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The average American homeowner thinks their home is appreciating faster than appraisers do. Appraisal values in January were an average of 0.47 percent lower than what homeowners estimated, according the national Quicken Loans Home Price Perception Index (HPPI). January was the third consecutive month in which the gap between these data points widened from the previous month. While there is still a small gap between the two opinions, this emerging trend could be a sign that homeowners aren’t aware of recent home value changes.

The metro HPPI measurements fully shows how perception is changing across the country. Some Western cities have seen their HPPI values drop as their home value growth slowed. San Francisco, for example, had average appraisals 2.11 percent higher than expected in Jan. 2018. One year later, appraisals in the Bay Area are less than 1 percent higher than what homeowners estimate. All told, two-thirds of the metro areas measured reported average appraisal values higher than what homeowners expected.

“It looks like the HPPI is seeing the start of a downward trend, in lock-step with pockets of moderating home values,” says Bill Banfield, Quicken Loans executive vice president of Capital Markets. “However, with the national measure still reporting appraisals less than half of a percent lower than expected and with home values in the lowest-performing metro area less than 2 percent lower than what homeowners estimated, the housing market is still in a healthy place.”

Even though homeowners may not have their finger on the pulse of the home value changes, appraisers have recorded fluctuations in select areas. Nationally, however, home values are still marching forward—just at a slower clip than last month. Appraisal values rose 0.65 percent from December to January, according to the National Quicken Loans Home Value Index (HVI). In addition, the index showed healthy annual growth, with appraisal values rising 5.35 percent since Jan. 2018.

The more notable changes to home values were reflected in the regional areas. There was a small monthly dip in appraisal values for homes in the West and Midwest, declining 0.38 and 0.08 percent respectively, and much more subdued annual appreciation in the West and South. These regional adjustments didn’t cause huge ripples across the country, keeping the healthy appreciation that has been displayed as of late.

“While there have been some recent movements in the pace of home appreciation, the housing market is still very strong and is making positive movements across the country,” Banfield says. “As homes in each market adjust for the rate of price appreciation, buyers and sellers may find that there is more to negotiate—and some potential complications—if the purchase price isn’t supported by the appraised value. The appraised value will be derived from recent, proximate sales, and are the leading indicator for the direction of the local market.”

For more information, please visit QuickenLoans.com/Indexes.

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