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Automated valuation models (AVMs) can be a smart tool to use in your home appraisals, but they are only as good as their data source.

Mortgage lenders are familiar with the B-20: Residential Mortgage Underwriting Practices and Procedures from the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI). Under B-20, “Lenders must be satisfied that the value of the property being financed has been confirmed by an independent third party.” This means you should take another look at the source of your property data.

Certain AVM tools do not provide a value for a property being financed. Instead, the evaluate an area and, based on the value in that area, agree or disagree with the value stated on the mortgage application. This means that when AVM tools that do this agree or disagree with a value, you’re not actually obtaining the value of the specific property being financed.

This is a problem because it means if you are using AVM data that functions in this way, you’re no longer B-20 compliant. Emili is one example of an AVM tool that doesn’t actually provide a value for the property being financed. If you are funding insured deals and relying on Emili alone to validate, you may be in trouble.

Even if you’re a mortgage lender who is B-20 exempt, do you really want to be using AVM technology that is less accurate?

We’re not saying to do away with AVMs – far from it. AVMs can be an important piece of the property valuation process. Many lenders often rely on AVMs, house appraisals, and customized data to assess their portfolio and individual deals. If you were to rely solely on home appraisals, without the use of AVMs, the process would become very time consuming and labour intensive, not to mention cost prohibitive.

The better solution is to consider the source of your AVM property data. You need to know that your property values are accurate, both for individual assessments and for the security of your whole portfolio.

You want to be dealing with the most accurate, complete, and current information. There are many property data sources available, including municipalities, government, local MLS boards, real estate associations, and private enterprise. So, how do you choose which one to use?

The best source of property data, for your AVMs or otherwise, comes from the land registry where property transfers, mortgages, and liens are registered as they happen.

In Ontario, Teranet is the exclusive provider of the province’s online property search and registration. They developed, own, and operate the Province of Ontario Land Registry Information System (POLARIS), which is one of the most advanced, secure, and sophisticated land registration systems in the world.

The POLARIS system contains information such as a property’s sales history, registered mortgages, ownership, and more.

Purview uses the POLARIS data to generate its reports and to estimate a property’s value individually through its AVMs. When you access a Purview report, you get access to all kinds of property data, including an AVM. You can also use Purview to validate thousands of loans through bulk data and evaluate your portfolio.

No matter what AVM tool you use, you need to make sure that you are working with data you can trust.

Find out how you can access POLARIS property information and more with the Purview report. Call 1.855.787.8439 or visit