Where are appraisers coming up with their comps?

By Keith KyleHermosa Beach Strand

There is one word to describe this market…..frenzy.  With so few homes on the market it seems that even the overpriced homes don’t last long.   Each Monday my office holds a meeting to the current weeks pending sales, closed homes and off market listings coming up and week after week….the numbers continue to amaze.  Homes that were listed and didn’t sell 18 months ago now sell for $200K more with multiple offers.  Countless all cash transactions and values that nobody thinks possible…even in this climate.

So on some of these recent sales in which there are no comparable properties that have sold even close to the same price, where are appraisers getting their comps from and how are they able to justify these sales prices?  Needless to say as a Realtor this only makes my life easier, but as a constant observer of the market, it is hard to believe that appraisers can not only come up with ways of justifying these values, but that the banks sign off on some of them.  With new precedents being set with seemingly every sale, how can some of these values be justified?  With the market values rising so rapidly the appraisers are obviously using this current and expected increase but some of these prices just seem hard to envision.

With inventory at near historic lows there seems no current end to this dramatic increase and with appraisers seeming to sign off on any sale price it doesn’t appear likely to stop anytime in the immediate future.