Class Valuation continues its acquisition spree

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Class Valuation, one of the largest appraisal management companies in America, just made another acquisition. The AMC announced late last week that it has acquired fellow Detroit-based AMC Metro-West and its subsidiary Valuation Link.

In a press statement, Class Valuation said Metro-West, founded in 1987, is the largest independent residential appraisal firm in the country, with staff appraisers in over 80 U.S. metros.

“With this new partnership, we will not only be able to offer our clients more, but we can offer our appraisers more as well,” Brandon Boudreau, COO of Metro-West & co-founder of Valuation Link, said in a prepared statement. “I am incredibly proud of Valuation Link and Metro-West and all we’ve accomplished. Joining forces with Class Valuation is the perfect fit to take these accomplishments to the next level as we will continue to grow and strengthen our offerings together.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Class Valuation, which itself is owned by private equity firm Gridiron Capital, said the acquisition of Metro-West would fit into its larger strategy of fusing tech tools such as automation and 3D measurements to help clear the well-documented capacity issues in appraisal.

“One area of focus for us has been the growth of a staff appraiser network and building out a nation-wide trainee program,” John Fraas, CEO of Class Valuation, said in a statement. “This program can improve the current capacity challenges facing the industry while also strengthening the appraiser workforce for the future. This new partnership with Metro-West and their vast network of staff appraisers will fit perfectly with this initiative.”

This is the fifth acquisition Class Valuation has made in the last 12 months, and the seventh in recent years. In September, Class Valuation acquired Kansas City, Missouri-based Pendo Management for an undisclosed sum. 

There’s been a surge in private equity investment in the U.S. appraisal space over the last two years.

Arcapita Group Holdings, a Bahraini investment firm, announced this week that it had acquired a controlling stake in appraisal management company Nationwide Property and Appraisal Services for an undisclosed price.

The deal gives Arcapita an AMC that serves mortgage lenders in all 50 states, has a network of over 15,000 licensed appraisers, and grossed $144 million in revenue in 2021.

In Arcapita’s release about the acquisition, Neil Carter, managing director and head of U.S. private equity, described the appeal: “Residential real estate is the U.S.’s largest asset class, with sound fundamentals driven by population growth in the primary homebuying demographics, and increasing levels of new home construction. With appraisals being a regulatory requirement for mortgages for new home purchases, refinancing, and foreclosures, the $7.5 billion real estate appraisal services market has cumulatively grown by 32% since 2008.”

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