Kentucky REALTOR® News
Home sales were up for the third consecutive month since the housing market roared back to life in June. 5,475 closings took place in Kentucky, up almost 7% over August of 2019. That follows an almost 15% increase experienced in July. Year-to-date sales surged to 35,705, up 4% from August of last year.
Nationally, total existing-home sales, completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 2.4% from July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.00 million in August. Sales as a whole rose year-over-year, up 10.5% from a year ago (5.43 million in August 2019).
"Home sales continue to amaze, and there are plenty of buyers in the pipeline ready to enter the market," said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. "Further gains in sales are likely for the remainder of the year, with mortgage rates hovering around 3% and with continued job recovery."
The median sale price of homes in Kentucky soared 15% to $199,900 (up from $175,500 just one year ago). The statewide average home price climbed to $236,169. For the second consecutive month, sales volume surged over 20%. That figure reached $1.3 billion, up from $1.06 billion in August 2019. This continues the 2020 sales volume hot streak and pushes the year-to-date sales volume almost 12% ahead of 2019’s figure at $6.98 billion.
The number of homes available on the market still hovers at near all-time lows with 1.74 months of inventory in August. This figure is down over 40% for the third consecutive month and down almost 48% over August 2019.
“REALTORS® continue to assist Kentuckians with, arguably, the most important investment of their lives”, said Lester T. Sanders, President of Kentucky REALTORS®. “Whether COVID-19 and related circumstances has changed their situation, or whether record low interest rates have inspired a decision, REALTORS® are there when we needed to help facilitate smooth and successful transactions.”
Distressed sales (foreclosures or short sales) were down almost 80% over August of 2019. This amounted to only 21 units as programs seem to be helping homeowners to remain in their property.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (September 14, 2020) – Secretary of State Michael Adams and Attorney General Daniel Cameron announce two election scams aimed at Kentuckians.
In one, Kentuckians are receiving letters from a group called the “Center for Voter Information,” pushing them to register to vote. However, the letters have been sent to people who are already registered to vote. The Center purports to have a Frankfort address on its mailers, but in fact the address simply represents a mailbox at a UPS Store.
Because the letters encourage people to register who have already done so, they confuse voters and disrupt Kentucky election officials’ efforts.
“I condemn this shady out-of-state group and their efforts to tamper with our elections,” said Adams. “They mislead voters, who then drive unnecessary call volume to our overworked election officials around the state. In fact, this group has even sent out voter registration materials with the wrong return-envelope addresses. Whether this organization is nefarious, or just recklessly incompetent, Kentuckians should disregard any communication they receive from the Center for Voter Information.”
In the other scam, voters have received text messages from a 502 area code saying they are not registered to vote and directing them to a fake website, ky.reg.com. If you receive this text, do not go to the website. Scammers may use the fake website to steal an individual’s personal and financial information.
“We’re committed to fully investigating and prosecuting any attempts to compromise our electoral process, and I’m proud to partner with Secretary of State Adams and our law enforcement partners within the Election Integrity Task Force to ensure a free and fair election,” said Attorney General Cameron. “If you encounter an election-related scam, please alert our Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-888-432-9257 or visit ag.ky.gov/scams.”
The Secretary of State and Attorney General urge Kentuckians to be on guard for election scams and to follow these scam prevention tips:
Use govoteky.com, a state sponsored website, to register to vote and apply for an absentee ballot.
If you receive an email or text message from an unverified source, do not click the link.
Do not provide your personal or financial information to unknown callers or text message senders.
COVID-19 had an adverse, albeit short, impact on the Kentucky housing market this spring. Higher pending contracts over the past two months indicated that sales would come roaring back. June would not disappoint. 5,426 closings took place in Kentucky, up a whopping 13% over June of last year. Year-to-date sales climbed to 24,159. This is 1% greater than sales through June of 2019 which peaked at 23,945.
Nationally, total existing-home sales, completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, jumped 20.7% from May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.72 million in June. Sales overall, however, dipped year-over-year, down 11.3% from a year ago (5.32 million in June 2019).
“The sales recovery is strong, as buyers were eager to purchase homes and properties that they had been eyeing during the shutdown,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “This revitalization looks to be sustainable for many months ahead as long as mortgage rates remain low and job gains continue.”
The median sale price of homes in Kentucky continues to climb. The June median price, up from $183,000 in June 2019, rose 5% to $192,00. The statewide average home price hit $224,195. Sales volume rebounded strongly, up 45% from last month ($837.9 million) to $1.05 billion. That figure also marks an increase of almost 17% from June of 2019. This surge raises the year-to-date sales volume 6.5% ahead of 2019’s figure at $5.1 billion.
The number of homes available on the market hit a record low for the state for the second month in a row. There is now less than 2 months of inventory in Kentucky for the first time since record-keeping began. The figure currently sits at 1.96 months.
“The housing market rebound in June shows that REALTORS® responded admirably to the health and safety recommendations made by experts and state leadership”, said Lester T. Sanders, President of Kentucky REALTORS®. “We stood ready to help Kentucky consumers successfully buy and sell property so the American dream of homeownership and wealth-building could continue. A housing market rebound means a better economic impact and outlook for all Kentuckians”, he said.
Distressed sales (foreclosures or short sales) were down 46% over June of 2019. It remains to be seen whether this figure will climb as forbearances and other programs expire as the year continues.
Home sales numbers were down as expected in May. 3,894 closings took place, down 23% from the 5,051 homes sold in May of 2019. The best way to measure what the next month will look like, however, is to look at pending sales (homes under contract). Last year, that figure for May was 7,311. This May saw that indicator rise by over 16% to 8,511. This indicates that June could emerge much stronger.
The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator of home sales based on contract signings, rose an astounding 44.3% to 99.6 in May, chronicling the highest month-over-month gain in the index since NAR started this series in January 2001. Year-over-year, contract signings fell 5.1%. An index of 100 is equal to the level of contract activity in 2001.
“This has been a spectacular recovery for contract signings and goes to show the resiliency of American consumers and their evergreen desire for homeownership,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “This bounce back also speaks to how the housing sector could lead the way for a broader economic recovery.
The average sale price of homes in Kentucky continues to rise. It climbed 4% to $215,187 (up from $207,000 in April 2019). Sales volume did take a hit, dipping 20%. to $837.9 million. However, the surging home prices due to the current lack of inventory is keeping the volume numbers impressively ahead of last year’s numbers. Even with the sale slowdown of the past 2 months, the year-to-date sales volume is 2.5% ahead of 2019 at $3.8 billion.
“KYR’s May Opinion Survey showed that 59% of Kentucky REALTORS® saw buyers returning to the market last month”, said Lester T. Sanders, President of Kentucky REALTORS®. “Currently, consumers don’t have enough options on the market. It’s a great time for homeowners who have considered selling to list their homes”, he said. “Multiple offer situations are becoming the rule rather than the exception.”
Strikingly, distressed sales (foreclosures or short sales) were down a remarkable 65% over May of 2019. This suggests that homeowner protection programs such as mortgage forbearances or loans are accomplishing what they were intended to do.
Hello Kentucky REALTOR® FAMILY.
I greet you as family, friend, and as President of Kentucky REALTORS®. These are the most difficult of times, and this is a difficult letter to write.
We have witnessed with our own eyes a black man (any man) dying from asphyxiation at the hands of those chosen to protect and serve. His name is George Floyd. Here in our Commonwealth, we are outraged at hearing of a young black woman named Breonna Taylor, a first responder, shot in her home by a police officer’s gunfire. These are outrageous acts. They occurred while we are in the midst of a pandemic. People are already stressed and emotions are running over the top. This combined with mistrust and anger is the perfect formula for devastation.
What we have seen across our state and nation are peaceful protests against racial injustice. In other cases, we saw riots that hurt people and destroyed property. Unfortunately, this is history repeating itself based on injustice, police brutality, and unresolved racial issues. To not speak out on these issues could simply mean we are complicit.
As champions of fair housing and inclusion, both the National Association of REALTORS® and Kentucky REALTORS® recognize and accept our responsibility to support policies that address racial injustice. We have reached out to National Association of Real Estate Brokers to join affiliated groups in conversations affecting the real estate business.
I recently announced a KYR Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion. This group will make recommendations, suggest policy changes, and devise strategies to help build a more inclusive organization. KYR will then be a resource to encourage and help local associations in developing their own Diversity Committees. KYR has already scheduled an interactive Cultural and Diversity session as we move into our Strategic Planning.
The Presidential Advisory Group, after in-depth discussion, has planned “A Conversation on Race” for our entire membership. This Virtual Town Hall will take place on Thursday, June 4th at 2:00 pm ET. The panel will include REALTORS®, Brokers, and Cultural Experts.
We are Champions for Home Ownership and we believe in the Protection of Private Property Rights. Kentucky REALTORS® NEVER condones violence of any kind against anyone or their property. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” As REALTOR® leaders we must be the calming voice in the midst of this storm (both physically and on social media). I welcome and invite the thoughts, comments, and suggestions of you, our members, as we work together for positive change. Our job is to respect our differences and “Lift as we climb.“ Yes, our families, communities, and each other. Why?
Because That's who We R!
Lester T. Sanders, KYR President
The effect of COVID-19 on the housing market in Kentucky was finally seen in the April statistics as a 12.5% drop in homes sold. 3,748 closings took place in April, down from 4,281 in April 2019. Housing market experts have been predicting a nationwide dip in sales for 2020 of about ten percent.
Nationwide existing-home sales dropped 17.8% from March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.33 million in April. Overall, sales decreased year-over-year, down 17.2% from a year ago (5.23 million in April 2019). April’s decline in existing-home sales is the largest month-over-month drop since July 2010 (-22.5%).
“The economic lockdowns – occurring from mid-March through April in most states – have temporarily disrupted home sales,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “But the listings that are on the market are still attracting buyers and boosting home prices. Record-low mortgage rates are likely to remain in place for the rest of the year and will be the key factor driving housing demand as state economies steadily reopen,” Yun said. “Still, more listings and increased home construction will be needed to tame price growth.”
As expected, the market slowdown in Kentucky did not decrease sale prices. The average sale price of homes in Kentucky surged 8.4% to $212,361 (up from $195,994 in April 2019). Notably, sales volume was only down only 5.1%. April 2019 saw sales volume reach $839 million while April 2020 dipped to about $796 million.
“Buyers have not relaxed much during the pandemic shutdowns and the demand remains”, said Lester T. Sanders, President of Kentucky REALTORS®. “Some sellers have been cautious and waited to list homes. But, creative strategies, such as distancing, sanitizing, and virtual showings have allowed Kentuckians to keep homes on the market and still get top dollar.”
The number of homes available on the market continued its fall. The inventory level fell again to 3.28 months, down from 3.48 months in April 2019, a decline of about 6%. It continues to remain well below the ideal level of a 6-month supply.
The Kentucky housing market continued its strong start despite March being the beginning of the “COVID-19 season”. March home sales were up 3.6% over last year cresting at 4,194 (up from 4,048). Sales volume in March continued to climb, reaching $884.7 million. This bested the March 2019 figure of $773.9 million by nearly 15%.
Nationwide existing-home sales, completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, dropped 8.5% from February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.27 million in March. Despite the decline, overall sales increased year-over-year for the ninth straight month, up 0.8% from a year ago (5.23 million in March 2019).
“Unfortunately, we knew home sales would wane in March due to the coronavirus outbreak,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “More temporary interruptions to home sales should be expected in the next couple of months, though home prices will still likely rise.”
Any slowdown Kentucky may experience in the housing market most likely won’t affect prices. The March figures show that the rising median prices are still on their upward trajectory. The median sale price (month-over-month) in Kentucky rose once again in March. It was up almost 10% at $179,500, up from $164,000 just one year ago. The March year-to-date median price is $172,191.
Sales volume was up significantly for the third month in a row. It swelled 14% in March reaching $884.7 million. This was up from $773.9 million in March of 2019.
“REALTORS® have adapted quickly to a changing marketplace over the last few weeks”, said Lester T. Sanders, President of Kentucky REALTORS®. “Virtual showings, procedural changes, and following CDC, state and local guidelines for safety have helped clients continue buying and selling their homes. REALTOR® best practices have softened the impact that a fearful reaction to the pandemic might have had on the housing market in Kentucky.”
The number of homes available on the market is dwindling ever further. That inventory figure continues to flirt with the sub-three-month mark. The March 2020 level of 3.1 months of inventory (down 14% over March 2019) remains well below the ideal level of a 6-month supply.
Home sales continued their strong showing in the early months of the new year. Closings were up about 9% at 3,384, up from 3,108 in February of 2019. Rising median prices meant larger transactions, though, and sales volume had an even more notable rise. Sales volume in February reached $667.5 million. This bested last year’s figure of $579.7 million by just over 15%.
Nationally, total existing-home sales completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops, rose 6.5% from January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.77 million in February. Additionally, for the eighth straight month, overall sales greatly increased year-over-year, up 7.2% from a year ago (5.38 million in February 2019).
“February’s sales of over 5 million homes were the strongest since February 2007,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “I would attribute that to the incredibly low mortgage rates and the steady release of a sizable pent-up housing demand that was built over recent years.” Yun noted that February’s home sales were encouraging but not reflective of the current turmoil in the stock market or the significant hit the economy is expected to take because of the coronavirus and corresponding social quarantines. “These figures show that housing was on a positive trajectory, but the coronavirus has undoubtedly slowed buyer traffic and it is difficult to predict what short-term effects the pandemic will have on future sales,” Yun said.
The median sale price (month-over-month) in Kentucky for February was up 5.1% for the second consecutive month, reaching $168,000. In 2019, that mark was 159,900. The February year-to-date median price is $167.517.
Sales volume was up over 15% in February. This figure reached $667.5 million, compared to about $580 million in February of 2019. Lester T. Sanders, President of Kentucky REALTORS®, says that the effect of the coronavirus on the Kentucky market won’t show in housing statistics for a month or two. “A strong February and March will likely give way to fewer sales as the true effect of this global pandemic weighs on the Kentucky housing market. For now, the market remains busy,” he said. “REALTORS® will continue balancing the need and desire of their clients to buy and sell property and our efforts to keeping them safe.”
Homes available for sale remain under well below the ideal level of a 6-month supply. The February figure of 3.8 months of inventory is down 19% from last year’s figure of 4.7 months.
HousingIQ Survey of Kentucky REALTORS® finds home sellers take wait-and-see approach as buyers are growing discouraged by the recent stock market correction.
Nearly two out of three REALTORS® -- 65% -- said their buyers were significantly discouraged by the recent stock market correction, according to the March 2020 edition of the HousingIQ Survey of Kentucky REALTORS®. 84% of the over 700 REALTORS® polled from across Kentucky reported that their sellers had not removed their homes from the market due to coronavirus fears.
The HousingIQ Survey of Kentucky REALTORS® is administered monthly to the Kentucky REALTORS® membership as part of an effort to harness the ears-to-the-ground knowledge of REALTORS®. The responses are analyzed and reported as the HousingIQ/Kentucky REALTORS® Confidence Index. The March 2020 edition included additional questions to gather first-hand knowledge about the impact of the coronavirus on the Kentucky housing market.
The emerging trend is that there will be a shift to a buyer’s market and there will be more opportunities for single-family rental investors. In the next twelve months,
- 68% of respondents expect more houses to sell below asking price
- 60% of respondents expect houses to stay on the market for longer
- 69% of respondents expect the number of distressed sales to increase
- 55% of respondents expect increased sales to investors
Kentucky REALTORS® Communications Director Paul Del Rio says the Coronavirus’ true impact on the housing market will reveal itself in the next few months. “We anticipated a decline in activity as consumers begin to adjust to our current situation”, he said. “However, the housing market should remain strong and those who tough it out will take advantage of some great deals. We encourage Kentuckians to remember that REALTORS® are transaction troubleshooting experts and can help guide consumers through the home buying or selling process.”
The full report is available at https://housingiq.wainstreet.com/surveys/ky
Known for giving back to the communities in which they work and live, REALTORS® care about their neighbors. One tool that REALTORS® have made sure is available to them in times of need is the REALTORS® Relief Fund. This charitable program can be activated to direct monies to those affected by natural and other disasters.
After floodwaters receded and it was clear that Kentuckians were enduring a hardship, Kentucky REALTORS® (KYR) and the Lexington-Bluegrass Association of Realtors® each contributed $10,000 to this cause. A matching grant of $20,000 by the National Association of REALTORS® Realtor® Relief Fund now brings the assistance available to residents of Kentucky who were recently affected or displaced by the flooding to $40,000.
Ten counties in the Commonwealth are considered disaster areas due to the February 2020 flooding. Property owners, homeowners, and renters in Bell, Clay, Harlan, Knox, Lawrence, Leslie, Letcher, McCreary, Perry and Whitley counties were affected by the heavy rains. Related damage, such as mudslides and a train derailment, accompanied the traditional damage done by rising water.
Any affected residents can fill out an application for assistance from the REALTORS® Relief Foundation and will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis. In order to ensure that the maximum number of Kentuckians receive aid, the maximum amount available per application is $1000. Those interested in applying should visit the Kentucky REALTORS® website at kyrealtors.com/flood for more details and to download an application.
KYR President Lester Sanders said that a priority of this program is to make the funds available immediately. “When major disaster strikes, the REALTORS® Relief Foundation has one goal: help families who have endured unimaginable loss”, he said. “It’s our hope that these funds make what is bound to be a very difficult time in the lives of our neighbors a bit more bearable.”
Those interested in supporting the fund to help others in times of need may do so by making a private donation. The REALTORS® Relief Foundation welcomes contributions not only in times of disaster but at any time throughout the year. Additionally, 100% of all funds collected go to disaster relief causes. Visit kyrealtors.com/flood to find out how you can help.