July marked the second consecutive month of tightening margins between owners’ estimates of home values and the professional opinions of appraisers, according to Quicken Loans’ National Home Price Perception Index. Appraised values were only 0.71 percent lower nationwide than owners estimated in June, a shift from early this year when that gap was widening.
Data from metro areas included in the study showed only three cities with more than a 1.5 percent difference between perceived and actual home values. Chicago home values were an average of 1.52 percent lower than owners expected, and in Philadelphia, home values were 1.69 percent lower. On the other hand, homes in Boston were appraised at 1.26 percent higher than owners perceived. In Charlotte, North Carolina, values averaged 2.01 percent higher.
The new data from Quicken Loans shows homeowners are becoming more realistic about the values of their homes. They could be encouraged by the shrinking gap between perceived and appraised home values as they contemplate refinancing their mortgages to take advantage of lower interest rates. Quicken Loans’ Bill Banfield also speculated that this shift is related to increased refinance activity, which itself is tied to lower mortgage rates.
“The refinance share of mortgage activity is at its highest rate since January of 2018, and it appears that homeowners have done their due diligence on their home’s value as millions across the country refinance their home loans,” Banfield said.
Quicken Loans’ nationwide Home Value Index, based on appraised values, recorded a 4.78 year-over-year increase in home values since last June. This increase could be attributed to a 1.87 percent month-over-month jump in appraisal values in the West. The Northeast region saw a similar increase at 1 percent. The South and Midwest experienced decreases of 0.16 percent and 0.23 percent respectively. Still, every region reported year-over-year increases in appraisal values; the largest was 5.20 percent in the West compared to 3.83 percent in the South.