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98-CITY SURVEY SEES TURNAROUND IN LOCAL HOUSING MARKETS IN LAST QUARTER

98-CITY SURVEY SEES TURNAROUND IN LOCAL HOUSING MARKETS IN LAST QUARTER
 PITTSBURGH, May 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Although home values remain weak in some areas, the nation's housing market is showing marked signs of a turnaround, according to a 98-city survey of residential real estate appraisers. Appraisers saw housing prices improving in 15 cities across the country, up from 10 in the fall of last year.
 But appraisers still anticipate downturns in 11 metropolitan areas.
 The survey, conducted by Lender's Service, Inc., the country's largest appraisal management firm, covered 525 appraisers in 98 cities for the quarter ending in February.
 While other leading indicators trace industry trends by looking backward at housing start permits, the LSI Survey samples appraiser opinion on the current market and looks ahead at future values.
 Results are based on the appraisers' subjective opinions of their local markets, but it is important to note that these same estimates are the market value on which mortgage loan decisions are make.
 According to the survey, home prices in Denver; Portland, Ore. and Spokane, Wash. are rising and the upswing will continue for at least the next six months.
 Markets are expected to be weak into the fall in Orange County, Calif. and Orlando, Fla., the appraisers said.
 The survey also found 76 markets to be "stable," in comparison with 83 markets in the fall of last year.
 "A combination of low mortgage rates and definite signs of an economic upturn is giving a lift to the nation's housing market. The downturns are usually tied to one or two specific local factors -- such as a cutback by a major local employer or the downsizing of the U.S. military -- which don't reflect on the overall situation across the country," said Robert W. Murphy, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Lender's Service, Inc. ("LSI").
 As the nation's largest appraisal management firm, LSI has its "ear" to appraisers' opinions concerning values and market trends across the United States. Those opinions are the home value on which mortgage loan decisions are made. Three to six appraisers are polled in each market.
 LSI is the nation's largest appraisal management firm, with a network of more than 10,000 independent appraisers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The firm currently manages 30,000 appraisals per month. Lender's Service, Inc., is a subsidiary of the Prudential Insurance Company of America.
 LENDER'S SERVICE INC. SURVEY
 Housing Markets in Transition
 -- Cities Up -- -- Cities Declining --
 Akron, Ohio Boston
 Chicago Dayton, Ohio
 Denver Detroit
 Des Moines, Iowa Grand Rapids, Mich.
 Greenville, S.C. Honolulu
 Lincoln, Neb. Los Angeles
 Louisville, Ky. New York City
 Madison, Wis. Orange County, Calif.
 Portland, Ore. Orlando, Fla.
 Reno, Nev. Rochester, N.Y.
 Spokane, Wash. St. Louis
 -- Cities Expected to Improve -- Cities Expected to Decline
 in Next Six Months -- in Next Six Months --
 Denver Orange County, Calif.
 El Paso, Texas Orlando, Fla.
 Louisville, Ky.
 Madison, Wis.
 Omaha
 Portland, Ore.
 Rockford, Ill.
 Seattle
 Spokane, Wash.
 -0- 5/7/92
 /CONTACT: David Kogut, 212-546-2687, or Bill Campbell, 212-546-2664, both of GCI Corporate & Financial, for Lender's Service Inc./ CO: Lender's Service Inc. ST: IN: FIN SU: ECO


TQ-BW -- NY002 -- 7466 05/07/92 09:30 EDT
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Date:May 7, 1992
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