Well over a year ago I wrote about the looming shortage of qualified trades people available to build new houses. When you go from gang-buster building to a dead stand still things are going to change. In many cases experienced carpenters, plumbers, and framers decided it was time to change careers. Many went back to school to learn other vocations or into police and fire academies, these people are not going to go back into construction. I know many builders have had a rough time finding qualified help.
But what about other housing related industries that were hurt in the great down-turn of 2008? Yes a lot of Realtors got out and many are coming back but what about appraisers, lenders and loan processors? I don’t have statistics on their looses but I have heard an interesting comment coming from life long lenders and appraisers who are starting to feel like dinosaurs and wonder who will be there to fill their shoes when they retire in the next decade.
You see younger people getting into real estate but we are not seeing younger people getting into lending or appraising. Both of these fields have seen enormous changes since the melt-down. The documentation needed to process a loan is astronomical. One of my favorite lender warns clients she will be harassing them for an unbelievable amount of paperwork and information. Lender simply will not go do the re-fi or purchase road for wishy-washy buyers. Plain and simple it is too much work for not a lot of reward. I can hear you all say ‘weren’t these the very people that got us in this problem?’ Yes they were part of the equation but not all. It went from too easy to get a loan and a huge hassle for even the most qualified buyers. There simply are not enthusiastic, motivate 20 – 30 year olds getting into the business.
I had a similar conversation with an appraiser over the weekend. She said the average age of an appraiser now is 50 with a lack of younger recruits. These appraisers are slammed now. New regulations have increased the data needed on each appraisal and in many cases shorter turn around times. Appraisers work out off ‘pool’ with the new lending/appraisal regulations. This basically means a name is pulled from the pool regardless of his or her knowledge of the area. It use to be you could choose from a few appraisers you knew had knowledge of certain areas or types of properties (acreage or high end homes, or historic neighborhoods). Now it is the luck of the draw and you may get an appraiser that has very little knowledge about what he has to appraise (he may even be called in from several hours out of town). It is my understanding getting your appraisal license is no easy feat either.
I think within the next decade we will see real shortages in these two area. Wish I had a solution but these two fields that hold little appeal to 20 and 30 year olds. Not sure what we are going to do.