Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Real estate appraisal is a solid, middle class profession—one that requires a four-year degree and extensive on-the-job education, but also pays 40% more per hour than the median job. But appraisal licenser Brian Weaver wrote in an industry newsletter that "The future for appraisers specializing in residential mortgage work is coming to an end... No bang. Not even a whimper."

Algorithms deployed by firms like Zillow are getting better at analyzing characteristics of a home and its neighborhood to determine its value. The firm says that it on average predicts a home's value within 5% of its sale price, down from 14% a decade ago. Meanwhile, home-finance giant Freddie Mac recently began using automated appraisal for a small fraction of transactions.

Government to the rescue? Would-be automators will have to change government regulation if they want to cut human appraisers out of the picture. The industry says handing this important pillar in housing finance's architecture over to computers is dangerous, and important players like Freddie say that they plan to rely on human appraisers for the foreseeable future. But as computerized appraisal methods improve, potential savings could become irresistible.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:45 p.m. ET: 19,282,972 — Total deaths: 718,851 — Total recoveries — 11,671,491Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:45 p.m. ET: 4,937,441 — Total deaths: 161,248 — Total recoveries: 1,623,870 — Total tests: 60,415,558Map.
  3. Politics: Trump says he's prepared to sign executive orders on coronavirus aid.
  4. Education: Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning.
  5. Public health: Surgeon general urges flu shots to prevent "double whammy" with coronavirus — Massachusetts pauses reopening after uptick in coronavirus cases.
  6. World: Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases — Gates Foundation puts $150 million behind coronavirus vaccine production.

Warren and Clinton to speak on same night of Democratic convention

(Photos: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images, Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton both are slated to speak on the Wednesday of the Democratic convention — Aug. 19 — four sources familiar with the planning told Axios.

Why it matters: That's the same night Joe Biden's running mate (to be revealed next week) will address the nation. Clinton and Warren represent two of the most influential wise-women of Democratic politics with the potential to turn out millions of establishment and progressive voters in November.

Trump considering order on pre-existing condition protections, which already exist

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump announced on Friday he will pursue an executive order requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, something that is already law.

Why it matters: The Affordable Care Act already requires insurers to cover pre-existing conditions. The Trump administration is currently arguing in a case before the Supreme Court to strike down that very law — including its pre-existing condition protections.