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[Sounding Bored] Appraising For Fools Gold: California Appraiser Ranks Swell As Real Estate Market Peaks

Sounding Bored is my semi-regular column on the state of the appraisal profession. This week I discuss the appraiser license bubble in California.

Currently there are 20,000 appraisers in California and just like real estate brokers, thats simply too many. The low barrier to entry is one of the reasons for the increase after a pronounced 5 year housing boom.

This year’s total is a record [RISMedia] [1]. This phenomenon is being seen in many other states as well, as the total number of licensed appraisers in the United States is approaching 100,000 (80,000+ in 2004).

The build-up of appraisers is likely to be more painful than in prior years as mortgage and refi volume has fallen off sharply. For experienced appraisers, the new supply reduces the amount of available work but as in other down cycles, the oversupply will likely correct itself.

Hopefully the cream rises to the top and the ‘form-filler” appraiser types will diminish in numbers, although I don’t plan to wish too hard about this or I won’t have enough energy left to make the mandated turn times of several of my retail banking clients.