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'iBuyer' Service Alters Selling Process, Cuts Some Requirements

By Andrea Riquier

Discount real-estate brokerage Redfin will partner with Opendoor, one of the leading home-buying services, allowing homeowners to get an instant offer when they want to sell with Redfin RDFN, -0.75%  , the firms announced Thursday.

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Federal Agencies Exempt Community Banks From Volcker Rule

Five federal financial regulatory agencies announced on Tuesday that they adopted a final rule to exclude community banks from the Volcker Rule, consistent with the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.

The Volcker Rule generally restricts banking entities from engaging in proprietary trading and from owning, sponsoring, or having certain relationships with hedge funds or private equity funds. Under the final rule, which is unchanged from the proposal, community banks with $10 billion or less in total consolidated assets and total trading assets and liabilities of 5 percent or less of total consolidated assets are excluded from the Volcker Rule.

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ASC OKs North Dakota Request for Temporary Appraisal Waiver

The Appraisal Subcommittee on July 9 granted a request from North Dakota for a temporary waiver from appraisal licensing requirements after state officials claimed a scarcity of appraisers. The ASC granted the one-year waiver from licensing requirements by a 5-2 vote; an additional year is possible if state officials again seek a waiver based on the scarcity argument.

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council still needs to approve the decision, which is expected to happen at its meeting later this month. It’s important to note that the temporary waiver is not a waiver from appraisals, but from appraisal licensing requirements. All appraisals still need to comply with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.

The waiver will cover both residential and commercial appraisals; however, the residential waiver could be sunset 60 days after banking regulators raise the appraisal threshold, if they choose to do so. A decision by the regulators on the threshold could come as soon as this month.

During the ASC’s special meeting, North Dakota Appraisal Board Chair Corey Kost, MAI, argued against granting the temporary waiver, citing no evidence of a scarcity of appraisers. He also argued that Congress has already addressed this issue with the rural appraisal waiver granted in the regulatory relief bill signed by President Trump last year.

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58 Members Received Designations from the Appraisal Institute in June

The Appraisal Institute designated 58 members in June, including; 1 who received MAI AND SRA designations; and 40 who received MAI designations; 3 who received SRA designations; 12 who received AI-GRS designations; 2 who received AI-RRS designations.

View the list.

The Latest Issue of Valuation Magazine is Now Available

Read the latest issue of Valuation magazine. 
The nation's hospitality sector has enjoyed a decade-long hot streak, with transaction volume expected to total $36.5 billion this year and some 5,530 new rooms under construction. Will the good times last? That's the question appraisers say needs serious consideration, with most believing there may be room for correction.
 
The new federal opportunity zones program encourages private investors to fund projects in underserved geographic areas — an idea promising to benefit neighborhoods in need and investors who capitalize the ventures. Importantly, it also has the potential to create numerous opportunities for appraisers.
 
When valuing a property, it's not uncommon for appraisers to state that the property's highest and best use is different from its current use. But what happens in situations involving conflicting highest and best use analyses? Read what the courts have said about these complex concerns.

Read the latest issue of Valuation magazine

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Jacksonville, North Carolina, Named Most Affordable Market for Beach Homes: Report

For many Americans, the ultimate summertime fantasy has less to do with washboard abs and a killer tan than owning their own piece of beachfront real estate — aka bliss. From Memorial Day through Labor Day (and beyond), beach lovers across the U.S. find themselves dreaming of escaping the hellish deadlines, soul-sucking commutes, and humdrum daily grind — and trading it all in for salty ocean breezes, caipirinhas on the sand, and fresh lobster rolls from a seafood joint around the corner.

Now just imagine doing it from your very own place.

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Economic Growth to Slow, Housing to Improve: Fannie Mae

By Matthew Classick

The Fannie Mae Economic and Strategic Research (ESR) Group downgraded its projections for full-year 2019 and 2020 U.S. economic growth to 2.1 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively, due to expected weakness in business fixed investment and softening global economic conditions. The ESR Group had previously forecast growth of 2.3 percent in 2019 and 1.8 percent in 2020. The ESR Group now projects that the Federal Reserve will cut the federal funds rate by 25 basis points at the September meeting of its Federal Open Market Committee to fend off greater deceleration in domestic growth.

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Appraisal Institute Urges Congress to Address Valuation Issues

The president of the Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, encouraged Congress to act on valuation topics during today’s hearing on Capitol Hill.

Stephen S. Wagner, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, told the House Financial Services Committee’s Housing, Community Development and Insurance Subcommittee that the Appraisal Institute supports passage of H.R. 2852, which would allow licensed appraisers to perform appraisals for Federal Housing Administration loans.

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Appraisal Institute Leaders Address Timely Topics at Major Industry Events in June

The Appraisal Institute announced June 26 that its elected officers and others represented the organization at major industry events during the past month.

President Stephen S. Wagner, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS; Vice President Rodman Schley, MAI, SRA; Immediate Past President James L. Murrett, MAI, SRA; and CEO Jim Amorin, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, attended the Appraisal Institute of Canada Annual Conference, June 5-8, in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Wagner and Amorin also attended the Institute for Professionals in Taxation Annual Conference, June 23-26, in San Antonio.

President-Elect Jefferson L. Sherman, MAI, AI-GRS, represented AI at the International Right of Way Association Education Conference, June 9-12, in Portland, Oregon, where he sat on the panel for “Corridor Valuation: An Overview and New Alternatives.” AI also exhibited at the event.

AI’s 2016 President, Scott Robinson, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, AI-RRS, participated in the International Valuation Standards Council/World Association of Valuation Organizations Global Valuation Conference, June 13-14, in Frankfurt, Germany, where he presented on “Impact and Opportunity of Technology-Based Valuation.” AI’s 2010 President, Leslie P. Sellers, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, represented the Appraisal Institute at a June 18 meeting of the International Valuation Standards Council’s Advisory Forum Working Group in London, England.

Appraisal Institute Seeks Candidates for SPC Chair; Materials Deadline is Tomorrow (7/10)

The Appraisal Institute Board of Directors will elect at its July 25-26 meeting in Denver a chair of the Strategic Planning Committee to serve a two-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2020. 
 
AI professionals interested in the position should submit a statement of qualifications to Joan Barngrover at [email protected] and complete the Leadership Resources Registry at www.myappraisalinstitute.org/myappraisalinstitute/my_lrr.aspx. The deadline for submitting materials for consideration is July 10. 

Housing Market on the Move as 1 in 5 Americans to Relocate within a Year, Fed Says

By Kathleen Howley

About 19% of American households surveyed in May expected to move in the next 12 months, according to the Survey of Consumer Expectations report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York published Monday. That was the highest May reading in two years.

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Properties Located in Opportunity Zones Show Sales Growth: Real Capital Analytics

By Erika Morphy

The general consensus about Opportunity Zones has been that while interest in these areas is intense, there has been little activity. Most of the capital poised to invest in Opportunity Zones, so the theory goes, is waiting on the sidelines until the Treasury Department clarifies more regulations. Indeed, a recent report by Reonomy found that investment levels and prices in Opportunity Zones are actually declining, as investors wait for more clarity.

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FHFA Director to Congress: End Fannie, Freddie Conservatorship

By Austin Weinstein

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s chief regulator is calling on Congress to pass housing-finance reform legislation that sets a path to return the companies to private hands.

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Appraisal Institute Urges Congress to Address Valuation Issues

The president of the Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, encouraged Congress to act on valuation topics during yesterday’s hearing on Capitol Hill.

Stephen S. Wagner, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, told the House Financial Services Committee’s Housing, Community Development and Insurance Subcommittee that the Appraisal Institute supports passage of H.R. 2852, which would allow licensed appraisers to perform appraisals for Federal Housing Administration loans.

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New AI video: Benefits of Being an Appraiser

Local Governments Have Worst Homebuilding Regulations: FHFA

By Ben Lane

Despite rising in April, new housing construction had previously been trending down for several months. In fact, just one month earlier, housing starts fell to the lowest pace in nearly two years.

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Office Vacancy Steady in April, Rents Up Slightly: Yardi Matrix

By Michael Tucker

Despite steadily growing new office supply, robust absorption held the sector's vacancy rate steady at 13.7 percent in April, said Yardi Matrix, Santa Barbara, Calif.

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Last Chance to Support NCAI Members for NCAB

We have the opportunity to support three of our chapter members as they seek a position on the North Carolina Appraisal Board. There is no group more qualified to represent appraisers on the appraisal board than members from the North Carolina Chapter of the Appraisal Institute. Our organization has historically had members on the board. Please join in the effort to promote our organization on this vital regulatory board by supporting our members who have volunteered to be nominated to the board; Lynn Carmichael, MAI from the Asheville Area; Claire Aufrance, MAI, SRA from the Greensboro Area; and Joel Tate, SRA from the Raleigh/Wake Forest area. 

To support the chapter please click the button below to send the governor a supportive recommendation for these members.

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Fannie, Freddie Launch Uniform Mortgage-backed Security

Last Monday, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac marked the completion of their Single-Security Initiative with the launch of the Uniform Mortgage-Backed Security (UMBS).

“UMBS is the result of close collaboration with FHFA, Freddie Mac, Common Securitization Solutions, and hundreds of housing finance stakeholders and we congratulate all involved on this achievement,” said Renee Schultz, SVP, Capital Markets, Fannie Mae in a statement. “We remain focused on ensuring that all market participants continue to make a smooth transition to UMBS and maintaining a highly liquid housing finance market.”

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30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Rate Nears Two-Year Low

Freddie Mac(OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate fell to 3.82 percent, the sixth consecutive weekly decline and its lowest level since September 2017.

Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, says, “While the drop in mortgage rates is a good opportunity for consumers to save on their mortgage payment, our research indicates that there can be a wide dispersion among mortgage rate offers. By shopping around and getting a single additional mortgage rate quote, a borrower can save an average of $1,500.”

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