Federal banking regulators are waiving residential real estate appraisal requirements to facilitate reconstruction and recovery for three years in the disaster areas hit by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.The banking agencies said they recognize that it will be very difficult for appraisers to get comparable sales data or estimate market values in New Orleans and other real estate markets along the Gulf Coast that have been disrupted by the hurricanes. "Therefore the agencies have determined that the disruption may impede institutions from making loans and engaging in other transactions that would aid in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the affected areas," said a statement and order issued jointly by five financial institution regulatory agencies.

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