Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Portland, Oregon has real estate problems too

From the Portland Business Journal, an article tells us that
"Nearly every day, home appraiser Terry Bernhardt tells mortgage brokers that homes they're seeking to finance are badly overvalued.

Their response, often, is to threaten to withhold Bernhardt's payment until he raises the home's appraisal value. If he doesn't, they'll find an appraiser who will, thereby ensuring they close the deal and collect a commission.

"The perception is, if you don't play ball with them, you won't get their business," said Bernhardt, an appraiser for Portland-based Valuation Trust Corp. "It puts us between a rock and a hard place."

Such high-pressure tactics have helped generate more complaints to Oregon's Appraiser Certification and Licensure Board than ever, said Bob Keith, the board's administrator. Overall mortgage-related complaints now exceed 300 annually, a fourfold increase since 2001."
What this means is that there is plenty of over-priced housing in the Portland metro, and the local real estate industry is trying to hide that fact. So expect to see falling home prices here for a while...

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