Kentucky REALTOR® News
Housing market data is a powerful tool for tracking trends and shedding light on how a particular area or market has performed over time. Historically, Kentucky REALTORS® has compiled housing statistics and published market performance data for public consumption. However, one piece that has always been missing was a predictive tool to use data to forecast how the housing market will perform in the future.
As part of its mission to educate and inform the public about Kentucky’s Housing Market, Kentucky REALTORS® has teamed up with data company HousingIQ to create a unique market forecast for the Commonwealth. HousingIQ has developed a platform that looks at various market input data, such as housing data, local labor market conditions, interest rates, and personal consumption, and then uses that information to predict how the average consumer’s financial situation and housing needs might affect the market over the next 12 months.
“It’s a comprehensive look at the myriad of factors that can affect the housing market in a given area”, said Vidur Dhanda, founder of HousingIQ parent company WAIN Street. “Quantifying the vitality of a housing market is a valuable tool for the real estate industry and it’s a great use of our economic data curated from both public and proprietary sources.”
Kentucky REALTORS® President Lester Sanders said this is just another way that the state association can serve both its membership and decision-makers across the state. “We’ve always been able to tell legislators how many homes sold in their district in a given month. Now we are able to convey what the market forecast looks like which can possibly shape policy” Sanders continued. “These decisions will affect the consumer and are tied directly to our advocacy goals.”
Currently in development is a REALTOR® market opinion survey which will take “street-level” knowledge and expertise and quantify REALTOR® confidence. This additional look at the market adds a human factor that transcends a numbers-driven formula.
KYR Director of Communications, Paul Del Rio, who is helping cultivate the partnership with HousingIQ, is hopeful that this will evolve into a powerful tool that is useful to more than just KYR REALTOR® members. “REALTORS® will love having this data to share with their buyers and sellers but the real estate industry affects almost every aspect of life and businesses in the state”, he said. “Lawmakers, small business owners, homebuilders and investors all have a vested interest in how the market performs. We are confident these reports will be a valuable resource to them as well.”
Senator Gerald A. Neal (D), Louisville, has filed a resolution honoring KYR President Lester T. Sanders. The bill was introduced on February 3rd and seeks to honor the Kentucky REALTORS® President, in part, for being the first African American President elected in its 97-year history. You can view the resolution's information at this link.
The resolution, as introduced, is below.
20 RS BR 1551
1 A RESOLUTION congratulating Lester Sanders upon being named the first African
2 American President of Kentucky Realtors.
3 WHEREAS, it is appropriate that this body honor those Kentuckians who become
4 leaders in their fields, and who blaze trails that future generations of Kentuckians will
5 proudly follow; and
6 WHEREAS, Lester Sanders is one such Kentuckian, and this august body rightfully
7 honors him on this day; and
8 WHEREAS, Lester Sanders is a proud graduate of Eastern Kentucky University;
9 and 10 WHEREAS, Lester Sanders worked for Semonin Realtors for 29 years and had
11 been named 2019 Realtor of the Year by the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors
12 and Kentucky Realtors; and
13 WHEREAS, Lester Sanders was recently named President of Kentucky Realtors,
14 becoming the first African American president in that organization's illustrious 97-year
15 history; and
16 WHEREAS, noting that Kentucky Realtors will focus on such important issues as
17 supporting local programs focusing on economic development and fair and affordable
18 housing, Lester Sanders vowed to continue to help Kentuckians with the most
19 fundamental decision of their lives: where they will live, work, and raise their families;
20 and 21 WHEREAS, the members honor Lester Sanders on this day upon this historic
22 achievement, and grant him very best wishes as he leads Kentucky Realtors into a new
23 and exciting future;
24 NOW, THEREFORE,
25 Be it resolved by the Senate of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of
27 Section 1. The members of the Senate hereby honor Lester Sanders upon being
1 named the first African American President of Kentucky Realtors.
2 Section 2. When the Senate adjourns this day, it does so in honor of Lester
4 Section 3. The Clerk of the Senate is directed to transmit a copy of this
5 Resolution to Senator Gerald A. Neal for delivery.
Kentucky REALTORS® President Lester Sanders participated in an Affordable Housing Roundtable presented by U.S. Housing and Urban Development and hosted by H.U.D. Secretary Dr. Ben Carson on Wednesday.
The "Driving Affordable Housing Across America Bus Tour” kicked off in Louisville, Kentucky, at St. Cecilia Senior Housing Apartments, a public-private partnership that provides affordable housing to a portion of Louisville's low-income, senior citizens. In addition to a tour, Secretary Carson participated in a roundtable with community members aimed at reducing regulatory barriers to affordable housing and innovative ways to create more affordable housing, particularly for Louisville's most vulnerable populations. Kathryn Sotelo, President of the Greater Louisville Association of REALTORS® and KYR member, joined Sanders at the event. Also in attendance from H.U.D. was Denise Cleveland-Leggett, Regional Administrator for HUD Region IV. (pictured at center in photo)
President Sanders said it was an opportunity to hear and discuss specific challenges Kentucky stakeholders have regarding affordable housing. “It opens the door for future collaboration as we focus on fair and affordable housing”, he said.
Dr. Carson was pleased with the location chosen as the first stop on his tour across the U.S. "It was a pleasure to kick off our 'Driving Affordable Housing Across America Bus Tour' at St. Cecilia Senior Housing Apartments in Louisville today," said Secretary Carson. "This affordable housing development is a model that should be replicated in other communities across our nation.”
"Families, businesses, nonprofits, and community leaders all have concerns about the rising cost of housing," continued Secretary Carson. "This bus tour is an opportunity to bring everyone to the table so we can work together to eliminate outdated regulations and increase our nation's supply of affordable housing."
The "Driving Affordable Housing Across America Bus Tour" is a part of the work Secretary Carson is undertaking as the Chair of the White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing established in June 2019. The Council's eight Federal member agencies are engaging with governments at all levels-State, local, and Tribal-and other private-sector and non-profit stakeholders on ways to increase our country's housing supply so more Americans have access to affordable housing.
Secretary Carson's "Driving Affordable Housing Across America Bus Tour" will run through June 2020. For more information visit www.hud.gov/drivingaffordablehousing
KYR announces the release of the new Residential Sales Contract to be utilized by Kentucky REALTORS® members. 2018 President, Steve Cline, saw the value in a statewide residential sales contract and appointed an advisory group to review the contracts in use around the state and come up with a recommendation for a single Residential Sales Contract that incorporated all the best parts of the various contracts. Led by Chair Janie Wilson, the group felt that the benefits of utilizing a statewide sales contract would include:
• Risk Reduction and legal protection for agents and consumers
• The development of education at the state level that focuses on the proper use of the contract
• KYR’s Legal Hotline supporting questions on the use of the statewide contract
With agents increasingly representing buyers in areas of the state they don’t usually practice, it makes sense for agents to transition to a statewide Residential Sales Contract. In the past questions about certain unfamiliar parts of contracts would act as speed bumps to the transactions when REALTORS® would need to resolve questions with each other.
KYR President Lester Sanders said it’s his hope that the new contract will take some potential confusion out of the real estate transaction because REALTORS® and agents are sometimes presented with an unfamiliar document during a transaction. “It might reflect poorly if he or she couldn’t definitively answer a question by a client due to never having seen that version before”, he said. “A statewide uniform contract should help REALTORS® better work together and properly serve their clients with great confidence.”
KYR has established a standing Statewide Forms Committee to monitor and quickly react to marketplace changes that necessitate changes to the contract. Updates to the contract will be made as needed, or yearly, at the minimum. KYR is also planning to work with Kentucky Realtor Institute to develop education classes to train REALTORS® on the use and understanding of the contract.
The contract is now available for download on the Kentucky REALTORS® website and can be found under association documents in the Members section. Login is required.
Bobby Allen Hunton, 65, of Bowling Green passed away January 20 at Hospice of Southern Kentucky surrounded by family.
The Bowling Green native was born December 6, 1954 to the late Bobby Gene and Eleanor Jean (Miller) Hunton. Bobby was active in many professional and civic organizations including the following: former president of Winelectric, owner and electrician at Southern Electric and Lighting, Realtor at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, cofounded Hope for Homeless in 2012, and co-founder of Stuff the Bus in 2005. He was active in the REALTOR® Association of Southern Kentucky being honored as 2013 Realtor of the Year and serving as its 2014 President.
He served Kentucky REALTORS® as a board member having been elected Director at Large in 2018, serving as Region 2 Director, and as the Chair of the Bylaws Committee.
Bobby was a 1972 graduate of Warren Central High School and went on to receive a B.S. in Engineering at Western Kentucky University. He was also a Kentucky Colonel and a member of Calvary Baptist Church.
Survivors include his wife, Judy Barks Hunton; siblings, Mark Hunton (Ladonna), Teresa Young (Dennis), and Susan Yoakem (John); special friend, Ron Ragan; several nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.
Funeral services will be held Thursday at 1 p.m. at the J.C. Kirby & Son Lovers Lane Chapel in Bowling Green with visitation from 2 until 8 p.m. Wednesday and after 9 a.m. Thursday.
As quoted in a 2016 interview with the Bowling Green Daily News, Bobby saw firsthand what students needed in school supplies when he was a student at the old Rockfield Elementary School. "I saw how teachers had to take their own money to buy school supplies for the kids. ... They don't make enough money to do what they do." In lieu of flowers, donations of school supplies or monetary donations to Stuff the Bus will be accepted at the funeral home.
2017 set the bar as the year to beat for home sales in the Commonwealth. With booming economic growth seen in the U.S. over the past eighteen months, it didn’t take long to top those marks set just two years ago. The closed listings level topped 50,000 homes sold for the first time in Kentucky history. December sales that topped the 2018 mark by almost 13% pushed 2019 Kentucky home sales to 50,891. This crested over the previous record (49,574 in 2017) by 2.5%. Steadily increasing prices due to rising demand ushered the total sales volume mark into record territory as well. $10.4 billion in residential real estate changed hands in 2019.
The consensus forecast of the National Association of REALTORS® called for 2.0% GDP growth, a 3.7% unemployment rate and a 3.8% average mortgage rate in 2020. Home prices in the U.S. are projected to rise by 3.6% in 2020 after a 5% gain in 2019.
“Sales prices continue to rise, but I am hopeful that we will see price appreciation slow in 2020,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Builder confidence levels are high, so we just need housing supply to match and more home construction to take place in the coming year.”
The median home price in Kentucky for December was up over 7% from the previous year at $175,000. This is the fifth consecutive month of year-over-year increases. The year-to-date figure for 2019 stands at $172,335, which is 5.6% higher than last year’s mark of $163,169.
December’s days-on-market (DOM) figure rose 8% over last year’s mark to 147 days. This increase is indicative that homes that have been on the market for some time are finally selling as demand is steadily increasing without an adequate supply of newly listed homes to satisfy consumers.
Lester Sanders, 2020 President of Kentucky REALTORS®, says that increasing home prices highlights the issue of housing affordability that the association is trying to bring to the forefront in 2020. “Kentucky’s communities can suffer even when the housing market is buzzing”, Sanders said. “REALTORS® will continue to advocate for Kentuckians to reduce the cost of buying a home and protecting homeowners’ rights.”
Homes available for sale remain under the ideal level of a 6-month supply. The December figure of 4.8 months of inventory is down 4.7% from last year’s figure.
Kentucky REALTORS® (KYR) announces a new initiative for 2020 that will allow REALTORS® to get further involved and give back to their Kentucky communities. The Community, Economic Development & Housing Affordability Grant Program (CODE) is a way for local REALTOR® Associations to play a leadership role in making their communities a better place to live and work.
National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) President Vince Malta gave the charge to REALTORS® to drive community development, promote housing affordability, and spur economic development. NAR’s Strategic Priority for 2020 also promotes enhancing the value of membership allowing us to, ‘own who we are’ and “lift as we climb”.
KYR President Lester Sanders said “the CODE Grant Program is a way for KYR to give back to its membership, directly affecting local communities and individuals. This initiative is just one of many ways that KYR continues to advocate for the citizens of Kentucky”, he said.
During 2020, KYR will make $60,000 in grant funding available to qualified programs and projects across Kentucky. This will entail $10,000 in funding for a project(s) within each of the state association’s six regions. Initiatives that drive economic growth, make quality of life improvements and support homeownership are the focus of this program. Grants may be used for community enhancements such as recreation areas that have an economic impact, projects that foster collaboration between stakeholders to develop plans to revitalize blighted, unused, or underused commercial space, or perhaps host educational activities to address affordable housing issues.
It is Sanders’ hope that as one of Kentucky’s largest and most influential trade associations, KYR can provide significant leadership in its communities to drive economic growth, promote community development and help more Kentuckians realize the American Dream of Homeownership.
Kentucky REALTORS® is proud to announce that the statewide participation total for the second annual Kentucky REALTOR® Ring Day reached $20,901.29. This total is cumulative from the state REALTOR® association and fourteen different local REALTOR® associations across the Commonwealth.
Leading the way again this year was the Paducah Board of REALTORS®. The area total raised there reached $8,984.08 thanks to a matching donation from that board of $2,500.
2019 KYR President, Rip Phillips, is pleased that so many REALTORS® are choosing to give back to their communities in this way. “It’s great to see REALTORS® out in the community and putting a face to the giving spirit we try to embody all year through. We’re proud of our track record of investing time in the places we live and work. Spreading a little Christmas cheer in the process is just an added bonus.”
The Salvation Army has been helping coordinate “Ring Days” for different organizations for years, but this event marked the second time that Kentucky REALTORS® and other REALTOR® local associations teamed up to help with the kettle campaign. Kettles were staffed at retail outlets where shoppers were greeted and invited to donate.
Fourth-quarter home sales in Kentucky began with a strong October. Year-to-date home sales through October stands at 43,353 units and was an almost 5% increase over the 2018 total of 41,352. A strong October sales mark of 4,496 (up 8.4% over 2018) holds the state near record-breaking territory. Sales volume in the Commonwealth saw nearly a billion dollars in inventory change hands. The figure of $940 million was up an impressive 16.8% over October 2018 ($805 million).
Across the nation, total existing-home sales increased by 1.9% from September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.46 million in October. Despite lingering regional variances, overall sales are up 4.6% from a year ago (5.22 million in October 2018). Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors®, said this sales increase is encouraging and he expects added growth in the coming months. “Historically-low interest rates, continuing job expansion, higher weekly earnings and low mortgage rates are undoubtedly contributing to these higher numbers,” said Yun. “We will likely continue to see sales climb as long as potential buyers are presented with an adequate supply of inventory.”
The median sales price in Kentucky was up 8.3% over October 2018 at $175,500. Year-to-date that total is up approximately 5% (at $172,553) from last year’s mark of $163,321.
October’s days-on-market (DOM) figure inched back up once again to 101 days. This is an increase of 6% over last year’s 95 days in October of 2018. Year-to-date, it is taking homes an average of 103 days to go under contract once listed.
Rip Phillips, President of Kentucky REALTORS®, reports that Kentucky’s market outperformed the south region of the U.S. in October. “Sales in the south are up about 7%”, he said. “The state of Kentucky, fueled by this robust and growing economy, showed an increase of almost eight-and-half percent. The affordability here is also allowing people to enter the market that previously could not do so. Lower mortgage rates are keeping the cost of owning a home stable even while the sale prices are steadily increasing.”
The inventory number for the state slipped slightly to 4.3 months. This is down just 2.5% over last October’s total of 4.4 months. Most economists believe a balanced housing market offers a 6-month inventory level.
The pace for home sales in Kentucky continues to pick up steam entering the fall season. September’s year-to-date home sales figure stands at 40,999 units. This is a 1.9% increase over the 2018 year-to-date figure of 40,214. A very strong September market experienced by counties in central and southern Kentucky has pushed this figure into year-end record territory. The Lexington-Bluegrass Association of REALTORS® experienced a 17% increase in year-over-year sales last month. As a whole, the Commonwealth saw 4,719 transactions take place in September. This is up 5.4% from last year’s figure of 4,463 marking the second-highest September sales number on record.
Unlike Kentucky, existing-home sales across the nation fell 2.2% from August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.38 million in September. Despite the decline, overall sales are up 3.9% from a year ago (5.18 million in September 2018). Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said that despite historically low mortgage rates, sales have not commensurately increased, in part due to a low level of new housing options. “We must continue to beat the drum for more inventory,” said Yun, who has called for additional home construction for over a year. “Home prices are rising too rapidly because of the housing shortage, and this lack of inventory is preventing home sales growth potential.”
The median home price in Kentucky inched up from the previous month but is 4.7% over September of 2018 at $143,653. This is the fifth consecutive month of year-over-year increases. Year-to-date that figure stands at $138,403, which is 3.7% higher than last year’s mark of $133,317.
September’s days-on-market (DOM) figure plummeted over 13% to 97 days. This is down from 110 days in September of 2018 and marked the first time that number has dropped below 108. The decrease in the amount of time it is taking for homes in the Bluegrass to go under contract is indicative of the shortage of homes on the market currently being experienced in Kentucky.
Rip Phillips, President of Kentucky REALTORS®, says that most markets in Kentucky bucked the national trend and saw an increase in sales this month. “Kentucky’s economy is really humming right now. Low unemployment coupled with confidence in the future is allowing the REALTOR® community to help Kentuckians with the great wealth-building activity of purchasing a home.”, he said.
The inventory number for the state has held below 4 months for seven consecutive months in 2019. The September figure of 3.89 months is up just 2 weeks from last month’s number but is almost 14% over the September 2018 figure of 4.42 months. Most economists believe a balanced housing market offers a 6-month inventory level.