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Kentucky REALTOR® News

RPAC Major Investors get exclusive event at Convention
August 11, 2017

Kentucky and Ohio RPAC Major Investors will have exclusive access to the Cincinnati Reds vs. Boston Red Sox game on Sunday, September 24. The baseball game leads off what promises to be four days of fun and excitement occurring throughout the first-ever joint Annual Convention & EXPO in Cincinnati, being held September 24-27.

RPAC Major Investors (members that have invested $1,000 or more in the 2017 RPAC campaign) will enjoy food, drinks and a rematch of the memorable 1975 World Series from the private comfort of Great American Ball Park’s Machine Room Grille, which is being reserved solely for REALTORS from the Buckeye and Bluegrass states!

Click here to register

NOTE: When registering, make sure to identify as a “Major Investor” and you’ll be provided the opportunity to secure your complimentary ticket, as well as purchase guest tickets ($65).

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Gregory joins Kentucky REALTORS® as Director of Governmental Affairs
July 27, 2017

Kentucky REALTORS® (KYR) announced that Pamela Gregory has been hired as the Director of Governmental Affairs. Pamela comes to KYR with an extensive background in managing various aspects of advocacy, governmental relations and outreach. 

 

Gregory was previously the manager of the Southeastern Region for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce based in Atlanta, GA. She supported congressional and public affairs for eight southeastern states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. The mission of the Southeastern Regional Office is to develop and maintain the region’s legislative, political, and grassroots resources to achieve the U.S. Chamber’s public policy goals.

 

Pamela joined the Chamber directly from the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. There, she served as the Southeast regional outreach manager and built relationships and coordinated all aspects of the coalition in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Previously, she spent more than five years in outreach roles for former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC). Gregory holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Charleston.

 

“The breadth of Pamela’s expertise in governmental relations and from working for one of the nation’s strongest business advocacy organizations is the perfect fit to help KYR achieve its legislative and political involvement goals.” said Steve Stevens, CCE, KYR’s CEO. “We look forward to having her take us to a new level of member engagement at KYR.”

 

KYR, the voice for real estate in Kentucky, is one of the largest and most influential associations in Kentucky. Founded in 1922, KYR represents more than 10,400 REALTORS® who are involved in all aspects of real estate, including residential and commercial real estate brokers, sales agents, developers, builders, property managers, office managers, appraisers and auctioneers.

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Kentucky's unemployment rate increases to 5.1% in June 2017
July 24, 2017

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary June unemployment rate was 5.1 percent, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The unemployment rate for June 2017 was up 0.1 percentage points from the 5 percent reported in May 2017.

The preliminary June 2017 jobless rate was up 0.1 percentage points from the 5 percent rate recorded for the state in June 2016.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for June 2017 was 4.4 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The U.S. unemployment rate for June was also up 0.1 percentage points from the 4.3 percent reported in May 2017.

Labor force statistics, including the unemployment rate, are based on estimates from the Current Population Survey of households. It is designed to measure trends rather than to count the actual number of people working. It includes jobs in agriculture and those classified as self-employed.

In June 2017, Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 2,077,465, a decrease of 8,530 individuals compared to the previous month. Employment was down by 10,721, while the number of unemployed increased by 2,191.

“Kentucky’s unemployment rate has remained steady around 5 percent for the past 24 months,” said University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) Director Chris Bollinger, Ph.D.

The Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics (KCEWS) recently partnered with the CBER to prepare economic analyses on the state’s workforce and labor market data, including the monthly statewide and county unemployment rate news releases.

In a separate federal survey of business establishments that excludes jobs in agriculture and people who are self-employed, Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment decreased by 500 jobs in June 2017 compared to May 2017. Kentucky has added 30,900 jobs since June 2016, a 1.6 percent employment growth.

“Kentucky has experienced solid and steady employment growth since 2010. However, both measures of employment suggest that Kentucky’s employment growth has slowed recently,” said Bollinger. “The survey of businesses indicates that Kentucky employers added about 7,600 jobs in the first quarter of 2017, but only 600 jobs in the second quarter.”

Nonfarm data is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics program. According to this survey, five of Kentucky’s 11 major nonfarm North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) job sectors registered gains in employment, while six declined from the previous month.

Kentucky’s trade, transportation and utilities sector showed the largest gain, adding 1,800 jobs from May 2017 to June 2017. This represents an increase of 0.4 percent since May 2017 and 2 percent since June 2016. Since June 2016, this sector is up by 8,100 jobs.

“This sector’s employment has steadily increased since early 2010, supported in part by the growth in other sectors such as manufacturing,” said Bollinger. “Kentucky has a number of important location and infrastructure features such as major interstates that help support this important industry.”

Professional and business services rose by 1,600 jobs, a 0.7 percent increase in June 2017. This sector has added 8,900 jobs since June 2016, a 4.1 percent growth. This sector includes administrative and support and waste management and remediation services.

Leisure and hospitality expanded by 1,000 jobs in June 2017. Since June 2016, employment in this sector has risen 3,300 or 1.7 percent. This sector includes arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation and food services.

The information services sector increased by 200 jobs from May 2017 to June 2017. Kentucky has seen a 6.1 percent growth in information jobs since June 2016 with 1,400 more positions. The industries in this sector include traditional publishing as well as software publishing; motion pictures and broadcasting; and telecommunications.

Other services sector gained 900 jobs in June 2017 and 2,200 since June 2016. Other services includes repairs and maintenance, personal care services and religious organizations.

Kentucky’s manufacturing sector lost 1,600 jobs, a 0.6 percent decrease, in June 2017. However, since June 2016, this sector has added 1,900 jobs, a 0.8 percent increase. Both durable and nondurable manufacturing showed decreases in employment from May 2017 to June 2017 but added positions over the year.

The education and health services sector decreased by 1,000 jobs in June 2017. This sector has added 2,600 jobs since June 2016, a 1 percent growth rate. Within this sector, employment in educational services increased by 700 jobs from May 2017 to June 2017. Health care and social assistance employment dropped by 1,700 jobs.

Construction employment fell by 800 jobs from May 2017 to June 2017. However, construction employment is up 2,900 jobs or 3.8 percent since June 2016.

The financial activities sector lost 800 jobs in June 2017. Since June 2016, this sector has gained 2,000 jobs or 2.1 percent.

Mining and logging decreased by 100 jobs in June 2017. This sector has dropped by 600 positions, or 5.8 percent, since June last year.

The government sector declined by 1,700 jobs from May 2017 to June 2017, and 1,800 since last June. In June 2017, state government employment decreased by 1,000 jobs, while local government jobs fell by 800 and federal government was up by 100.

Civilian labor force statistics include nonmilitary workers and unemployed Kentuckians who are actively seeking work. They do not include unemployed Kentuckians who have not looked for employment within the past four weeks.

Kentucky’s statewide unemployment rate and employment levels are seasonally adjusted. Employment statistics undergo sharp fluctuations due to seasonal events, such as weather changes, harvests, holidays and school openings and closings. Seasonal adjustments eliminate these influences and make it easier to observe statistical trends. However, because of the small sample size, county unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

For more information about Kentucky’s labor market, visit https://kcews.ky.gov/KYLMI.

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Kentucky home sales continue to climb
July 20, 2017

May sees increase in sales, slight drop in price

 

Real estate sales in Kentucky continue to exceed the totals seen through this time in 2016. Total home sales in May increased 8.6 percent, from 4,963 in 2016 to 5,391 in 2017, the first time sales have pushed over 5,000 in May. Housing inventory in May reached an all-time low at 3.5 months, down 14.6 percent from May of 2016.

 

“The fact that inventory remains so low and sales continue to grow shows a very active real estate market,” said Mike Becker, president of Kentucky REALTORS®. “Buyers who are in the market need to move quickly if they find a property they want to move on. Available inventory is in tight supply.”

 

In fact, days on market decreased to 123 days, down 7.5 percent from the 133 days last May. Near historic lows, the homes on the market aren’t staying around as long, mainly due to the decrease in the current housing stock in many areas of the state. Nationally, properties typically stayed on the market for 27 days in May, which is down from 29 days in April and 32 days in May last year. This is the shortest timeframe since tracking began nationally in May 2011.

 

But news may be good for buyers moving forward as an increased share of homeowners believe now is a good time to sell their home. This quarter, according to NAR's quarterly Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey, 71 percent of homeowners think now is a good time to sell, which is up from last quarter (69 percent) and considerably more than a year ago (61 percent). Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said of the findings, “Perhaps this notable uptick in seller confidence will translate to more added inventory later this year.”

 

The state’s median home price dropped slightly in May, less than one percent, from $131,636 in 2016 to $130,583 in 2017. This is a departure from what rest of the country saw in May as the national median price hit a new peak at $252,800.

 

“A slight drop in price for the month seems to be normal considering the state of the market,” stated Becker. “More activity on homes available in the lower price ranges will eventually bring down the median home price. Total sales volume for May, however, was just north of one billion dollars for the state, which was a record for the month.”       

 

Yun says sales activity expanded in May as more buyers overcame the increasingly challenging market conditions prevalent in many areas. He reiterated that the job market in most of the country continues to be healthy and mortgage rates remain favorable to buyers that qualify. He continued by saying those able to close on a home last month are probably feeling both happy and relieved. Listings in the affordable price range are scarce and homes are coming off the market at an extremely fast pace.

 

But he also states that monthly closings have recently been oscillating back and forth, but this third consecutive monthly decline in contract activity implies a possible topping off in sales. Buyer interest is solid, but there is just not enough supply to satisfy demand and prospective buyers are being sidelined by limited choices. Within the state, home sales have fluctuated monthly over 2017, with declines in two of the five months (February and April) so far this year.

 

Year to date, however, home sales in Kentucky are still up over last year by 5.4 percent, with 20,438 homes sold in 2017 versus 19,379 in 2016. Median prices to date have remained solid at $121,577 in 2017, an increase of 1.7 percent over the $119,463 in 2016.

 

Kentucky REALTORS® is one of the largest and most influential associations in Kentucky. Founded in 1922, Kentucky REALTORS® represents more than 10,400 REALTORS® who are involved in all aspects of real estate, including residential and commercial real estate brokers, sales agents, developers, builders, property managers, office managers, appraisers and auctioneers.

 

To view housing statistics for the state, as reported to Kentucky REALTORS®, visit housingstats.kyrealtors.com.

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Wiseman appointed to the Kentucky Real Estate Commission
July 10, 2017

Shirley Wiseman, a real estate broker, appraiser, builder and developer in Lexington and member of Kentucky REALTORS® (KYR), was appointed by Governor Bevin as a Commissioner with the Kentucky Real Estate Commission (KREC). Her term runs through June 15, 2020.

Ms. Wiseman began her real estate career in 1965 as a home builder in the central Kentucky area. After serving as a director for the Home Builders Association of Lexington in 1972 and the Home Builders Association of Kentucky in 1974, she became the first woman ever elected to a senior officer position with the National Association of Home Builders, serving as Area VI vice president in 1986, treasurer in 1987 and president in 1989.

She was named Builder of the Year in 1978 at the local level and in 1980 was awarded the same honor at the state level. Wiseman was named to the Kentucky Housing Hall of Fame in 2000 and the National Association of Home Builders Hall of Fame in 1995.   

Ms. Wiseman served the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as the Assistant Secretary for Housing. She is also a past member of the Rural Housing Preservation National Task Force, the Federal National Mortgage Association Advisory Council and the National Wetland Policy Task Force.

“I am honored to serve the real estate community of home owners, buyers and sellers as well as the thousands of real estate professionals across the state,” stated Ms. Wiseman. “I am ready to do what I can to make the real estate environment the best it can be for citizens of the Commonwealth.”

Ms. Wiseman was a charter designee of the American Association of Certified Appraisers, served as an advisor to the Urban League and is a member of the Order of Eastern Star. She held numerous positions with the Small Business Administration, was founder of Lexington Housing for the Handicapped and is a Kentucky Colonel.

“KREC is getting someone with a tremendous background in real estate and a vast amount of experience in the building industry,” stated Mike Becker, president of Kentucky REALTORS®. “Ms. Wiseman will bring the Commission unmatched knowledge in many areas of the business that will be a source of support for consumers across the state.”

As an agency of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Kentucky Real Estate Commission is empowered to regulate state licensing and education of real estate brokers and sales associates and to safeguard and protect the public interest. The Commission strives to elevate the real estate industry to the highest standards possible through communication, education and the latest technology.

KYR, the voice for real estate in Kentucky, is one of the largest and most influential associations in Kentucky. Founded in 1922, KYR represents more than 10,400 REALTORS® who are involved in all aspects of real estate, including residential and commercial real estate brokers, sales agents, developers, builders, property managers, office managers, appraisers and auctioneers.

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House Passes Bill Aimed At Reversing Dodd-Frank
June 9, 2017

House Republicans voted Thursday to deliver on their promise to repeal Dodd-Frank — the massive set of Wall Street regulations President Barack Obama signed into law after the 2008 financial crisis.

In a near party-line vote, the House approved a bill, dubbed the Financial Choice Act, which scales back or eliminates many of the post-crisis banking rules.

The legislation is the brainchild of House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas.

"Dodd-Frank represents the greatest regulatory burden on our economy, more so than all the other Obama-era regulations combined," Hensarling told reporters Wednesday. "There is a better way: economic growth for all; bank bailouts for none." Read More

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Kentucky REALTORS in Gatlinburg
June 7, 2017

The Kentucky REALTORS® Summer Business Meeting is a great chance to network with colleagues in a relaxed, casual atmosphere while learning more about the current real estate market and what the state association is doing for you. This meeting will be the most fun you'll have all year!

 

 
 

This year the meeting will be held in the middle of the majestic Great Smoky Mountains at the Park Vista Hotel. The Park Vista sits nestled among the mountains overlooking the city lights of Gatlinburg. Enjoy a night out on Wednesday to explore downtown Gatlinburg. On Thursday night, Kentucky REALTORS is holding a cook-out for all attendees.

Register now

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Unemployment rates up in 83 Kentucky counties in April 2017
May 31, 2017

Unemployment rates rose in 83 Kentucky counties between April 2016 and April 2017, fell in 28 and stayed the same in nine counties, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 3.1 percent. It was followed by Shelby County, 3.4 percent; Oldham County, 3.5 percent; Fayette and Spencer counties, 3.6 percent each; Scott County, 3.7 percent; Jessamine and Warren counties, 3.8 percent each; and Allen, Boone, Campbell, Henry, Monroe and Washington counties, 3.9 percent each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 17.3 percent. It was followed by Leslie County, 10.3 percent; Elliott and Letcher counties, 10.1 percent each; Harlan County, 9.8 percent; Carter County, 9.5 percent; Lawrence County, 9.3 percent; Knott County, 9.2 percent; Perry County, 9.1 percent; Breathitt County, 9 percent; and Floyd County, 8.9 percent.

In contrast to the monthly national and state data, unemployment statistics for counties are not seasonally adjusted. The comparable, unadjusted unemployment rate for the state was 4.8 percent for April 2017, and 4.1 percent for the nation.

Unemployment statistics are based on estimates and are compiled to measure trends rather than actually to count people working. Civilian labor force statistics include non-military workers and unemployed Kentuckians who are actively seeking work. They do not include unemployed Kentuckians who have not looked for employment within the past four weeks. The statistics in this news release are not seasonally adjusted because of the small sample size for each county. The data should only be compared to the same month in previous years.

Learn more about Kentucky labor market information at www.kylmi.ky.gov.

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Kentucky's unemployment rate increases to 5.1% in April 2017
May 18, 2017

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary April unemployment rate was 5.1 percent, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The unemployment rate for April 2017 was up 0.1 percentage points from the 5 percent reported in March 2017.

The preliminary April 2017 jobless rate was 0.1 percentage points higher than the 5 percent rate recorded for the state in April 2016.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for April 2017 was 4.4 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Labor force statistics, including the unemployment rate, are based on estimates from the Current Population Survey of households. It is designed to measure trends rather than to count the actual number of people working. It includes jobs in agriculture and those classified as self-employed.

In April 2017, Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 2,082,476, an increase of 17,282 individuals compared to the previous month. Employment was up by 14,832, while the number of unemployed increased by 2,450.

“The data suggests Kentucky’s employment situation continues to improve as more residents are working,” said Kentucky Labor Market Information Director Kate Shirley Akers, Ph.D.

Akers said that the unemployment rate increased because more individuals are entering the labor market. “The increase in the unemployed rate for April appears to reflect workers who are returning to the labor force. Individuals who stopped looking for work over the past few years appear to be searching for employment again as the state’s economy has improved,” she said.

In a separate federal survey of business establishments that excludes jobs in agriculture and people who are self-employed, Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 600 jobs in April 2017 compared to March 2017.

“The establishment survey indicates employment increased in April, however the number of jobs added in April was lower than in the past few months,” Akers said.

Nonfarm data is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics program. According to this survey, five of Kentucky’s 11 major nonfarm North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) job sectors registered gains in employment, while five declined from the previous month and one was unchanged.

Kentucky’s leisure and hospitality sector showed the largest month-to-month increase in April 2017, growing by 1,600 jobs. This sector includes arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, and food services.

The construction sector and the education and health services sector each added 1,500 jobs in April 2017.

Employment in Kentucky’s construction sector for April 2017 was 4,000 higher than in April 2016. This represents an increase of 5.2 percent. The education and health services sector was also 4,000 or 1.5 percent higher in April 2017 than in April 2016.

The financial activities sector added 500 jobs in April 2017. Since April 2016, this sector gained 2,600 jobs or 2.8 percent.

Other services, which includes repairs and maintenance, personal care services, and religious organizations, increased by 800 jobs since March 2017 and 1,900 since April 2017.

Information sector jobs remained steady in April 2017 but has risen by 1,200 jobs since April 2016. The industries in this sector include traditional publishing as well as software publishing; motion pictures and broadcasting; and telecommunications.

Manufacturing declined by 2,900 jobs since March 2017. “Manufacturing employment varies from month-to month. While April showed a decline, the number of manufacturing jobs in Kentucky has steadily increased since the recession,” Akers said.

Since April 2016, manufacturing was up 4,200 jobs or 1.7 percent. Most of the decrease from March 2017 to April 2017 was in durable manufacturing, which accounted for 2,500 of the 2,900 decrease in manufacturing. Nondurable manufacturing accounted for the remainder of the decrease this month.

Trade, transportation, and utilities sector decreased by 1,300 from March 2017 to April 2017. Since April 2016, this sector is up 4,400 jobs or 1.1 percent.

Government employment declined by 500 jobs in April. Government jobs include public education, public administration agencies and state-owned hospitals.

Professional and business services declined by 400 jobs from March 2017 to April 2017. Over the past 12 months, however, this sector has increased by 7,900 jobs or 3.7 percent.

The mining and logging sector declined by 200 jobs in April 2017.

Civilian labor force statistics include nonmilitary workers and unemployed Kentuckians who are actively seeking work. They do not include unemployed Kentuckians who have not looked for employment within the past four weeks.

Kentucky’s statewide unemployment rate and employment levels are seasonally adjusted. Employment statistics undergo sharp fluctuations due to seasonal events, such as weather changes, harvests, holidays and school openings and closings. Seasonal adjustments eliminate these influences and make it easier to observe statistical trends. However, because of the small sample size, county unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

Learn more about the Office of Employment and Training at http://www.kylmi.ky.gov/.

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Kentucky housing market sees gains in first quarter
May 17, 2017

March saw a slight decline in prices

Overcoming a few dips in the first three months of the year, the Kentucky real estate market finished the first quarter on the up-swing. Total home sales rose 8.6 percent, from 9,946 in 2016 to 10,805 in 2017, during the first quarter of the year. The increase comes at a time when the time it takes for a property to sell dropped 22 days, or almost 15 percent, from the same period last year. Housing inventory also declined 21 percent ending at 4.9 months of supply.

“Home shoppers are out in the market and buyer demand is heating up this spring season,” said Mike Becker, president of Kentucky REALTORS®. “We are seeing more competition for the inventory available which may explain the bump in home prices.”

The state’s median home price rose 1.9 percent for the quarter, jumping to $116,667 from $114,416. This increase still puts Kentucky’s prices at a level much lower than the national average of $232,100.

In March, the total number of homes sold rose 12.8 percent compared to March 2016. Median prices took a slight hit, dropping 1.4 percent to $118,850.

As the spring housing market usually signals an uptick in activity, March also saw inventory levels hit 4 months of supply while days on market dropped to 124 days, from 146 this time last year.

“Qualified buyers need to enter the market with a strong game plan – a budget defined, financing in place, desired neighborhoods selected – and then be ready to make a decision when they find a home that meets their needs,” stated Becker. “Competitively priced homes are being snapped up in a matter of days, especially those in price ranges that capture starter homes and the first-time home buyer market, which varies depending on what part of the state you are in.”       

At the national level, the first quarter saw home sales at its strongest in a decade and prices that have experienced monthly increases for 61 consecutive months.

According to Lawrence Yun, the National Association of REALTORS® chief economist, continual supply shortages ignited faster price appreciation across the country in the first quarter. He said that an increased buyer presence led to a boost in sales while new listings failed to keep up and hovered around record lows all quarter.

But that may change as interest rates have, so far, remained low throughout the year and home building is starting to ramp up across the state. Nationally, new home starts have been on the increase for several consecutive years and the National Association of Home Builders chief economist Robert Dietz has forecasted a 9-10 percent gain in new housing starts in 2017 and 2018.

“The newest Housing Opportunity Index reports that housing affordability improved in the first quarter of 2017 due, in large part, to rising wages and better economy,” stated Becker. “The housing market may stay busy for a while, especially when the biggest home buying demographic, the Millennials, are ramped up – over 94 percent of that generation wants to own their own home.”   

Kentucky REALTORS® is one of the largest and most influential associations in Kentucky. Founded in 1922, Kentucky REALTORS® represents more than 10,300 REALTORS® who are involved in all aspects of real estate, including residential and commercial real estate brokers, sales agents, developers, builders, property managers, office managers, appraisers and auctioneers.

To view housing statistics for the state, as reported to Kentucky REALTORS®, visit housingstats.kyrealtors.com.

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