Quicken: Owner, Appraiser Opinions of Home Values Inch Closer To Equilibrium

Quicken Loans, Detroit, said home value opinions from appraisers and owners moved closer together in February, after taking a step back in January.

The National Quicken Loans Home Price Perception Index showed appraisal values in February were an average of 0.53 percent below homeowner estimates, marking the fifth consecutive month the gap between the two values has been less than 1 percent.

Quicken said home appraisal values were nearly flat in February, posting a 0.07 percent dip from January, according the company’s Home Value Index. Appraisal values jumped 6.37 percent compared to a year ago, which is a smaller annual increase than in January, when values were 7.03 percent higher than the previous year.

Despite coming closer together at the national level, Quicken noted more than three quarters of metro areas measured have appraisal values that are higher than owner estimates. The leader among them is Dallas, with appraisals an average of 2.72 percent higher than expected.

“The Home Price Perception Index is a perfect example of how localized housing is across the country,” said Bill Banfield, Quicken Loans Executive Vice President of Capital Markets. “The fact that appraisals are showing home values nearly three percent higher than expected in Dallas, but the average appraisal is lower than the owner estimates by almost 2 percent in Philadelphia, illustrates this to a tee. Dallas is an incredibly hot housing market right now and appraisers are seeing just how fast home values are climbing.”

The Quicken HVI reported the West was the only region with a monthly drop in home values, showing a 1.87 percent decrease from January to February. On the other hand, the Midwest had the largest gain in year-over-year home value growth, showing a 7.23 percent jump from a year ago.

“With little movement in the HVI data from January to February, it’s clear the same narrative from the beginning of the year remains,” Banfield said. “Low home inventory continues to be a drag on the housing market. As the economy grows and more consumers are in the right place financially to purchase a home, the high demand is driving prices up. As we move into the spring selling season, all eyes will be on whether today’s strong economy can support the higher prices.”