Mortgage Application Volume Nearing Historic Low

Mortgage Application Volume Nearing Historic LowAppraisers, I’m almost reluctant to distribute this article, but the reality is what it is. Per the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the loan application volume is at another low point in our history. The article in Mortgage News Daily titled “Mortgage Application Volume at Lowest Levels Since 1996” in this link provides context.

For a related perspective, the article contains a graph, which can be expanded to show mortgage rates and application volume for decades.

Mortgage Application Volume

The brown line in the graph shows 30 year mortgage rates – since early 1971. The light blue indicates the loan application volume, which corresponds to appraisal assignments. We currently are about the same as 2001, and if rates continue rising, we’ll probably experience what appraisers did in 1996, even though rates were on a downward track then.

The MBA apparently didn’t start tracking and graphing application volume against mortgage rates until about 1991. However, the graph can give you a visual perspective of history, especially if you have not been an appraiser for many years.

Many appraisers, yours truly included, became associated with this profession roughly two decades ago, when rates were going down and appraisal work was increasing. As the graph indicates it’s been a roller coaster ride, but generally speaking up to late in 2021 to early in 2022, it’s been financially rewarding for many appraisers.

The unfortunate aspect of this is the federal political and monetary policy instituted as a result of the 2020 COVID crisis. Trillions of dollars, that we didn’t have and had to ‘manufacture’, were dumped into the economy. We are now reaping the consequences of that with high inflation that the “Fed” is trying to control. As a result, housing mortgage interest rates have dramatically increased, appraisal workflow has degraded, the overall housing sector is suffering, and many appraisers have had to make tough decisions about ‘staying or bailing out.’

I’m in that “boat” presently. To be honest, I’m in a forced retirement that I didn’t really want. Some private assignments are keeping me going, but mortgage lending work has dried up.

Many of my peers are either quitting, or have taken part-time work. One I know of let the license expire and is now a real estate agent. Another operates a doggy day care business. A lady I know who has a passion for wine has become a ‘wine pourer’ serving tasters at a classy winery. One appraiser works part-time at a pizza restaurant. An appraiser became a ‘short term rental host’ by sub-leasing with owner consent an urban property, fixed it up, and makes it available on the short term web sites. A good friend of mine has made the decision to back away entirely from this biz. Other appraisers are getting a few morsels of greenbacks as ‘gig workers’ doing property inspection photos, and others are doing more detailed work as Property Data Collectors.

Minimal actual mortgage related appraisal work available is dominated by AMC’s. Most of those have pretty much demanded appraisers dramatically reduce their ‘fee for assignment.’ The AMC’s do this to protect THEMSELVES in order to stay in business. If appraisers are not willing to lower assignment fees, they are passed over because some other appraiser is willing to sell their soul to the AMC just to keep a few dollars flowing into their business. This happens every time appraisal assignment volume goes down. Meanwhile, the borrower is not necessarily paying less for “the appraisal” they need. Unless, as I’m finding out, the local lender uses appraiser lower than what should be customary fee ‘bids’ to quote appraisal fees to the borrower.

Some appraisers, a true minority, have been able to transition to private, non-mortgage-lending appraisal work, but that’s not as easy as some advocate. And many appraisers who only know how to do mortgage lending assignments are reluctant to market themselves outside that confined space. They then become collateral damage recipients that they themselves control.

I tell people “everything in life is cyclic.” Nothing is really ‘new.’ We keep implementing the same prior mistakes, because we think things are different now versus what they were before. When you study recorded history, across continents and cultures, you will find this is true.

The problem for us currently is we can’t tell when the current cycle we are in will begin reversing. The cloudy and slightly cracked crystal ball I consult indicates it will be not changing soon. My presumption is it’s going to take a high-level administration change to begin that process. But, how many of ‘us’ remain in appraisal work when that happens is the unknown element in this discussion.

Best wishes to all of you.

Dave Towne
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Dave Towne

Dave Towne

AGA, MNAA, Accredited Green Appraiser - Licensed in WA State since 2003. Dave Towne on

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32 Responses

  1. Avatar CJK says:

    I saw the writing on the wall and called it quits after 40 years in March. I did not want to be around when the next lending disaster hit and they blame it on the appraisers again. I paid my house off years ago (sales price 153k now worth 480k) paid off my new car this year, no CC debt with an 818 FICO. I have a good SS check an IRA and money in the bank. I am very happy when I wake up in the morning and no longer have to deal with dimwits in the Real Estate industry. I had a good run and never completed an appraisal report for an AMC. I refused to work for them, but that is just me. I think my mentor who passed away would be proud of me.

  2. Avatar Dan says:

    I am happy to consider myself retired, even though my license is good until 11/24 and I still accept full-price assignments which come my way, about 2-3 per month, from two good AMCs.
    I agree with the author that, sadly, the future for appraisers looks bleak. It was a good run for 30+ years, being independent, partly out in the fresh air and partly in my own home office. Wouldn’t trade it! My advice to those who still need to work: Live below your means, invest in real estate the next time the market is down, which it will be!

  3. Avatar Honest Appraiser says:

    The AMC business model will NEVER be satisfied until the Independent Appraiser is paying THEM for the privilege of doing the work. When Dudd-Fwank was enacted the AMC’s saw the opportunity to become the Appraiser Managment Company, not just the Appraisal. They have abused our Independence at every turn while absorbing $Billions of resources off of our backs while we are forced to work as Chattel Servants to the Dudd-Fwank nightmare system. State Coalitions were gaining some traction 4-5 years ago but the volume of business decimated their time and energy while the AMC lobby – aka have spent MUCH of their surplus time and $$$ hanging out in DC getting chummy with decision makers at FNMA and Congress – (Lyle Radke, Maxine Waters and others). The fruits of their energy are coming forth and this squeeze of the Independent Appraiser will be epic. Prayers for us all working to Keep the Reality in Real Estate. Peace Out.

  4. Donna Beck on Facebook Donna Beck on Facebook says:

    Due to low volume; low fees; government interference I am strongly considering leaving a 23 year old business.

  5. Avatar mark says:

    For all the previously cited reasons, I suspect that the number of residential appraisers will shrink significantly by next year. Particularly the old dudes like me. Although we survived interest rates of 18% (see chart above) the lending industry’s continuing mission to eliminate real appraisals has worn me out.

  6. Avatar Eric Kretz says:

    The mortgage rates have destroyed refinancing and most of home sales in my market. I primarily do VA, hard money bank work, private appraisals, and most of that has dried up. My total volume is down almost 55%. I’ll ride this out with my side gig until the new disasterous 1004 is rolled out.

    I still get AMC emails for ‘bids/quotes’ and I mostly ignore them all. The same old race to the bottom with appraisal quality be damned. Its always a bittersweet laugh when the AMC sets the fee and turn time for a ‘bid’ on a rural property 60 miles away.

    The only silver lining I can see to this all, is that the AMC’s will eventually die like a withering weed when FNMA, Freddie, VA, et al use AI generated AVM’s and fintech tools. They’ll have no further use for appraisers. The Uber driving ‘skippys’ will then compete with each other like we do for property inspection reports at $25/pop to the lenders cloud. It will be echo chamber for the realtors contract price and everyone in the transaction will be happy.

    I’d like to be optimistic and say it’s cyclical real estate markets and things will improve, but being labeled a pessimist and a chicken-little is the price for being honest and living in reality. Calling balls and strikes as I see it.

  7. Avatar Johnny Q says:

    Bidenomics at work. Building up and out from the middle class by squeezing their existence.

    • Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

      So Biden invented AMCs? I learn something new every day.

      • Avatar Jack Of All Trades says:

        Wasn’t it Biden that said appraisers are racists? if memory serves me correctly.

      • Avatar Johnny Q says:

        I don’t think that anybody said that but, if you read the sixth paragraph, it should become evident that the actions of this administration created and impelled the current state of affairs in our industry.

        • Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

          AMCs and Andrew Cuomo blackmailing FNMA created the current state of affairs in your industry. If you are referring to high interest rates (a blip on the economic radar) you can thank Donald Trump for his refusal to encourage masking, his murder of over 1 million citizens, the ensuing breakdown of the supply chain, and price gouging from corporations for massive inflation. Thus leading to to the need to jack up interest rates. Until corporations lose a ton of business they are more than happy to continue with price gouging. Bring on the HURT. I for one am more than happy to break the back of these corporations. As for Donald TheRump. I will vote for his father (Lucifer) before I support him for office. Lucifer may be a known liar but he’s not a twice impeached president and 4 times indicted felon.

          • Baggins Baggins says:

            We’re back to comedy central and it’s the saturday evening roast! Entertaining.

            Masks do not work to prevent anything in terms of virus transmission. If you would like verification of this, there is a disclaimer the masks do not prevent transmission of the corona virus, printed on the outside of your box of masks. Lets stick to facts not propaganda. We’d all have been better off and the virus would have down morphed and abated a year or more sooner, if the government would have done nothing at all in the first place. Millions need not have perished, except for the central planners and their censorship campaigns which silenced about a dozen effective early treatments. Health is a personal concern and personal responsibility not that of the government. If you’re still to this day wearing masks you are placing yourself at serious risk of various pneumonia as well as literal brain damage from lack of oxygen. Although the stress of such severe TDR may have already caused such an ailment for many fake news consumers already. PCR testing, what a joke that was. Nobody in my house hold accepted that charade and we never were tested, not one single time anywhere for any reason. Government is such a poor steward of anything they dare manage, the very last place any sane person should turn for health or financial advisement is the government.

            I gave $5 to Kennedy this morning to help their group signal to the FCC that this super delegate charade is not well accepted by the people either.

            And um,…. The devaluing of the dollar and ensuing interest rates are a consequence of the federal reserve, not any specific politicians positions. Although all politicians do contribute to this, with their inability to stop taxing, limit spending, balance the budget, and adhere to Article 1 Section 10 on only gold and silver being sound money to tender.

            No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

            Here, try my brand;

            • Avatar hammering hank says:

              millions died..mostly in red state & county where trump voters reside & voted for him. go figure. called a fact.

              2nd masks & vaccines work for those with common sense.

              do society a favor…don’t. godspeed

              • Baggins Baggins says:

                The TDR and vitriol is strong with many covidian cult followers. FYI, conservatives and libertarians typically have a slightly different world view that the government should not be in charge of their lives. So it’s not really a trump thing but rather an American concern deeply rooted in our own shared collective history. Some people prefer freedom over all else, understanding what we accomplish on this earth leads to the next, so the fear of death is not necessarily what we structure all our decisions upon. With life there is risk, but life is not necessarily worth living under thumb of the principalities and powers. Ephesians. aka a classical Christian world view. John Patrick Henry perhaps said this best;


                Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me…

                FYI, for those not captured by the fake news media industrial complex, we were effectively managing the risks without assistance from government. Natural immunity achieved. No vaccine necessary. And we have the really cool bonus of not having compromised immune systems from the covid jabs. If you really are wanting fact based analysis, check out this chart on all cause death stats jumping exactly as the vaccine hit. You can repeat safe and effective until you are blue, but that will always be merely a marketing slogan and not an honest depiction of vaccines. ‘You can not inject health.’

                If you’d care to break free of the propaganda of the pharmasuetical industrial complex and be an objective researcher, reviewing both sides of the issue, check out this website. Feel free to step outside of the echo chamber. I mean from food to medicine to finances and beyond, the regulatory institutions are broken and do not actually honestly serve the interests of the people anymore. There are extra ordinary and proven conflicts of interest ongoing in the revolving door system where most regulatory personnel later find lucrative jobs in the very same private sectors they supposedly were watch dogging over. When over half of all the program funding comes from the companies supposedly researching the safety of their own products. ‘Don’t worry, I have investigated myself, and found no wrong doing occurred. Our subsidiary news companies can conform this fact.’

                The last thing they effectively regulated was lead and asbestos, and we still have problems with those substances today. We knew for decades the asbestos was still in baby powder and testing around the world proved it. But those regulator guys simply refused to test, and therefore played the manufacturing companies a free hand for decades. Enter the late night lawyer commercials for yet another example. We warned the people about roundup for decades… FCC has not updated wireless radiation studies beyond thermal levels in thirty years, despite the technology being so thoroughly tested, it’s becoming illegal in many other countries around the world.

                That is just a few of a million anecdotal examples of how Fast Track and various grants funding programs have led to perverse incentives for regulators, researchers, media, and politicians to adopt a new form of statism that there can not ever be a problem with the corporations whom write their paychecks and donation slips.

                When you watch mainstream news you’re not really learning anything, but rather being programmed into a similar statism through constant deception and repetition. They prescribe your beliefs on what to believe and whom to support. Or in the case of Trump, and the entire other half of this country whom does not share your political beliefs, whom to hate. Ask yourself if you really set out with a personal goal of hating people with opposing views from yourself that much? How long has that position of prioritizing vitriol and hate been part of your personal identity and ethical approach to the world and the people around you? My quip; Who knew summary thought reconditioning would be as simple as getting people to watch more television…


                I mean for real. Look around you in this appraisal and real estate industry, observe the monumental scale of unchecked corruption as so many of our positions get dismantled and we are all subjected to increasing restraints of trade. Corruption naked in the open. And the appraisal industry is a mere fraction the size of these other industries. Tell me with a straight face you honestly believe there is no corruption and your best interests are served by simply accepting everything these international companies state about their own products as absolutely reliable fact?

                FYI, from Raytheon to Phizer, they also have their people on boards of every major media and syndication network, and they certainly do exercise content control on a daily basis. ‘Brought to you by Phizer.’ Believe these people are honest and have your best interest at mind at your own risk.

                Me, I’d choose liberty over a life of slavery, be that a mental prison, a physical prison, or otherwise. The ‘trump movement’ is a misnomer as the masses awake from a long slumber brought about by decades of decadence. People on both sides will eventually have to reconcile that the desire for liberty is not tied to any individual, but rather an ideal, a set of principals, that after a long train of abuses… As they say, back to the basics. Everything we need to be a unified country again, and crawl back out of the pits of deception and rising tyranny, never ending war against each other and the world, an addiction to counterfeiting which fosters a new society revolving around welfare which results, lies in our founding documents. I encourage everyone that a better use of your time would be to read these, rather than watching ‘news’ everyday. Or you could simply go back to Oceana, kick back your victory gin, have a victory cigarette, and enjoy your two minutes hate. The parties message is always playing, right on time, on schedule, forever. Thank you for reading the appraisers blogs.


              • Avatar Eric Kretz says:


                You really need to cite your ‘facts’ from credible independent sources. I think you’ll find out that your very misinformed.

                Baggins did all the leg work and showed the flawed logic. I personally know 5 very healthy people who took the vax and had stokes/TIA’s after their 2nd shot or 1st booster. Purely coincidental I’m sure.

                I’ll only wear a mask if a homeowner requires it. Their house, their rules. If a client requires it, they are fired.

                Me not getting a vax is not going to affect you in any way. But you do you. Get your 8th booster a wear a face diaper if you choose. Just don’t force your views and opinions on other people.

                “….do society a favor…don’t. godspeed….’
                Wishing bad things on people is super classy, btw.

                • Baggins Baggins says:

                  Thanks Eric. The delusion of benefit syndrome. We feel honestly bad for people whom are dealing with this, and continue to try to help. They trusted authority, but those authorities, turns out in the end, were not worthy of such trust. It’s like people so truly believe these narratives, like there is some automatic authority from adopting these manufactured status quo positions. Not the case. Ron likes to say; The world went mad all at once, and one at a time we continue to work diligently to bring them back to more logical and sane positions.

                  Have you seen those social media comments in response to people having these unexpected health crises? They have miraculous instant real time investigative powers which are quite simply awe inspiring and quite amazing. It goes down like this; Someone dies suddenly or has a major health crisis. Immediately someone else from half a world away chimes in; It’s not the vax! Because it has to be something else. It’s never the vax. Check and check. Someone gets paid. And they really truly believe it because otherwise they would have to reconcile the fact their pliability and response to peer pressures actually has real world consequences. People would then live their lives in fear which is exactly why they took the vax in the first place, to avoid that feeling. A true catch 22 which results in cognitive dissonance which then makes the people even more susceptible to further manipulation. The science behind covid is largely suspect. The science behind psychological manipulation to sell more products and control peoples behaviors, is in fact, finely tuned and very well established. The politics of fear.

                  More people should be informed that there has been really interesting research that chewing simple nicotine gum for only one weeks time, has shown amazing results which stop ‘long covid’ and many other side effects from the manufactured spike effect via having taken the vaccine, which really ‘takes the spike down’. It’s basically a poor mans version of ivermectin. Because the covid germ is attracted to humans neonicotinoid receptors and often exists on those receptors, they can be kicked out and purged more effectively by consuming nicotine in an oral manner. Which is why the whole event was so dang confusing, some of us were smoking in the open, no masks, care free, while others took every last precaution and were falling deathly ill. Sometimes you just get lucky and although consuming nicotine is generally not beneficial to health, it is an actual therapy suggested which has cured an ever increasing substantial body of people; To simply chew nicotine gum twice a day for about a week, then quit consuming the substance. They are saying that beneficial effects and abatement of symptoms may continue for ensuing several month period, but most patients respond with a reduction of more than half of their covid related symptoms in the first week of actually just chewing small doses of nicotine gum. Science! The best kind of science too, the kind which anyone can afford, does not require faux experts or patented technologies to be beneficial to society. New popular slogan online; This is not science™. These people are not experts. Regardless of what we thought we knew, collectively, there is new information which provides compelling reason to basically reconsider all of our previously established positions on the matter.

              • Avatar Johnny Q says:

                Hank, do you still wear the mask when alone in the car, showering, while sleeping and when its time to eat gingerly lifting it to fork some food in your mouth between bites?

                • Baggins Baggins says:

                  Witnessed similar behavior at Costco the other day. Two ladies, walking with those pointy duck bill type of masks. Swings by sample plate, reaches with bare hand, takes sample. Lifts mask up, leans head back, puts sample in mouth, puts mask back on while she’s chewing the sample. We were like, frigging gross, the mask is doubling as a napkin.
                  These people do not understand transmissible disease factors or even basic hygiene. We were at the mall where there was a high quantity of migrants later. Those idiots were straight up walking out of the #2 use toilet areas, and not washing their hands. I was shocked and observed like ten a row do that. I scolded a young man and was like disgusting, wash your hands. But I do not think he even spoke english.

                  And then the Jean Luc guy genius scientist guy whom recently passed, posed some really compelling theories that illness is transmitted through energy rather than pathogens which is really interesting to consider. That our understanding of viruses is flawed and we’re actually observing reactive process rather than ‘viral spread’. It’s the exhosome theory that viruses are actually shedded disease as the body seeks to purge and protect from external conditions which are antithetical to health. Be that toxin, frequency, chemicals, inhospitable environments, etc. The Rife machine, curing disease through frequency. What is disease in the first place? We need to take a big step back from all of this because under current conditions they will literally never find a cure for anything ever again. There is no money in health, only illness.

                  This one is off topic but so entertaining. Same thing for mortgage loans though, these monolithic monopolized industries manufacture a need when there was really not that much need in the first place. Then people are shocked when the gravy train runs out. Stop borrowing so much, it’s not rocket science. The sticker on my truck reads; Work harder! Millions on welfare depend on you!

                  Good times.



              • Avatar Dan says:

                The gov’t response to covid was FAR worse than the virus itself. I’m 62, had it twice. No shot, no mask, no regrets.

          • Avatar Al Schorr says:

            That’s a clean cerebellum that’s been washed

  8. Baggins Baggins says:

    Why do the people whom supposedly find high value in the appraisal profession, continue to work with amc’s despite clearly understanding how unethical and destructive these companies are? Weird. Now a days appraisers talk nonchalantly about amc’s selecting appraisers based on fee, rather than skill, experience, and accreditation. The federal registry guidance on appraisal selection and Dodd Frank appears to be irrelevant. I regret to inform the readers whom have continued to cross that picket line, we can not boycott the amc industry twice. Every action matters and you are not powerless, unless you allow yourselves to be compromised and placed into a position of irrelevance.

    Imagine how many appraisers there will be when someone at the appraisal education companies offers the PAREA class in other languages. Please consider the notion that the USA is our country, and we can save it. Time to wind down the GSE’s and get the government out of the business of insurance and lending, among many other things. You are witnessing the cumulation of a long standing racketeering effort to dismantle checks and balances systems which protect consumers, shut down independent businesses whom advocate for consumers, and remove smaller scale lending competition which serves the middle class. All while riding away on the taxpayers dime. Next comes the short sellers. But then again, what’s new?

  9. Avatar Dave says:

    Many of the smaller local banks who used to order appraisals directly are now switching to AMCs and firing most of their mortgage processors due to the low volume. It’s getting harder and harder to find non AMC mortgage work.
    Is anyone else seeing this trend?

  10. Avatar mark says:

    You must be young. These trends have been at work for the 46 years that I have been an appraiser. Lenders have employed a variety of arguments to try to eliminate real appraisals including meaningless political attacks that obscure the real issues.

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Quite right Mark. The issue is complicated. I’m tired of hearing the pundits argue that ‘rates used to be xx%’, and what not. Homes were a fifth the price and real wages may have been less, but they were not a fifth of what they are today, the proportions were far better balanced. I like to coin the issue as ‘rate shock’. People will eventually get over it and face the hard realities that they need to save more, borrow less, and lead a more thrifty lifestyle if they want to make a play at a mortgage loan. The truth is we have been issuing far too many loans for far too long, which has led to notable reductions in Americans average loan to value ratios. (Far fewer people are on track to actually one day fully own their home.) Some of the realty agents I have been speaking with seem to take the position that politics will bring the rates down during the next election cycle. I’m not so sure…

      Appraisals were important. Then they were not. Then they were important again, then they were not. There is a suspicious corelation to the perceived value of full service real estate appraisals and default management and loan losses. Curious…

  11. Baggins Baggins says:

    Politics? Please allow me to help.

    The term Bidenomics is a play on an older documentary movie called Freakonomics, just btw.

    Retired, going to disagree with the political generalization on this one. Because yes, Biden made things far worse for appraisers than they were before, and that is because of the formation of the PAVE task force. The American people are economically squeezed on every front, and the current administrations policies on financial management are clearly just making things far worse for the everyday working class people. Not much different than the last one except now we’re into the business of exporting our tax dollars rather than at least pretending to adhere to trickle down theory and keep the money at home.

    No limitations, hands off, a brand new and completely controlled valuation system for housing. The licensed residential real estate appraiser, with our traditional and rigid free market analysis methods, we need scooted out of the picture to make way for the new more flexible automation. The new automation which will call the winners and losers, instantly prescribe profits and losses. Can you guess who’s going to always come out on top and whom will consistently lose?

    People say our government is partisan and politically biased. That’s not completely true. The government people always agree on one thing; more taxing, and more spending of your money.

    Don’t buy the lies that either side or any side of government actually works for the people anymore, representative governance is on it’s dying last breath and can only be saved by educating more people that the governments only purpose is supposed to be protecting our liberties. The rest, including financial management, insurance, healthcare, education, housing, lending, all of it, that’s up to us and is none of the governments business to be involved with in the first place. The connotations and implications of GSE policy scooting appraisers out of the way, and holding every home borrower in this country up for these speculators to pick and choose at their leisure, the gravity of the incompetency and poor decision making process of issuing the waivers and removing the appraisers personal involvement can not be under stated. Policy for sale.

  12. Avatar Flash says:

    Mortgage rates will climb as they have done for years during the last quarter of the year. 2024 Is a Presidential Election Year. After the lenders and mortgage loan officers return from The South Pacific Islands and Bora, Bora for their Christmas vacations. It will be time again to create a pipeline again of mortgage work in the first quarter of 2024.

    By February of 2024 more Requests for appraisal work will take place along with lower mortgage rates or if not, I will continue to survive on non lender work that has always been part of my marketing plan.

    Plan you work and work your plan, or someone else has a plan for you.

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Great comment Flash, I was smiling when reading. I’m not actually sure if I want that though. Despite the higher rates also severely limiting our personal mobility, this current market although rocky is preferable because we finally brushed off this unchecked price acceleration. People have elbow room, they can spend a day or so considering before making an offer, shop with less stress, and in some cases, even negotiate. I hoped the slow reversal and market deflation to more affordable housing levels would continue, but that is not the case in Colorado, we’re starting to see some upward movement in some areas, but not all. I think your take on the mortgage lending pipeline is likely accurate. Mortgage lending is a somewhat unique industry this way, with the flick of a pen, press of a button, and drop in the rate, we exist in an industry where the volume of participation can be readily manipulated. If memory serves me correctly, slashing the rate was a mechanism to jump start the economy again after the debacle of the politicians unconstitutional covid responses.

      What’s shaking? What’s moving? There was a push to electric vehicles and green energy tech, accompanied by substantial government investment despite the free market forces not even coming close to matching the demand factor compared to the level of their taxpayer funded ‘investments’. Politicians and insiders got rich with investment, and bailed right as many of the most heavily subsidized companies fizzled out. Not coincidentally, followed by a reluctant admission the programs did not result in a matching market demand from the public. (as I compulsively check on my gas powered lawn mower to make sure it’s still in the garage.) And that’s how they play the game to get rich. One ponders if there is still enough growth occurring somewhere, because when it comes to anticipating ‘the rate’, we could also consider if there is a pending need for that or not in terms of general economic factors. Because as you stated, lowering the rate to fire up the system is a tool to get things moving. They claim the rate is a result of the market, but we all know they back into these things based on their needs, not necessarily general economic trends. Right on time they will hit the number but also lenders are being forced to make more concessions to attract capitol lately. Perhaps you’ve noticed the higher cd rates and such of late. So they don’t necessarily want a lower rate anymore as the nations line of credit has been over extended, most of that not even circulating back to our own country. See my photo post on the accelerated debt ceiling over the last two presidents.

      Some of the more dire predictions speculate that there are multiple industries so stressed out, they are ripe for hostile take overs and we’ll see a return of more aggressive short sellers. I can not help but worry myself, with all the appraisal industry changes, those short sellers will be targeting the real property interests of American consumers all over again. Gold and silver continue to jump.

  13. Baggins Baggins says:

    Special ANSI update on a tenth of an inch difference.
    It’s getting difficult to take this seriously. Imagine being a seller or buyer with so much on the line in a purchase situation, and the appraiser is droning on about the tenth of an inch ceiling height. And like both agents, the seller, the appraiser, are using three different tape measures to figure this out. Watch the seller do something nutty like remove the carpet or other floor covering, and demand the appraiser come back to re measure or something, now that inch is there. Fannie has gone full bureaucrat. I’m like, these are the people in charge of my career?

    • Avatar Eric Kretz says:

      I saw that….lol.
      This is akin to the ‘What the definition of is…is’. (Looking at you, Slick Willy)

      When provided this measurement data, are the AVM and AI algorithms that awesome that they can differentiate a tenth of an inch? What is the square footage difference impact on the final value?

      I’d like to see any appraiser tell a homeowner that the measurements are 6.85′ (and in my overlords benevolence rounded to 6.90′) and do not meet ANSI/FNMA/Freddie standards of 7′ for habitable and livable square footage and cannot be given value consideration. These are lawsuits waiting to happen, not to mention state boards laughing to administer $2,500 fines and CE classes.

      Seriously, this is insulting and infuriating. I trying hard as hell to be positive, but this is clown world ridiculous.


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Mortgage Application Volume Nearing Historic Low

by Dave Towne time to read: 3 min