Homeowners rated their home values higher than appraisers for the third straight month in April, with the gap widening to 0.69% from 0.40% in March as appraiser valuations also increased, according to Quicken Loans, evidence that homeowners over valuate their properties during time of rising prices as is a described in detail by a new study published by the Journal of Housing Economics.
“We find evidence that homeowners overestimate the value of their properties by around 8%.Our result that homeowners systematically overestimate the value of their homes provides some explanation for the difficult situation that many homeowners continue to face today. A sizable fraction of home owners—many of them first time buyers, given the increasing home-ownership rates during the boom—bought during the first half of the previous decade expecting large appreciations in home values,” wrote economists Hugo Benítez-Silva, Selçuk Eren, Frank Heiland, Sergi and Jiménez-Martín.
“Our findings also provide some explanation for the difficult situation many homeowners are in today. The tendency to overestimate capital gains makes homeowners more vulnerable to adverse shocks than they would otherwise be. Individuals who buy during a run-up in home prices may be particularly prone to unrealistically optimistic expectations regarding the rate of home price appreciation, making those cohorts particularly vulnerable to declining property values and tighter credit markets,” they concluded
Quicken Loans Chief Economist Bob Walters said it’s important for those in the market to have an accurate expectation of home value.
“While it is not surprising to most appraisers that homeowners are overestimating their home’s value on a national average, we should always make note of the direction the trend is heading to help set expectations for homebuyers and those looking to refinance,” said Walters. “There is nothing more disappointing to a homeowner than learning that the value of their home is less than they expected. This index is an important tool for lenders and homeowners alike as they set reasonable expectations for obtaining a mortgage.”
Appraiser opinions came in below homeowner value opinions in the Northeast, South and Midwest, with gaps of 0.58%, 0.70% and 1.23% respectively. The only holdout where appraiser opinions came in higher was the West at a 0.08% difference.
In a few major metropolitan areas surveyed, appraiser opinions of home value were higher than those of residents. San Jose saw appraiser opinions that were 6.73% more valuable than homeowner opinions. The same was true for San Francisco at 5.47%, and Denver at 4.09%.
On the other side of the spectrum was Charlotte, where homeowners overvalued their homes by 1.94%. In Philadelphia, the gap was 2.02%. Kansas City, MO, residents overestimated the value by 2.96%.