institution regulatory agencies today jointly issued a final policy statement on commercial real estate loan accommodations and workouts. The updates reinforce and build on existing supervisory guidance calling for financial institutions to work prudently and constructively with creditworthy borrowers during times of financial stress.

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NC Meets DC

In May, members Richard Early, Mike Elwell, Peter Hitchens, and Greyson Morgan attended AI’s 2023 Leadership Development and Advisory Council conference in Washington, DC. LDAC is an annual conference that brings together a group of dedicated appraisers who come together to formulate solutions to problems and challenges faced by the appraisal profession. As part of the conference, NC members met with lawmakers to discuss current and upcoming legislation topics that impact the North Carolina appraisal industry. 

Rep. Waters Reintroduces Bills to Address Homeownership Gap, Affordable Housing

Originally published on June 21, 223 by the Novogradac.

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California, and several members of the House of Representatives today reintroduced three bills that target the affordable housing crisis, homelessness and the racial wealth and homeownership gaps in the nation. Similar versions were all introduced in 2021. The Housing Crisis Response Act of 2023 would expand U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rental assistance, invest in public housing and more to provide more than $150 billion in affordable housing investments, creating 1.4 million affordable, accessible homes, helping 300,000 households afford their rent and make a national investment in homeownership for first-generation, first-time homebuyers.

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Agencies Want to Update Reconsideration of Value Process

Originally published on June 8, 2023, by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Five federal regulatory agencies today requested public comment on proposed guidance addressing reconsiderations of value (ROV) for residential real estate transactions. The proposed guidance advises on policies that financial institutions may implement to allow consumers to provide financial institutions with information that may not have been considered during an appraisal or if deficiencies are identified in the original appraisal. ROVs are requests from a financial institution to an appraiser or other preparer of a valuation report to reassess the value of residential real estate. An ROV may be warranted if a consumer provides information to a financial institution about potential deficiencies or other information that may affect the estimated value.

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