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LOCAL HOUSING VALUES SHOW "FIRMING" TREND IN LAST QUARTER, ACCORDING TO 100-CITY SURVEY OF HOME APPRAISERS

 LOCAL HOUSING VALUES SHOW "FIRMING" TREND IN LAST QUARTER,
 ACCORDING TO 100-CITY SURVEY OF HOME APPRAISERS
 PITTSBURGH, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Property values in the nation's local housing markets began to stabilize in the quarter ending in August, according to a 100-city survey of residential real estate appraisers. Appraisers saw improvement in housing values in 20 cities across the country, up from the 15 markets seen on the upswing a year ago.
 Appraisers saw declining values in five cities, in comparison with the 11 markets at this time one year ago.
 In the last quarterly survey, 19 cities were seen improving and declines were forecast in five.
 The survey, conducted by lender's Service, Inc. (LSI), the country's largest appraisal management firm, covered 525 appraisers in 100 cities for the quarter ending in August. The greater Miami area, parts of Louisiana and Kauai, Hawaii were not included in this quarter's survey because the effect, if any, of Hurricanes Andrew and Iniki on values in those areas is not known at this time.
 According to the survey, housing markets showing strength include Denver; Des Moines, Iowa; Madison, Wis.; Portland, Ore.; and Salt Lake City. Home prices are improving in these markets and are likely to continue that way for at least the next six months.
 Unlike other leading indicators that trace industry trends by looking backward at housing starts and building 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 point out that these same estimates are the market value on which mortgage loan decisions are made.
 The survey also found property values in 74 markets to be "stable."
 "Increasing consumer confidence and the continued availability of mortgage financing at attractive rates is drawing buyers back into the market. In addition, corporate expansions and relocations are aiding home value increases in a number of cities," said Phil Bracken, president and chief executive officer of Lender's Service, Inc. "Buyers are definitely returning to the market."
 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 were polled in each market.
 LSI has a network of more than 10,000 independent appraisers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The firm currently manages 40,000 appraisals per month. Lender's Service, Inc. is a subsidiary of the Prudential Insurance Company of America.
 -0- 10/21/92
 /CONTACT: David Kogut, 212-546-2687, or Bill Campbell, 212-546-2664, both of GCI Corporate & Financial, for Lender's Service/ CO: Lender's Service, Inc. ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:


KD-TM -- NY005 -- 2749 10/21/92 10:01 EDT
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Date:Oct 21, 1992
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