Appraisers in Southern California get together and evaluate the same 300 homes every six months – here’s how their values compare to those of CoreLogic (San Diego has the closest gap):
Elsewhere in the region, here’s how the battle-of-the-index gaps shaped up since 2012 …
Los Angeles County: Appraisers say up 58 percent; CoreLogic says 72 percent.
Orange County: Appraisers say up 44 percent; CoreLogic says 55 percent.
San Diego County: Appraisers say up 50 percent; CoreLogic says 56 percent.
Ventura County: Appraisers say up 45 percent; CoreLogic says 53 percent.
Now, these gaps may partially be a reflection of the often-bemoaned shortage of “affordable” homes to buy.
Southern California’s painfully thin supply of homes at the lower-end of the price spectrum has distorted indexes like CoreLogic’s median. These metrics end up reflecting a buyer’s willingness to pay up for the higher-priced housing that’s on the market. This statistical pattern doesn’t mean all home values are up at the median’s skyward pace.
Yes, it’s not totally shocking these appreciation gaps — man-vs.-machine — exist in the first place. Remember, appraisers get paid to be real estate’s party poopers — protecting overzealous lenders from overlending on overvalued properties.
So by nature, appraisers are … let’s say … skimpy! Still, their cautious viewpoint can’t be easily ignored, since they often have the power to kill a prospective home purchase with a low valuation.
Plus, the collective wisdom of appraisers is especially noteworthy as Southern California’s eye-catching home-price gains continue.