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Appraisal Institute spearheads new Internet property database.

Addressing the need for a national warehouse of residential data, the Appraisal Institute is developing the largest database that will be Internet accessible. This national residential physical property database will benefit not only the real estate market, but will service other industries, including the financial, research, investment and statistical markets. Institutions seeking such valuable information with wide national coverage will include banks, investment houses, government agencies, corporations and universities, as well as individual home owners and buyers.

To create the national residential database, the Appraisal Institute has signed a joint-venture agreement with FNC, Inc., a leading developer of data warehousing and financial software. The Appraisal Institute will determine the storage standard for the database, and FNC will build a common interface through the Internet to access the information electronically. The Appraisal Institute plans for a commercially available product by the year 2000.

"Our members have the most accurate and reliable information on residential properties nationwide," said Joseph R. Stanfield, Jr., MAI, SRA, president of the Appraisal Institute. "This residential database is an outstanding opportunity to share our expertise with the marketplace. Ultimately, this residential database will make available to the world a more effective and accurate source of real estate data."

Accessible through a homepage on the Worldwide Web, clients will tap into the Appraisal Institute's residential database, by entering a location and other criteria, paying a fee and obtaining comparable residential sales, which include the condition of various properties and their physical distinctions. It will consist of appraisal information derived primarily from the front page of the Uniform Residential Appraisal Report (URAR) form developed by Fannie Mae.

"This national database will achieve one of my key objectives by improving the availability, accuracy and currency of the residential market data nationwide," said Eric Von Pingel, senior vice president and director of residential appraisal at Bank of America. "The Appraisal Institute is demonstrating its leadership by spearheading this national project that allows appraisers to enter the Information Age and move away from the labor age. Its development allows appraisers to work together cooperatively by using and sharing the power of information. This national database for residential properties is beneficial to all constituencies - from appraisers to lenders to consumers."

Traditionally, property data has only been available on a regional or local level from data service companies or among appraisers. There has never been a national service to provide comprehensive information about residential properties, which account for more than 15 million appraisal transactions in refinancing annually for the 75 largest US markets.
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Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Oct 7, 1998
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