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September 2017   Volume 43, Number 9      
 

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Automation Could Eliminate Real Estate Appraisal Jobs

Advances in big data and computing are helping automation creep into knowledge-based professions, threatening to knock off jobs in the same way that robots have been doing at factories for decades.

Zillow Group Inc. reports that the company’s algorithms are learning to capture not only the crude facts about values in the surrounding neighborhood but also more sophisticated price indicators, such as whether the living room has hardwood floors or the kitchen has granite countertops. While Zillow’s software isn’t currently being used in appraisals, lenders have long used internal and third-party computer models to help value homes.

Appraisers have already been experiencing tough times thanks to the housing crisis. Once the recovery began, regulators responded by making it more difficult to enter the profession, as they blamed appraisers for not providing a check on reckless lending that contributed to the housing crisis.

Now mortgage financiers such as Freddie Mac are also starting to get comfortable with transactions that don’t involve a human appraiser. In June, Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored company that backs many U.S. mortgages, started allowing automated valuations for some refinances. It says it plans to extend the program to include home purchase loans in the coming months, pending regulatory approval.

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In this issue:

The 10 Fastest Growing Cities in the U.S.

Automation Could Eliminate Real Estate Appraisal Jobs

Life Is Great for U.S. Homesellers

Los Angeles Ranks First as Best City for Global Real Estate Investors

Millennial Homebuyers Are Struggling

Millennials More Likely to Regret Real Estate Choices

Real Estate Startup Redfin Gears Up for IPO

Zillow’s Instant Offers Program Draws Ire From Real Estate Agents

Second Homes Sales Decline as Investment Sales Increase

Nine Highly Salable Factors of Real Estate Property

 


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