Certified Appraisers Up but Total Number of Appraisers Down
Certified Appraisers at All-time High but Total Number of Appraisers Continues to Decrease
The percentage of appraisers with a state certification is at an all-time high but the total number of appraisers continues to decrease at a rate of about 3 percent per year, according to data released April 9 by the Appraisal Institute.
Appraisal Institute has analyzed data from the Appraisal Subcommittee National Registry since 2006, and the long-term trend shows that with more than half of U.S. appraisers aged 51 to 65, the appraiser population could decrease 25 to 35 percent over the next 10 years due to age attrition and fewer new entrants. However, AI noted that these openings could present numerous opportunities for new appraisers.
“In spite of a higher level of appraiser qualification overall, the lack of career prospects for trainees and few new people entering the profession are legitimate and serious issues, yet opportunities do exist to reach the next generation and employment options will, in fact, likely be enhanced in the coming years,”
said Appraisal Institute President Richard L. Borges II, MAI, SRA.
Broader analysis of the data suggests the decrease primarily is due to:
- A sharp and long-term decline in the number of new people entering the field;
- A high rate of future retirements due to the high mean age of appraisers;
- Individuals leaving the profession due to challenging business conditions;
- Increasing government regulation;
- Wider use of alternative valuation technologies displacing some appraisers (especially in the residential sector); and
- A potential oversupply of residential appraisers. (Nearly 70 percent of all appraisers focus primarily on residential appraisals.)
While the data revealed that the overall number of appraisers is decreasing, the number of certified general and residential appraisers is on the upswing.
The analysis shows there were nearly 6,000 more certified general and residential appraisers on Dec. 31, 2012 than there were at year-end 2006. For the same period, there was a decline of nearly 16,000 licensed appraisers. About a third of the decline is because appraisers achieved certified status. A large majority of appraisers who left the profession in the past three years were licensed-only appraisers who were either relatively new to the profession or did not pursue certification.
The proportion of certified appraisers to total appraisers was 72 percent at year-end 2006. As of year-end 2012, the proportion was 87 percent. While the total number of appraisers has decreased 15 percent since 2007, the data indicates that the appraiser population is more qualified overall.
Commercial, non-traditional (non-point-in-time) valuations appear to be a growth opportunity for individuals with advanced analytical, financial and mathematical skills, Borges said. He noted that key growth markets might be working with accountants, financial analysts, investors and others on real estate portfolio management/analysis, purchase, lease and investment packaging. He also noted that additional areas of real estate valuation — right of way, conservation easement, taxation issues and litigation support (expert witness testimony) — could provide opportunities for professionals looking to enter the valuation profession.
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