Market Update

Mark Murphy
Licensing Manager – Arizona Department of Financial Institutions (AZDFI)


Debra Rudd
Appraisal Regulatory Specialist – Arizona Department of Financial Institutions (AZDFI)


Over the past few years, there has been a lot of discussion about an impending shortage of real property appraisers due to the increasing age of the professionals who are working in the industry. At the same time, there has been some difficulty attracting new appraisers into the industry with the increased regulations and requirements to enter the profession.

When housing demand increased sharply last year in Seattle, Portland, and Denver, we heard stories of appraisal fees doubling in cost and turnaround times for a single-family residential appraisal report taking twice or three times as long to receive. The challenges to receive reports in a timely fashion and appraisal fees seem to have now stabilized. Demand can change rather quickly, but providing a supply of qualified appraisers takes a much longer time to produce.

The majority of Arizona appraisers reside in the Metropolitan Phoenix Area and Tucson. It can be a challenge to find appraisers in some remote rural areas of our state. Federal legislation has been proposed to promote economic growth, provide tailored regulatory relief and enhance consumer protections.  U.S. Senate Bill 2155 attempts to address the shortage of appraisers in rural areas nationwide by eliminating the need for an appraisal in a federally related transaction under certain circumstances. The bill would amend the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act for loans on rural real estate by lifting the appraisal requirement to lenders if they meet certain criteria.  Section 103 of the bill provides more information on this matter. It is still too early to tell whether this banking bill sponsored by 23 Senators will pass, or what effect this appraisal exemption may have, but easing the burden of regulations to small community banks and credit unions seems to be on its way.

Although the aging population of appraisers is not as big of a concern currently on a widespread national scale, it appears to be one that is increasing. According to surveys by ClearBox®, LLC, the average age of an appraiser is 52 years young. However, there is some positive news considering the highest number of applicants taking the national exam in the first six months of 2017 was in the 26 to 34 year old category. As of December 2017, there are 95,688 actively credentialed appraisers nationwide or about 2 percent fewer than 2016. As of December 31, 2016, there were 96,856 appraiser credentials – down 2 percent from the end of 2015 and down 21 percent from the peak in 2007 of over 121,000. It is impossible to know how many of these appraisers actually practice instead of keeping their appraisal credential active while working in another field.  In Arizona, we have 2,019 actively credentialed appraisers, which is 19 more compared to a year ago. Our state also has 56 more Trainees than a year ago.

Lenders and Appraisal Management Companies are continuing to look for ways to avoid a shortage of appraisers in the future. Recent steps by the organization tasked by the federal government have been taken to ease the requirements to become licensed or certified. The Appraisal Foundation’s Qualification Board has issued four exposure drafts to decrease the minimum time and education required to become an appraiser, but nothing has been changed so far.  To see their latest proposal and request for comments, please visit their website at

In an effort to streamline applications and promote business growth in Arizona, the Department of Financial Institutions was successful in getting a bill passed during the last legislative session. Governor Ducey signed the bill and the law became effective August 9, 2017. The primary change alleviates the need to have a Supervisory Appraiser accompany a Registered Trainee Appraiser on every inspection. Now, the Supervisor will be the one to determine when the Trainee is able to complete the inspection of the property on their own. Other changes include language clean up regarding Clearance Card background checks and continued alignment of the appraisal statutes with the Departments laws. One such change pertains to the confidentiality that surrounds complaints filed against appraisers. Currently, only the person filing the complaint and the appraiser will have access to the information surrounding the results of the investigation by the Department. There may be cases posted under the “Supervisory Actions” heading on the Department’s website.  And if the appraiser has been found to have violated the Uniform Standards of Professional Practice to the degree that would impede their ability to appraise, such as having their license suspended or revoked, the information will be available on both the Department’s website and the Appraisal Subcommittee’s National Registry.

The review of procedures to make it easier to apply for a license with the Department are ongoing. To Lessen the time it takes to process applications and issue licenses, while maintaining the public trust remains the goal for the agency today.


Mark Murphy joined AZDFI in 2006, as an examiner. He was responsible for examinations of motor vehicle dealers, sales finance companies and money transmitting companies. After accepting a position with the National Credit Union Administration as a Credit Union examiner for two years, he returned to AZDFI in 2011.  He was promoted to Senior Examiner in June of 2016, and was promoted to Licensing Manager in March of 2017.  He currently oversees the licensing and regulation of 26 different licensees which now includes the licensing of Appraisers, AMCs and Property Tax Agents.


Debra Rudd is an Appraisal Regulatory Specialist with the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions. She previously held the position of Executive Director with the Arizona Board of Appraisal.  Before becoming a government employee, she was employed at two different banks as well as owned her own appraisal firm for over 15 years.  She holds the Certified General Appraiser license and has been an appraiser for over 40 years.   She is the Immediate Past President of the Appraiser Association of Regulatory Officials (AARO), and is Past President of the local chapter of National Association of Independent Fee Appraisers.  She had a Senior Residential Appraiser (SRA) designation, and was a board member of the Phoenix Chapter of the Appraisal Institute prior to holding her current position with the state.