Study finds borrower race does not affect appraiser valuation

Brent W. Ambrose of Pennsylvania State, James Conklin of Georgia, N. Edward Coulson of California, Irvine – Paul Merage School of Business, Moussa Diop of USC, and Luis A. Lopez of the University of Illinois at Chicago have written Does Appraiser and Borrower Race Affect Valuation? Here’s the abstract:

Following concerns about undervaluation of minority-owned homes, we examine the incidence of racial appraisal bias using a nationwide sample of refinanced mortgages from 2000 to 2007. A unique feature of our data is that they allow us to observe the race of the both the homeowner and the appraiser. We do not observe large, systematic differences in the ratio of appraised values to automated valuation model (AVM) estimates between Black- and White-owned homes. Moreover, the appraiser’s race and its interaction with the owner’s race are not related to valuations. Our findings suggest that racial appraisal bias is either uncommon in the mortgage refinance market or has a relatively minor effect on valuations, on average.

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