FHFA Extends Relaxed Appraisal Standards, Spring Housing Market Expected to Remain Resilient, and More Appraisal News

House symbol sitting over a bar graph

FHFA extends relaxed lending and appraisal standards to the end of April. A record-breaking 36% of homes sold above list price in February, due to historic homebuyer competition. Housing is expected to remain resilient despite low inventory, with accelerated U.S. economic growth predicted this spring. The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan will funnel billions into the housing market. Read on for the latest in appraisal news.

FHFA extends relaxed lending and appraisal standards

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced last Thursday that relaxed lending and appraisal standards for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been extended once again, according to this HousingWire article. “The COVID-19-related flexibilities surrounding alternative verifications of employment and appraisals were originally set to expire on March 31, 2021. However, the government agency is now pushing that back to at least April 30, 2021.” Read the full story here.

Spring economic growth to support housing market

This MReport story reports that, “As the weather warms and COVID-19 vaccines roll out to more around the country, U.S. economic expansion is expected to accelerate this spring, with real GDP growth hitting 8.4% in Q2 and 6.6% for the full year before moderating in 2022, according to the latest commentary from the Fannie Mae Economic and Strategic Research (ESR) Group.” Despite the risk of rising interest rates and concerns over low housing inventory, the housing market is expected to remain resilient. Read the full article here.

For additional market report highlights, see Fannie Mae’s March 2021 Economic and Housing Outlook.

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36% of homes sold above list price in February, the highest share on record

According to yesterday’s news story from Redfin, “Historic competition for homes pushed sale prices up 14% as new listings fell 16%” year over year. The national median home-sale price rose to $336,200 in February—the largest home price jump we’ve seen since 2013. The shortage of new listings is resulting in “homebuyer competition more intense than we’ve ever seen,” Redfin reports, with 36% of homes selling above their asking price in February. Find more details and charts here.

For additional info, see Redfin’s housing market update from last Friday.

What the American Rescue Plan means for housing

This DSNews article reports that, “In addition to issuing $1400 stimulus checks to Americans,” the American Rescue Plan—the $1.9 trillion economic stimulus plan that President Biden signed last week—will also “funnel billions into the housing market to alleviate pandemic-related issues like rent nonpayment, which has had a devastating impact on some small-scale landlords.” Read more about what the new plan means for the housing market here.

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