Appraisal panel plans survey to advance PAVE Task Force’s fight against bias in home valuations

The federal panel that oversees states’ real estate appraiser and appraisal management company (AMC) requirements is seeking comments on a proposed “appraiser profession survey” that will focus in good part on barriers to entry to the profession, particularly for women and people from underserved communities historically denied equitable treatment due to race or ethnicity.

The survey, proposed by the Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC) of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) and detailed Wednesday in the Federal Register, is an outgrowth of President Joe Biden’s (D) 2021 establishment of the Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity (PAVE) Task Force, which is made up of 13 federal agencies and offices and is charged with “developing actions and recommendations to foster a more equitable home appraisal industry.” The PAVE panel’s aim is to eliminate bias in home valuations.

The ASC said its objective in conducting the survey is “in part, to collect new data about real estate appraisers of single-family residential properties.” It added that the data collected will help the subcommittee better understand:

  • the current demographics of the appraisal profession,
  • barriers to entry for aspiring appraisers, especially women and persons from underserved communities historically denied equitable treatment due to their race or ethnicity, or both;
  • current trends and patterns of the appraisal practice, including the use of new valuation technologies and appraisal engagement practices;
  • geographic differences in the number of appraisers in urban and rural areas; and
  • potential market imbalances between appraiser supply and demand.

The ASC said its data collection will focus on characteristics of appraisers that are not available in other data sources, such as the ASC’s National Registry of certified and licensed appraisers. It said it’s also interested in the “real world” experiences of active appraisers and the potential impact of The Appraisal Foundation’s (TAF) policies. (Certain minimum appraisal standards and appraiser qualifications are set by TAF’s Appraisal Standards Board and Appraiser Qualifications Board, respectively, it noted.) “Of particular interest to the ASC is how TAF policies may disproportionately affect aspiring appraisers who historically have been denied equitable treatment because of their race or ethnicity, or both,” it said.

The panel proposes to survey approximately 1,500 residential real estate appraisers, both active and inactive, and to conduct qualitative interviews with 75 appraisers.

The survey itself will take up to 30 minutes of each participant’s time; the interviews, up to 60 minutes. The ASC said participation would be voluntary.

The panel is seeking approval of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for this information collection. Comments on the information in Wednesday’s Federal Register notice are due May 22.

Federal Register notice