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Research Publication

Appraising the Appraisal

February 16, 2022
A closer look at divergent appraisal values for Black and white borrowers refinancing their home

Fannie Mae's latest research evaluates appraisal values of homes owned by Black and white borrowers refinancing their homes. According to an analysis of 1.8 million appraisals in 2019 and 2020:

  • Black borrowers refinancing their home on average received a slightly lower appraisal value relative to automated valuation models.
  • Homes owned by white borrowers were more frequently overvalued than homes owned by Black borrowers.
  • Six states, including Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Alabama, accounted for nearly 50 percent of the overvalued homes of white owners in majority-Black neighborhoods.

Accurate and unbiased appraisals can help remedy the legacy of racial inequities in the housing market. Modernizing the appraisal process, as well as fostering diversity in the appraisal workforce, are two ways the housing industry can help minimize the chance of racial bias in home valuation.

(Updated February 16, 2022 to provide additional clarification on the research methodology.)

Click here to read the Working Paper