Kentucky REALTOR® News

Homes sold in Kentucky drop in May after a record breaking April
July 3, 2018
Sold total takes a hit but total volume is still on record breaking pace


Kentucky’s housing market followed the national scene in May, with home sales decreasing 6.2 percent for the month compared to a year ago. Even with the decline, total home sales were the second highest ever for the month, reaching 5,057, versus 5,395 in May 2016. Year-to-date, homes sales are down 2 percent with only 410 more homes sold across Kentucky in the first 5 months of 2016 than this year.

 

“The decline in real estate transactions across the state are a result of the low supply in the first-time buyer and move up markets,” said Steve Cline, 2018 president of Kentucky REALTORS®. “Inventory levels in Kentucky are over three percent lower now than they were this time last year and the fact prices are increasing may be keeping buyers on the sidelines until the perfect home hits the market.”

 

Housing inventory through May is down 3.3 percent, reaching 4.34 months compared to 4.49 months in 2016. May’s housing stock is flat compared to last year, but the same issues of lack of inventory were still in play in 2016 as they are today.

 

Homes are moving quickly this year, as days on market continue to decrease, reaching 100 days in May 2018 versus 124 days in May 2016, a decrease of almost 20 percent. For the year, days on market dropped just over 7 percent, reaching 116 days compared to 125 last year.

 

“With the limited number of homes on the market, buyers who are qualified and ready to buy, are finding a home to purchase and moving quick so they don’t miss the chance to own a home,” says Cline. “The economy is stable and interest rates are still low. Getting in the market now makes sense because conditions are right for housing as a whole. That may change in the future as prices are rising, but in Kentucky, affordability is still much better than most parts of the country.”

 

In fact, new findings from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) show that 75 percent of the U.S. population believe that now is a good time to sell a house, while 68 percent think it is a good time to buy. According to NAR’s second quarter Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey, a majority of consumers believe prices have and will continue to increase and that homeownership strengthens our nation’s communities.

 

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, in response to the survey that inventory remains the driving force in real estate, affecting everything for rising prices to household formation. He continued by saying that improving supply conditions is critical to improving buyer optimism and helping to remove some of the barriers holding back potential first-time buyers. One encouraging sign has been the increase in new home construction to a 10-year high, which may help would-be buyers find a home.

 

Home prices in Kentucky continued to rise in May, reaching a median of $133,856, up 2.5 percent from May 2016 when prices were $130,569. For the year, Kentucky’s median was up just over 6 percent to $128,845 versus the 2016 median of $121,471. The in-state median for May was the fifth highest month ever recorded and the highest ever for May. Nationally, the median home price topped $264,000, an all-time high and up almost 5 percent from May 2017 when it reached just over $252,000.

 

“Across the country, it is being predicted that home sales may fall less than half of a percent, with prices gaining around 5 percent for the year,” said Cline. “In Kentucky, we may see a similar trend which would make 2018 the second-best year on record for home sales and the highest for prices. If we continue to have a vibrant economy, real estate should remain strong.”

 

Kentucky REALTORS® is one of the largest and most influential associations in Kentucky. Founded in 1922, Kentucky REALTORS® represents more than 11,000 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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Call for Action: Reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
June 20, 2018

Call For Action -

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will expire on July 31, denying necessary insurance coverage to homeowners and buyers in more than 20,000 communities nationwide. Congress must act now to reform and extend the NFIP. 

As the leading advocate for private property rights and housing issues, NAR supports long-term reauthorization and reform of the National Flood Insurance Program before it expires on July 31.

America’s 1.3 million REALTORS value the NFIP as a critical tool to help protect homeowners and ensure access to affordable flood insurance. In fact, as flood insurance is required for a mortgage across 22,000 communities in America, a prolonged lapse in authority could jeopardize the sale of up to 40,000 homes per month in the United States.

While every day brings us closer to NFIP expiration, the urgency of its reauthorization is not new to Congress or anyone reliant upon the flood insurance program. 


CLICK HERE TO TAKE ACTION
 

BONUS:

KYR is offering the chance to win a FREE registration to the KYR Annual Convention in Louisville this September, valued at $139. Any member who participates in this CFA will automatically be entered to win, and the winner’s name will be drawn at random at the conclusion of the CFA. Also, you can help your board win too. KYR is offering $100 gift cards in each of the board categories (small, medium, and large) with the greatest member participation in the CFA.

DID YOU KNOW:
  • Over the last 40 years, Kentucky experienced over $328 million in paid out damages for flooding. This included 23,898 total losses.
  • Kentucky has almost 21,000 homes that maintain flood insurance and owners pay almost $20 million in premiums. 
  • Kentucky home owners have over $3.5 billion in flood insurance coverage on properties across the state.
  • Since 2008, NFIP has been extended 23 times and shut down for a combined period of 2 months.
  • More than 5 million Americans in 22,000 communities nationwide rely on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). 
  • Floods are not just coastal issues. In fact, floods accounted for 73% of federal disaster declarations between 2008 and 2017. 
Why renew NFIP?

Flood insurance isn’t just for coastal properties - inland areas flood, too. And if the NFIP lapses, up to 40,000 transactions per month could be affected. 

The National Association of REALTORS® supports several revisions to the program: 

  • Reauthorizing and gradually strengthening the NFIP so it’s sustainable over the long run
  • Encouraging the development of private market options to offer comparable flood insurance coverage at lower cost than NFIP
  • Providing federal assistance to high-risk property owners, including guaranteed loans, grants, and buyouts to build to higher standards and keep insurance rates affordable
  • Providing fair flood insurance rates that better reflect the property’s flood risk
  • Improving flood map accuracy so fewer property owners have to file expensive appeals

 

In addition to participating  in the Call for Action, we are asking for your help in promoting this to other members. 

 Help Kentucky reach a 20% response rate so our voice is heard on this important issue
 

  • Click here for the NFIP Resource page
  • Click here for the CFA Toolkit
  • Click here for the REALTOR Action Center Facebook page that includes shareable graphics and information
  • Click here for communication materials and talking points
  • Click here to find out how Kentucky is doing compared to other states
  • Click here to find out how your local association is doing compared to others in Kentucky


Thanks for all you do for the industry and sign up for REALTOR Party mobile alerts:
Sign up for REALTOR Party Mobile Alerts and take action on important issues facing real estate. Mobile alerts come to your mobile phone and only take a second to respond. These matter to legislators when dealing with issues like MID, flood insurance and more. Text REALTORS to 30644.

Call For Action -

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Real estate sales in Kentucky see first increase in 2018
June 5, 2018

April's volume is the highest ever for the month


In a reversal of course and going against the national trend, Kentucky’s housing sales were up in April for the first time in 2018 and the first increase since October 2017.

 

Real estate sales reached 4,545, which is a 7.4 percent increase over April 2017 and an all-time high for the month. Year-to-date, homes sold are still down less than 1 percent over last year with only 79 less transactions in the first four months of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017.

 

“We are now in the prime home buying and selling season,” said Steve Cline, 2018 president of Kentucky REALTORS®. “In fact, April was the first increase in sales the state has seen since October 2017. Inventory issues have really limited the ability for buyers to make a move, but pent up demand seems to be driving the market. This month showed a significant decrease in days on market and inventory which means homes aren’t staying on the market very long. The next few months will provide a better outlook on where Kentucky may land for the year in real estate.”

 

Going into the busy real estate period, days on market dropped 3.4 percent to 115 days in April from 119 last year and down from 120 days in March. Inventory across the state fell almost 10 percent from a year ago, with only 3.8 months of inventory on hand. There was a slight decline in housing inventory to this point in the year, with 3.8 months of supply for March, a decrease of 5 percent over last year and down 2.1 percent to 4.7 months, for the quarter. Year-to-date, days on market is down 4 percent compared to 2017 and inventory is down 3.6 percent, reaching 4.57 months overall.

 

Nationally, home sales slid 1.4 percent in April, but home prices were up 5.3 percent over a year ago. Properties typically stayed on the market for 26 days in April, which is down from 30 days from two months ago and 29 days a year ago. Fifty-seven percent of homes sold in April were on the market for less than a month. Total housing inventory at the end of April increased 9.8 percent, but is still 6.3 percent lower than a year ago.

 

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says that the homes available for sale are going under contract at a rapid pace. Since NAR began tracking this data in May 2011, the median days a listing was on the market was at an all-time low in April, and the share of homes sold in less than a month was at an all-time high.

Prices in Kentucky rose 7 percent year over year, reaching a median of $136,250 in April, making it the highest ever recorded for that month and the third highest median price ever in Kentucky. April’s median price was 3 percent higher than the previous month in March. Year to date, the median home price of $127,659 is 7 percent higher than it was at this time in 2017, putting it on pace to break another annual record. Total sales volume was another April record, reaching over $880 million, an increase of more than 14.6 percent over the $768 million sold in April 2016, the previous record for the month.

 

“Throughout the state, the housing market is still very hot as more and more people are wanting to take advantage of Kentucky’s affordable housing prices while interest rates are still low,” said Cline. “The national picture shows a cooling off of pending sales, but the south, which includes Kentucky, is still higher now than it was this time last year. From what I am seeing across the state, demand for homeownership is very robust and will continue that trend for some time.”

 

Kentucky REALTORS® is one of the largest and most influential associations in Kentucky. Founded in 1922, Kentucky REALTORS® represents more than 10,800 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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Kentucky tourism industry generates over $15 billion in 2017
May 11, 2018

The economic impact of Kentucky’s tourism industry has grown to more than $15 billion in 2017, Department of Tourism Commissioner Kristen Branscum announced recently. All nine of the state’s tourism regions registered gains again in 2017.

“The tourism industry is a driving force for Kentucky’s economy and the 2017 economic impact numbers reinforce this,” Branscum said. “We look at growth in our state in terms of investment and the impact numbers prove that visitors are investing their money and time into Kentucky.”

Kentucky’s tourism industry generated over $15 billion in economic impact during 2017, an increase of 3.8 percent over the previous year. The industry also supported over 195,000 jobs. Kentucky tourism generated more than $1.5 billion in tax revenue, with $202 million going directly to local communities.

The Kentucky Department of Tourism continues to build upon Kentucky’s signature tourism industries of horses, bourbon, music, arts, outdoors and culinary to reach new audiences and position Kentucky as a top-tier travel destination for visitors internationally and domestically.

Click here to view the full economic impact report

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Home sales decline, but prices remain strong in Kentucky
May 10, 2018
Lack of inventory continues to impact the market


Home sales in Kentucky did not follow the national trend in March, as transactions in the state were down 6.8 percent for the month compared to March 2017 (4,576 in 2017 versus 4,262 in 2018). Nationally, sales rose 1.1 percent. Even with the drop of 314 total sales, March 2018 was still the second highest on record, just edging out March 2006 when 4,106 homes were sold. Total homes sold for the month were up 36 percent over the previous month.

 

For the first quarter of the year, sales ended down 3.7 percent, with 10,419 homes sold in 2018 compared to 10,821 homes sold in the first three months of 2017, a difference of 402 transactions.

 

“The housing market is still really strong,” said Steve Cline, 2018 president of Kentucky REALTORS® (KYR). “Last year was a record breaking year in homes sold and home prices. This year, we had to endure unseasonably cold weather through the latter part of the quarter, which may have negatively affected the market. The spring and early summer months will be telling as to how the rest of 2018 will look.”

 

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says that while the healthy economy is generating sustained interest in buying a home this spring, sales are lagging levels from one year ago due to low supply and home prices keep climbing above what some would-be buyers can afford. On the national level, median home prices are north of $250,000, however, that is not the case in Kentucky.

 

Home prices in the state reached a median of $132,290 in March, an 11.5 percent increase over March 2017 ($118,698) and 10.7 percent over the previous month ($119,523). March’s median price is the fifth highest on record, but is still just over half of the median for the country.

 

The months ahead are traditionally the peak for home sales and Kentucky has seen a slight decline in housing inventory to this point in the year, with 3.8 months of supply for March - a decrease of 5 percent over last year and down 2.1 percent, to 4.7 months, for the quarter.

 

Because of the tight supply, days on market also saw a decline, falling to 120 days in March which is down 4.8 percent over last March. For the quarter, homes closed 4 days faster, hitting 122 days in 2018.

 

“I’m optimistic about the real estate market because we have a strong economy,” said Cline. “We are at a place where both state and national unemployment is near record lows and the environment is stable for home purchases. Certainly, we could use more inventory to meet demand as activity is picking up with the warmer weather, but overall it should be another strong year.”

 

Nationally, the momentum is swinging toward home ownership. In 2017, the homeownership rate rose for the first time in 13 years and the first quarter of 2018 marked the fifth consecutive quarter where the homeownership rate rose from the prior year, jumping almost 1 percent to 64.3 percent. This is being caused by a variety of factors. Not only is the economy strong, loosening credit standards, rising rents, continued low mortgage rates and a demographic shift where the large millennial generation is entering its prime home buying stage are contributing factors.

 

“In order to keep buyers in the market, and home prices affordable, we need a healthy supply of homes to meet the demand,” said Cline. “To do this, home construction will need to steadily increase and sellers who want to move up will need to list their properties. As this continues to happen, we should see a more balanced market going forward.”

 

Kentucky REALTORS® is one of the largest and most influential associations in Kentucky. Founded in 1922, Kentucky REALTORS® represents more than 10,800 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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Kentucky jobless rate for March lowest in 42 years
April 19, 2018

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary March unemployment rate was 4 percent, the lowest rate recorded for the state in the 42 years since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started providing data in 1976, according to the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics (KCEWS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

The unemployment rate for March 2018 was down from the revised 4.1 percent reported for February 2018.

The preliminary March 2018 jobless rate was down 1.2 percentage points from the 5.2 percent recorded for the state in March 2017.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for March 2018 was unchanged from the 4.1 percent reported for February 2018, 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 in the number of people working. It includes jobs in agriculture and individuals who are self-employed.

In March 2018, Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 2,049,934, a increase of 941 individuals compared to the previous month. The number of people employed was up by 2,915, while the number unemployed decreased by 1,974.

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 1,200 jobs in March 2018 compared to February 2018. Kentucky has added 4,500 jobs since March 2017, a 0.2 percent employment growth.

“Kentucky’s employment continued to improve in March with employers adding 1,200 jobs and unemployment rate declining to 4 percent. However, as the labor market has tightened, growth in payroll employment has slowed somewhat,” said University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) Director Chris Bollinger.

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 experienced employment growth from the previous month, while five sectors saw employment decreases in March and one was unchanged.

Kentucky’s trade, transportation and utilities employment recorded the largest increase in March 2018 with 1,700 jobs. This sector was up 9,900 positions or 2.5 percent from March 2017 to March 2018. From February 2018 to March 2018, wholesale trade increased by 400 jobs; retail trade rose by 200; and transportation, warehousing and utilities increased by 1,100 positions.

“Transportation, warehousing and utilities showed strong employment growth again in March, led by growth in transportation, warehousing and utilities,” said Bollinger.

Construction employment jumped by 1,000 jobs from February 2018 to March 2018, a gain of 1.3 percent. Over the past 12 months, construction employment was down by 1,600 jobs or 2 percent.

The financial activities sector gained 300 positions from February 2018 to March 2018, but has 300 fewer jobs than last March. Within this sector, finance and insurance gained 200 jobs in March 2018 and the real estate, rental and leasing subsector gained 100 positions.

The professional and business services sector gained 100 jobs in March 2018 and has added 400 jobs since March 2017. Within the sector, employment in professional, scientific and technical services was up 300 jobs from February 2018, and up 2,000 jobs from March 2017. Employment in management of companies was unchanged from February, but down by 1,200 since last March. Administrative and support and waste management lost 200 jobs from February 2018 to March 2018, and was down 400 positions from a year ago.

The government sector added 100 jobs in March 2018. Within this sector, federal employment declined by 100 jobs; state employment increased by 100 positions; and local government employment increased by 100 jobs. Since March 2017, government employment was down by 800 jobs or 0.3 percent.

The number of jobs in mining and logging did not change from February 2018 to March 2018. Employment in this sector is down by 100 jobs since March 2017.

Kentucky’s manufacturing lost 700 jobs in March 2018, an decrease of 0.3 percent. Durable goods manufacturing lost 300 jobs while non-durable goods manufacturing fell by 400 positions. Since March 2017, Kentucky’s manufacturing sector has remained unchanged.

The leisure and hospitality sector decreased by 400 jobs from February 2018 to March 2018, a 0.2 percent loss. Accommodations and food service declined by 500 jobs, while arts, entertainment and recreation gained 100 jobs in March. Since March 2017, this sector has lost 2,500 positions or 1.3 percent.

Employment in the information services sector fell by 300 jobs in March 2018. This sector has declined by 800 jobs or 3.5 percent since March 2017. The industries in this sector include traditional publishing as well as software publishing; motion pictures and broadcasting; and telecommunications.

The education and health services sector dropped by 300 jobs in March 2018. Within this sector, employment in educational services fell by 200 positions, and health care and social assistance declined by 100 jobs. Employment in this sector has fallen by 1,100 jobs since a year ago.

“While health care employment typically shows consistent growth, it has declined in nine of the last 12 months,” said Bollinger. “As a result, health care employment was lower in both February and March than the year before.”

Employment in the other services sector decreased by 300 positions in March 2018, but added 1,400 from a year ago. This represents a growth rate of 2.1 percent from March 2017 to March 2018. Other services includes repairs and maintenance, personal care services and religious organizations.

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 Kentucky labor market information at https://kcews.ky.gov/KYLMI.

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Home prices increase but inventory shortage levels impact sales in Kentucky
April 12, 2018
Sales still tracking near record breaking pace


The real estate market in Kentucky is seeing a rise in home prices for the first two months of the year while home sales have leveled off.

 

The median price rose 5 percent year-over-year to $119,523 in February compared to $113,833 in 2017. In January, the median price was up 4.6 percent to $122,433. This compares to Kentucky’s median price for all of 2017 of $128,589. Nationally, the median home sales price was $241,700 in February, a 5.9 percent increase over the past year and more than double the cost of a home in Kentucky.

 

The number of homes sold slid 2 percent, from 3,194 in February 2017 to 3,132 in 2018, a total of 62 properties, marking the third straight February with a decline. For the first two months of the year, however, homes sold were down only a total of 89.

 

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) said that sales rose 3 percent in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.54 million after two straight months of declines. But a shortage of inventory is creating a challenge for would-be homebuyers.

 

“We are in an environment where more people are wanting to enter the market to purchase,” said Steve Cline, 2018 president of Kentucky REALTORS® (KYR). “Due to the lack of supply and affordability within the state, homes priced right are being snapped up quickly leaving qualified buyers in multiple offer situations and competing for the same property.”

 

The increase in prices can be attributed to a strong job market that has elevated demand and competition for available homes, especially since the interest rates have, up to this point, remained low by recent comparisons.

 

On the flip side, reflecting on the recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report for March, Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, stated that job openings in the construction industry remain at a historic high mainly because of unusually cold weather around the country. If home builders can readily fill those jobs, then home construction significantly ramps up, and thereby brings more housing inventory to the market.

 

With the primary selling season coming up, the market may see a shift with more homes coming on the market, as long as higher mortgage rates don’t kick in.

 

“The slight decline experienced in sales for the first two months of the year still has 2018 near record highs for activity,” says Cline. “With the current homebuyer demand that I’m seeing in the market, the housing market should remain solid throughout the year.”

 

Kentucky REALTORS® is one of the largest and most influential associations in Kentucky. Founded in 1922, Kentucky REALTORS® represents more than 10,800 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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Kentucky's February unemployment rate down to 4.1 percent
March 23, 2018

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary February unemployment rate was 4.1 percent, according to the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics (KCEWS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The unemployment rate for February 2018 was down from the revised 4.3 percent reported for January 2018.

The preliminary February 2018 jobless rate was down 1 percentage point from the 5.1 percent recorded for the state in February 2017.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for February 2018 was unchanged from the 4.1 percent reported for January 2018, 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 in the number of people working. It includes jobs in agriculture and individuals who are self-employed.

In February 2018, Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 2,048,867, a decrease of 950 individuals compared to the previous month. The number of people employed was up by 2,271, while the number unemployed decreased by 3,221.

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 3,000 jobs in February 2018 compared to January 2018. Kentucky has added 7,200 jobs since February 2017, a 0.4 percent employment growth.

“Kentucky’s employers continued to add workers in February helping to push the state’s unemployment rate down to 4.1 percent,” said University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) Director Chris Bollinger, Ph.D.

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

Kentucky’s, trade, transportation and utilities employment recorded the largest increase in February 2018 with 1,300 jobs. This sector was up 8,400 positions or 2.1 percent from February 2017 to February 2018. From January 2018 to February 2018, wholesale trade decreased by 600 jobs; retail trade increased by 2,400; and transportation, warehousing and utilities decreased by 500 positions.

“Transportation, warehousing and utilities showed strong growth in 2017 and this trend has continued in the early months of 2018,” said Bollinger. “February’s increase occurred among retailers.”

The professional and business services sector gained 1,100 jobs from January 2018 to February 2018, an increase of 0.5 percent, but was unchanged from February 2017. Within the sector, employment in professional, scientific and technical services was up 500 jobs from January 2018 and is up 1,600 jobs from February 2017. Management of companies lost 400 positions from over the month, a loss of 2 percent. Administrative and support and waste management added 1,000 jobs from January 2018 to February 2018, but is down 300 from a year ago.

Kentucky’s manufacturing grew by 1,000 jobs in February 2018, an increase of 0.4 percent. Both durable and nondurable goods manufacturing grew over the month with durable goods manufacturing leading the way with 600 more jobs. Non-durable goods manufacturing added 400 positions. Since February 2017, Kentucky’s manufacturing sector has added 900 jobs or 0.4 percent.

The financial activities sector gained 300 positions from January 2018 to February 2018, but fell by 500 jobs since last February. Within this sector, finance and insurance gained 500 jobs, while the real estate, rental and leasing subsector lost 200 positions in February 2018.

The leisure and hospitality sector increased by 200 jobs from January 2018 to February 2018, a 0.1 percent gain. Accommodations and food service added 300 jobs, while arts, entertainment and recreation lost 100 jobs in February. Since February 2017, this sector has lost 200 positions or 0.1 percent.

Employment in the information services sector rose by 200 jobs in February 2018. This sector has declined 300 jobs or 1.3 percent since February 2017. The industries in this sector include traditional publishing as well as software publishing; motion pictures and broadcasting; and telecommunications.

Jobs in mining and logging increased by 100 jobs from January 2018 to February 2018. However, employment in this sector for February 2018 is the same as it was in February 2017.

Employment in the other services sector declined by 100 positions in February 2018, but added 1,900 from a year ago. This represents a growth rate of 2.9 percent from February 2017 to February 2018. Other services includes repairs and maintenance, personal care services and religious organizations.

The education and health services sector dropped by 200 jobs in February 2018. Within this sector, employment in educational services fell by 100 positions, and jobs in health care and social assistance declined by 100 jobs. Employment in this sector was at the same level in February 2017 and February 2018.

The government sector fell by 400 jobs in February 2018. Within this sector, federal employment declined by 500 jobs; state employment dropped by 300 positions; and local government employment increased by 400 jobs. Since February 2017, government employment was down by 700 jobs or 0.2 percent.

Construction employment decreased by 500 jobs from January 2018 to February 2018, a loss of 0.7 percent. Over the past 12 months, construction employment was down by 2,300 jobs or 3 percent.

“Construction employment increased during the first three quarters of 2017, but has declined somewhat since September,” said Bollinger. “February’s construction employment was down 2,300 from September 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 Kentucky labor market information at https://kcews.ky.gov/KYLMI.

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Real estate activity remains strong in Kentucky
February 28, 2018
Prices increase and sales hover at all-time highs


Coming off a record-breaking year in 2017, the real estate market in Kentucky continued its run of strong sales activity and increasing home values in January.  

 

Total home sales in January were the second highest on record at 3,024, only 27 sales shy (0.1 percent) of the 3,051 sold during the same month in 2017. January was only the 13th month in the past six years that sales dipped year over year. It did, however, mark the third straight month where homes sold were down compared to the same month the year prior.

 

“Even though home sales were down slightly in the first month of the year, activity is still strong across most parts of the state and hovering at all-time highs, despite the suppressed inventory levels,” said Steve Cline, 2018 president of Kentucky REALTORS® (KYR). “This year should continue to see good movement in the market and will pick up even more if the number of homes available for sale increases, especially through new construction.”

 

Median home prices across the state rose 4.6 percent in January to $122,433, up from $116,994 in January 2017, making it the highest median price recorded for January in any year. Total sales volume hit $544 million in January, a 5.9 percent increase over 2017. Home prices, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), are being driven higher due to lack of available properties not only in Kentucky, but across the entire country.

 

“The utter lack of sufficient housing supply and its influence on higher home prices muted overall sales activity in much of the U.S. last month,” Yun said. “While the good news is that REALTORS® in most areas are saying buyer traffic is even stronger than the beginning of last year, sales (nationally) failed to follow course and far lagged last January’s pace. It’s very clear that too many markets right now are becoming less affordable and desperately need more new listings to calm the speedy price growth.”

 

In Kentucky, however, affordability is less of a problem than in many parts of the country. The median home price nationally was $240,500, almost double what is seen throughout the state. In the three largest metro areas, Louisville, Lexington and northern Kentucky, median home prices were still 30 to 35 percent lower than the U.S. as a whole.  

 

Housing inventory in the state leveled in January, down only 2%, after rising 2.4 percent in December and remaining even in the fourth quarter of 2017. With 5.3 months of inventory reported, this is considerably more than the national level of 3.4 months. Six months of inventory is considered a balanced market. NAR is reporting the tide may finally be turning for housing inventory as new home construction jumped in January and homebuilder confidence is high. These two factors will hopefully lay the foundation for the building industry to meaningfully ramp up production as 2018 progresses.

 

Days on market (DOM), an indicator that shows housing demand, dipped 11.5 percent to 116 days in January. In 2017, days on market dropped to 118 days, which reflects that homes are still moving quickly when brought to market.

 

“The market is only going to become more competitive as the weather changes, buyers continue their search for homes and the promise of higher interest rates stays on the horizon,” says Cline. “Those planning to buy a home this spring should get pre-approved for a mortgage soon and, conversely, sellers that will be listing their home in the spring or summer months should start preparations now so it’s ready to go when the time comes to get it listed. With the economy in good shape, I’m predicting that real estate in Kentucky will continue at a strong pace throughout the year.”

 

Kentucky REALTORS® is one of the largest and most influential associations in Kentucky. Founded in 1922, Kentucky REALTORS® represents more than 10,800 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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Kentucky REALTORS® recognize John Schickel with its highest legislative award
February 27, 2018

Kentucky REALTORS® has awarded the Jess and Carolyn Kinman Award to Senator John Schickel. The award was presented in the Capitol Rotunda for his efforts as Co-Chairman of the Licensing and Occupations Committee and his involvement with House Bills 112, 309, and 443 from the 2017 General Assembly.

 

“REALTORS® are the very essence of small business, of which I have always been a staunch supporter,” said Senator Schickel. “I am proud to represent Kentucky REALTORS® in their quest to represent home ownership and promote the residential and commercial real estate market.”

 

As part of the award, First Federal Savings Bank of Frankfort makes a charitable donation in the name of the award recipient. This year, Senator Schickel selected the Area 7 Special Olympics which operates in Northern Kentucky and is an organization for people with intellectual disabilities.

 

The award is named in honor of Jess Kinman, a former Kentucky REALTORS® president and REALTOR® of the Year who passed away in 2007, and his wife Carolyn Kinman, who worked for many years at the Legislative Research Commission and General Assembly. 

 

The Kinman Award is presented to an outstanding Kentuckian whose involvement in the legislative and political arenas have left an indelible mark on all those who have known or worked with him or her.

 

Kentucky REALTORS® is one of the largest and most influential associations in Kentucky. Founded in 1922, Kentucky REALTORS® represents more than 10,800 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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