Desperate buyers forgo inspections, appraisals as Boise-area home prices push even higher

Looking to buy a home in Ada County? Good luck.

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Out-of-state buyers flush with cash are outmaneuvering Idahoans who need a bank loan. By offering cash, they cut down the time it takes to close a deal from a month to one week. Some buyers are dispensing with inspections and appraisals to speed up the process, and they’re coughing up nonrefundable deposits to win over sellers.

Meanwhile, the number of houses listed for sale is still dwindling.

There were a record-low 470 houses listed for sale in September — 288 new homes and 182 existing homes. A month earlier, there were 589 homes available, also a record low since the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service began tracking the numbers in 2006.

“With fewer than 500 homes listed for sale in a county where there’s demand for 1,200 home sales per month, that creates a crisis,” Boise real estate agent

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Homes in Black and Latino neighborhoods still undervalued 50 years after US banned using race in real estate appraisals | The Conversation

(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)

Junia Howell, University of Pittsburgh and Elizabeth Korver-Glenn, University of New Mexico

(THE CONVERSATION) The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work.

The big idea

Racial inequality in home values is larger today than it was 40 years ago, with homes in white neighborhoods appreciating $200,000 more since 1980 than comparable homes in similar communities of color.

Our new research on home appraisals shows neighborhood racial composition still drives unequal home values, despite laws that forbid real estate professionals from explicitly using race when evaluating a property’s worth. Published in the journal Social Problems, our study finds this growing inequality results from both historical policies and contemporary practices.

In the 1930s, the federal government institutionalized a process for evaluating how much a property was worth. Often called redlining, this process used

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Homes in Black and Latino Neighborhoods Still Undervalued 50 Years After U.S. Banned Using Race In Real Estate Appraisals | Cities

By Junia Howell and Elizabeth Korver-Glenn

Our new research on home appraisals shows neighborhood racial composition still drives unequal home values, despite laws that forbid real estate professionals from explicitly using race when evaluating a property’s worth. Published in the journal Social Problems, our study finds this growing inequality results from both historical policies and contemporary practices.

In the 1930s, the federal government institutionalized a process for evaluating how much a property was worth. Often called redlining, this process used neighborhood racial and socioeconomic composition to determine home values. Homes in white communities were deemed more valuable than identical dwellings in communities of color.

Legislative action in the late 1960s and 1970s prohibited this practice. But the law allowed appraisers to use past sale prices to determine home values. Our research shows how using old, race-based sale prices ensured appraisers continued to define homes in white neighborhoods as worth more

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Race Gap in Home Appraisals Has Doubled Since 1980

Home appraisals in predominantly Black and Latino neighborhoods are veering even farther from those in majority-white neighborhoods. 

Photographer: Robert Knopes/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

U.S. fair housing laws passed in the 1960s and ‘70s were supposed to help bring racial parity to a housing market that since its beginning confined Black homebuyers to the cheapest forms of housing in the most undesirable neighborhoods. But since those laws were passed, the disparity in the appraised values between homes in majority-white and predominantly non-white neighborhoods has widened dramatically, according to a new study.

This disparity can’t be fully explained by past racially discriminatory practices in the real estate industry, such as redlining, conclude University of Pittsburgh sociologist Junia Howell and University of New Mexico sociologist Elizabeth Korver-Glenn. Instead, standard modern appraisal practices used since the passage of the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977

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