We sat down with Ed Pinto of the American Enterprise Institute to talk about this upcoming webinar, The Devolution of Appraisal Theory and Process. This will be a three part series. We wanted to discuss it with him and find out why appraisers should attend. Find out what he had to say in this in depth interview.
Buzz: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us about your live webinar on the Devolution of Appraisal Theory and Process. Can you tell our readers a little bit about your history in the industry?
Ed: 2014 marks my 40th year in housing finance. I started with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and spent a total of five years with two different private mortgage insurers. I was with Fannie Mae for five years in the 1980s and had the position of executive vice president and chief credit officer. I then spent 20 years consulting to the industry. For the last four years, I have been a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Last December, I became the Co-Director of AEI's International Center on Housing Risk (ICHR).
Buzz: Why is this topic so important to appraisers?
Ed: Value versus price has befuddled the appraisal and mortgage industry for over 100 years. Whenever we rely on price only, catastrophe strikes. Our current regulatory policies do not address this. And, regulatory changes that have taken place have not addressed this. As was discussed at the joint AEI/CRN conference last month, investors, lenders and other participants in the mortgage risk arena are really interested in three things, all of which are calculable today.
- A robust and transparent estimate of the current concluded sales price.
- A confidence level and sales price range for the sales price Instead of the current and traditional establishment of an opinion of value at $200,000, an appraiser would give a concluded value along with a price range at a 95% confidence level.
- Example 1: a value of $200,000 with a range from $190,000 - $210,000 at a 95% confidence level
- Example 2: a value of $200,000 with a range of $180,000 - $220,000 at a 95% confidence level.
- An analysis of market conditions including historical volatility over a lengthy period of time, preferably five or six years for market conditions and 20 years for volatility instead of the standard six – twelve months. This wpuld provide the lender/investor a basis for concluding whether the price levels are abnormal or not and gauge inherent volatility risk.
The current sales price and market conditions over a period of time are the same things discussed by Richard Hurd back in 1903, Frederick Babcock in 1938 and interestingly enough, discussed in Germany back in 1767: one must look at not just the current value, not just the replacement cost, but also an evaluation based on net income over a period of three to five years. Measuring value versus price has been the challenge for 110 years. What we do know is that each time we abandon value in favor of solely price, something bad happens. The appraisal and lending industry has to address and solve this problem. This series of webinars will help participants understand and better address these issues moving forward.
Buzz: What types of things will appraisers learn from you during this webinar that will assist them with their appraisal work?
Ed: A Historical perspective. You have to know where we came from in order to understand how far we have deviated from original theories and concepts. With this background, we can analyze historically what works and what changes should be implemented to get us to a stable mortgage industry.
Buzz: Have you seen any movement in the industry that seems to be going in this direction?
Ed: We discussed that at the AEI/CRN Conference in September. If this is going to be done, it has to be done by the lending industry, by service providers and the appraisal industry collectively. You can't rely on Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae or the regulators to solve this. The industry has to solve the problem itself. The regulators don't understand it; Fannie and Freddie don't necessarily have an interest in solving it given that they are wed to their forms. There is general agreement that the current “three comps on the grid” doesn't provide a broad enough look at what is needed to understand the value of a property versus its sales price.
Buzz: What do you see as the next step?
Ed: This webinar series is designed to set people up for working on the solution. Steve Oliner, a Resident Scholar at AEI and Co-director of AEI’s International Center on Housing Risk, along with Morris Davis, Professor of Finance at the Rutgers University and I are working on a lengthy article discussing some steps for improving the home mortgage appraisal process. We'll be incorporating some of the things that came out of the AEI/CRN Meeting in September. This document lays the groundwork for a discussion on and solution for improving the valuation process.
Buzz: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us and we can't wait to watch the live webinar, Wednesday, October 15th at 2PM EST.
Those who would like to register for this webinar should CLICK HERE.
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