UPDATE: WorkingRE just wrote an article about this research. It's more flawed than even I realized!
Two of the wildest appraisal values came from one appraiser...who is black.
If you removed the two wild appraisals by the black appraiser, values were HIGHER for blacks and not lower. Makes you wonder if the black appraiser was a plant.
The service issue mentioned turned out to be as I'd speculated. One appraiser was sick and didn't finish any appraisals for anyone while he was sick. It wasn't because the homeowner was black.
The total variance among reports was 1.7%. Less than 5% variance is acceptable.
NCRC filed complaints against the appraisers they used in their fake appraisal test. JFC!
NCRC states they're well respected with years of research. They're ever worse than the Fair Housing nonprofits who do the same fake research and file the same false complaints. People will do anything for money. Disgusting!
ORIGINAL: NCRC the non-profit organization National Community Reinvestment Coalition released a paper October 2022 titled "Faulty Foundations: Mystery-shopper testing in home appraisalsexposes racial bias undermining black wealth." Here is the link https://ncrc.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Faulty-Foundations-Mystery-Shopper-Testing-In-Home-Appraisals-v5.pdf .
Racism exists. Racist appraisers exist. I don't know if racism affected the values in the reports in this paper because the research was flawed. Their methodology was flawed as are some of their conclusions. Even NCRC states there were flaws and better research is needed. I have some comments.
NCRC is a non-profit organization. Their stated purpose is to fight discrimination in housing, banking and employment. They do this by offering "research" and media articles about discrimination in order to get donations to their cause. I agree with their cause by not necessarily their means. They are like some of the fair housing groups and their frivolous lawsuits like the Oakland and Marin lawsuits and complaints. They use the media to attack individuals and incite the public to get donations and force settlements to stop attacks as businesses. They file lawsuits, complaints then release press releases about the lawsuits to get donations and put media pressure on their targets.
They start off the report by stating incorrect facts about Andre Perry's "paper." Brookings Institute Andre Perry's report was debunked. See below,
So were the other papers cited in their intro. The conclusions were proven false by AEI and others. Their entire intro says "appraisers have been proven to be racist" before they get to their own research. Perry's paper didn't even involve appraisers. The report was biased from the first sentence. It's not an independent paper or true research. NCRC knows than Perry's paper and the others were proven false by AEI yet still told the lie. This makes it difficult to believe anything NCRC says.
The real cause of the difference in values of white and black owned homes is the income gap. Whites make more money than blacks, Latinos. Men make more money than women.The more money you make the more money you have. The more money you have the more expensive home you can buy. That's why white owned homes are worth more than black, Latino owned homes. Fix the income gap! Real estate appraisers aren't "stripping the wealth" of blacks and Latinos. Most of the data came from Automated Valuation Methods which don't involve real estate appraisers but robots.
The appraiser, appraisal sample was too small to be meaningful. It wasn't blind or double blind research. They should have had each appraiser appraise one of each type. Some appraisers could just be unpleasant. Maybe they treat everyone poorly white, black or brown. Some appraisers may always come in conservative or the opposite. They should have used white, black appraisers and not just white. Maybe the results would have been the same then it's not related to color of appraiser but another factor or factors.
It would have been better if the appraiser knew the race of owner, borrower but never met them. Maybe the contacts treated the people differently. They could appraise vacant with a lockbox or key under mat to control for that. Communicate with same worded email only. Even better have another group where they don't know color of owner, borrower. Compare that group to the group who did know.
The appraiser who ghosted the client probably got wind of something which is why they just left. I've had that experience when I thought the contact was insane or had unrealistic expectations or they treated me poorly. I've never done that because of race... Of course maybe the appraiser died, got sick, had a mental health issue, was arrested... They never found out why they disappeared so they can't assume it was racism.
"Most of the Baltimore homes used in the study were located in areas where the population is at least 75% Black." Should have been 50/50 or 75/25, 50/50 and 25/75.
"Another limitation of this study was that six of the seven tests involved couples consisting of a Black woman and a White man." Should have been a mix. Maybe the appraiser doesn't like women. You could control for that with a mix. I had male contractors come to my house and ask to speak to my husband when I owned the house and paid all the bills. They treated my husband nicer than me because it was a guy guy thing.
If we assume all appraisers are white racists that will give low appraisal values to blacks, Latinos, what is their suggestion? AVMs? AVMs are much more biased than real estate appraisers. They don't consider condition, upgrades, additions, view, lot type, lot location in neighborhood, neighboring properties, location next to dump/freeway/busy street... If you have a very run down house, you'll get a higher valuation than market value. If you have an improved home in good condition, you'll get a lower valuation than market value. There would be even more complaints!
Mary Cummins of Cummins Real Estate is a certified residential licensed appraiser in Los Angeles, California. Mary Cummins is licensed by the California Bureau of Real Estate appraisers and has over 35 years of experience.
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