Posted by Jonathan J. Miller -Thursday, February 15, 2007, 11:17 AM
I have been a member of Relocation Appraisals & Consultants (RAC) for about ten years. Its considered the cream of the relocation appraisal industry crop and their focus is to bring professionalism to relocation assignments for third party companies who manage employee moves around the world. Some of the best appraisers in the country are members of this organization.
The Manhattan real estate market is dominated by co-ops and as a result, many corporations are afraid of them so relocation volume here is pretty light. Its ironic because the foreclosure rate for co-ops is less than condos. In addition, co-op boards, for all the bad stories than have been said about them, actually filter out marginally qualified purchasers (because lenders have very low underwriting criteria these days) and discourage investors (flippers).
Even with low relocation volume as a firm, we have been rated by various relocation companies as being one of the most accurate. The last report we received a few years ago indicated we were averaged Â±3% of the final sales price as compared to our estimate. The next closest appraiser (who was not a member of RAC) averaged Â±10%.
One of the neat by-products of getting so many good appraisers together from around the country is an endless source of information and insight from these individuals. Leaders of the organization have been involuable to me for my professional growth as an appraiser. A few names include Chip Wagner (IL), Jeff Otteau (NJ), Butch Hicks (VA), Brad Charnas (OH), Rick Foos, (CA), Jay Delich (AZ), Colleen Welch (FL), Marie Robbins-Marine (CO), Bob Headrick (IL), Howard Babcock (MI), Suzanne Bloyed (OK), Thomas Allen (OK) and Ron Box (TX) to only name a few. There are many others in the organization that I admire and have learned from.
The price of membership, even if relocation work does not dominate your practice, is well worth it (if you are accepted). They are only interested in seasoned appraisers with references and have membership criteria outlined on their web site [pdf].
But I digress…
One of the by products of cooperation has been the RAC Report which is a market by market depiction of areas covered by members that has been standardized to included absorption, prices and volume by price strata. There is a wide array of markets covered (Manhattan doesn’t fit well into the criteria standard in addition to our lack of an MLS). Data on various New York City markets can be culled from my family of market reports available on my web site.
The redesign of the RAC report and site was spearheaded by Lee Burns, a very good appraiser and member of RAC based in Houston, Texas. The report allows the reader to peruse most of the major US markets to get a better understanding of where the risk lies in the market strata the house they are managing in inventory is likely to be.
These are the markets covered:
Akron Metro Area
Atlanta Northeast Metro Area
Boston Metro Area
Canton Metro Area
Chicago Metro Area
Cleveland Metro Area
Columbus Metro Area
Dallas Metro Area
Denver Metro Area
Detroit Metro Area
Houston Metro Area
Las Vegas Metro Area
Los Angeles South Bay Metro Area
Los Angeles Southeast Metro Area
Los Angeles Westside to Central (CLAW)
Madison, WI Metro Area
New Jersey-Montclair Line
Orange County, California
Phoenix Metro Area
San Antonio Metro Area
San Diego Metro Area
St. Louis Metro Area
Tampa Bay Area
Tucson Metro Area
Tulsa Metro Area
Washington, D.C. Metro Area (Suburban VA and MD included)
Wichita Metro Area
I plan on sharing the results every quarter as the reports are released.