What Types of Appraisals Are in High Demand Due to COVID-19?

Residential appraiser wearing a face mask for COVID-19 safety.

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly influenced the real estate market over the past year. Last month (March 2021) we asked appraisers across the U.S., “What type of appraisal has seen the MOST growth in demand in your local area due to COVID-19?” About two-thirds of survey respondents reported that residential appraisals have experienced the biggest pandemic-related boom. Desktop appraisals are also in higher demand, as well as a few other types of appraisals. Read the full survey results below.

What type of appraisal has seen the MOST growth in demand due to COVID-19?

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Residential appraisals (65%)

“The housing market has been booming and the demand for appraisals had been at an all-time high.”

“I receive so many requests that I could work 24 hours a day.”

“Movement on the 30-year fixed mortgage rate was relatively flat in the months preceding the pandemic, but once the pandemic hit, there was a precipitous decline throughout the remainder of 2020 and into 2021. The rate drops, undoubtedly a governmental reaction to the pandemic, generated much momentum in the residential lending and appraisal space.”

“The demand for residential fee appraisers has increased with the amount of property being bought and sold in our rural area.”

“In my market area COVID-19 had very little impact on my business. We had a better than typical 2020 due to 2.0 to 2.5% interest rates most of the year.”

“Huge increase in refinance orders since the pandemic.”

“Many people are refinancing for lower rates, but also because of improvements that they are finally getting around to doing. There has been an increase in remodeling and renovating since being quarantined.”

“Refinance appraisals made up about 10% of my work prior to COVID, and grew to make up about 50% of my work between June 2020–January 2021.”

“Residential market is booming.”

“By far the appraisal that we have experienced the biggest growth in demand are Residential Appraisals. More specifically, 2055 Exterior Appraisals have surged due to COVID-19 restrictions and operating around those.”

“As a services strategist at a nationwide AMC, I noticed the huge increase in requests for residential appraisals despite refinance appraisals falling off slightly because of the up-tick in rates, but the purchase transactions rebound from last year has been phenomenal already in 2021.”

“I thought Covid would sink my business, it’s been quite the opposite. I’m busier now than ever. As for the desktop products, none of the lenders I work for wanted them or would allow them.”

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Desktop appraisals (18%)

“We have done more desktops due to the COVID.”

“It is relatively quick and cheap. This sadly, in my opinion, is lessening the importance of a professional appraisal report. I feel the lenders are looking to eventually eliminate the professional, ethical appraisal in the name of saving a few bucks. In the end, the borrowers will probably not save that much.”

Commercial appraisals (7%)

“We have seen an uptick in commercial appraisals for business refinancing due to low interest rates. Makes being a certified general appraiser even more important or working for a certified general appraiser important. Work always keeps coming as there are not many certified general appraisers in the area of southwestern Minnesota!”

“We have seen a lot of refinance and new purchases of agriculture ground in our areas with us seeing some big price increases.”

Relocation appraisals (1%)

“In recent months since the pandemic, The Grand Lake area has experienced an increase, particularly in high-end properties, as out-of-state buyers seek areas with less restriction.”

“Real estate has dramatically increased here, due to people moving from out of state.”

“Definitely seeing many more purchase appraisals with buyers from the bigger cities moving to more suburban areas.”

“Remote access and video conferencing are at an all time high due to the pandemic.”

Learn more about relocation appraisals with our top-rated CE course, Relocation Appraisal and the ERC Form.

Review appraisals (1%)

“I complete reviews from home and have done this since 2008.”

Other types of appraisals (8%)

Eight percent of survey participants selected “Other” and wrote in their own responses as to what type of appraisal has seen the biggest growth in demand where they live. Answers included:

  • Multi-family commercial appraisals
  • Estate appraisals
  • Exterior-only inspection (Form 2055)

What types of appraisals are in high demand in your market area due to COVID-19? Join the conversation! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Or, sign up for our newsletter to get a new survey question in your inbox each month.

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