Kentucky REALTOR® News
Landlords now held liable when a tenant’s dog bites someone would receive some relief under a bill that advanced today in the Kentucky House.
House Bill 112, sponsored by Rep. Stan Lee, R-Lexington, would effectively remove landlords from liability for their tenants’ dogs under the state’s dog bite laws by redefining a dog owner as someone who both keeps and cares for a dog on property that the person both occupies and owns or leases. Current law does not specifically include tenants under the definition of dog owner.
Lee said the bill, which passed the House by a vote of 87-9, would give landlords the same protection they enjoyed under Kentucky’s dog bite laws prior to 2012 when the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled in the case of Benningfield v. Zinsmeister. The landlord in that case was found responsible “despite the fact that landlord had made an effort to go to his leased tenant and say ‘please remove that dog,’” said Lee.
Rep. Jeff Greer, D-Brandenburg, an insurance agent, said he supports HB 112. Greer said he has had clients who own rental property struggle with the current law even in cases where tenants agreed in writing that they would not have a dog.
“If they get a dog later, what bothers me is my insureds … are held accountable. I don’t think that’s fair,” he said.
Among those voting against the bill was Rep. Angie Hatton, D-Whitesburg. Hatton said there is no protection for dog bite victims under the legislation.
“If six pit bulls were trained to kill and let run loose by a tenant, there’s no liability. There’s no protection under this legislation for any person who’s injured by a dog…” she said.
HB 112 now goes to the Senate for its consideration.
To view the bill, click here.
The Kentucky REALTORS® recently awarded the Jess and Carolyn Kinman Award to Representative David Osborne of Prospect. Representative Osborne is a true champion of the real estate industry, lending his support to HB 149 in 2015 that increased education for new real estate licensees which promotes a higher level of professionalism in the industry. In the past, he co-sponsored HB 533 that prohibited private transfer fees in real estate transactions and, in 2009, supported the Small Business Tax Credit and New Home Tax Credit to help slow the decline of the housing market during the Great Recession.
“It is a great honor to have been selected by my fellow REALTORS® for this prestigious award,” stated Osborne. “Jess Kinman was a wonderful individual who made tremendous contributions to the real estate profession. To receive an award in his memory is indeed humbling.”
Representative Osborne, serving District 59 which includes part of Oldham County, is a REALTOR® with Barry Smith Realty in Shelbyville and serves the House as Speaker Pro-Tempore. His civic engagements include Oldham County Chamber of Commerce, Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP) and the Thoroughbred Club of America. He graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor’s of Science degree.
As part of the award, First Federal Savings Bank of Frankfort makes a charitable donation in the name of the award recipient. This year, Representative Osborne selected the Hope Health Clinic in LaGrange, Kentucky.
The award is named in honor of Jess, a former Kentucky REALTORS® president and REALTOR® of the Year who passed away in 2007, and his wife Carolyn, 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.
Inventory could be an issue in 2017
After a record breaking year in 2015, Kentucky’s number of homes sold set new highs in 2016. Total home sales were the highest ever recorded in the state at 52,123, an 8 percent increase over the 48,259 sold in 2015. The Kentucky Association of REALTORS® (KAR) reported that over the past five years, home sales increased monthly, year-over-year, in all but seven months.
In both November and December, homes sales hit a new record, surpassing the 4,000 unit threshold with 4,088 and 4,131 homes sold respectively. These figures represent a 26.9 percent increase over the 3,222 homes sold in November 2015 and a 9.2 percent increase over the 3,782 homes sold in December 2015.
Home prices in the state increased to a median of $122,125 for the year, the highest annual median price recorded in the state, exceeding the record of $119,091 for 2015 by 2.5 percent. Even with back to back record years, the increase in price for Kentucky was far below (just over 55 percent) the national median home price of $221,500. In December, Kentucky’s median home price climbed to $120,910, another record for the state.
Total volume of all homes sold in Kentucky broke the $9 billion mark for the first time with $9.17 billion in sales. This surpasses the $8.21 billion sold in 2015.
“2016 was a unique year for real estate in Kentucky,” stated Mike Becker, 2017 president of KAR. “Low inventory was an issue in just about every region of the state, but with low interest rates and a continuous demand from qualified buyers, homes didn’t stay on the market long if they were priced appropriately.”
At the end of the year, housing inventory across Kentucky was down 25 percent from 2015. Having 4.6 months of inventory to close out 2016 (compared to 6.1 months in 2015) puts the state into what is characteristically a seller’s market, but consumers are seeing affordable prices on the buying side. Days on market (DOM), an indicator that shows housing demand, dipped 5.7 percent to 131.9 days in 2016. In larger metro areas in Kentucky such as Lexington and Louisville, days on market are down into the range of two to three months.
Even though official figures aren’t yet available for 2017, local associations across Kentucky are remaining optimistic for another banner year. Reports are showing a strong economy, lower unemployment rates and the federal interest rate was left unchanged at its last meeting.
“Kentucky’s economy remains stable and that is always a good thing for real estate,” says Becker. “Our low cost of living compared to most of the country and the momentum carried over from an active 2016 is the foundation needed to sustain a healthy real estate market throughout the year.”
On the national level, as it was echoed throughout many Kentucky regions, inventory is the biggest variable on how 2017 shapes up for real estate. New construction seems to be the main factor related to inventory. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) said, “Housing options for both buying and renting remains a pressing concern because of another year of insufficient home construction. Given current population and economic growth trends, housing starts should be in the range of 1.5 million to 1.6 million completions and not stuck at recessionary levels. More needs to be done to address the regulatory and cost burdens preventing builders from ramping up production.” In fact, nationally, total housing inventory was at the lowest level since NAR began tracking the supply 18 years ago.
“We are at a time where, in most areas, well priced homes are moving fast due to low inventories. It has become a low supply versus high demand issue and buyers who want to get in the market have to move quickly to secure a home,” continued Becker. “Boosting home construction should give buyers more options and help sellers feel more comfortable putting their homes on the market. Home building may ramp up going forward but if you need to sell now, the market seems primed.”
The Kentucky Association of REALTORS® is one of the largest and most influential associations in Kentucky. Founded in 1922, KAR 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 KAR, visit housingstats.kar.com.
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority has given preliminary approval to Amazon to invest $1.494 billion in a centralized hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport that could eventually create more than 2,700 jobs.
The $1.494 billion investment is believed to be the largest project in state history.
The hub, which would be located in a new facility, would serve Amazon’s growing fleet of Prime Air cargo planes.
Amazon, which would invest $1,032,400,000 on equipment and $461,600,000 on building and improvements, would initially hire 100, with a goal of adding an additional 100 jobs per year, to 600 jobs within six years, at an average salary of $26.50, including employee benefits.
Amazon has been approved for $40 million in tax incentives over 10 years.
Overall, more than 10,000 full-time employees already work at 11 sites in Kentucky. Read More
Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate was unchanged from November 2016 to December 2016 at 4.8 percent, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.
The preliminary December 2016 jobless rate was 0.9 percentage points lower than the 5.7 percent rate recorded for the state in December 2015.
The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for December 2016 was 4.7 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Read More
Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate for November 2016 was 4.8 percent from a revised 5.1 percent in October 2016, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.
The preliminary November 2016 jobless rate was 0.8 percentage points lower than the 5.6 percent rate recorded for the state in November 2015.
The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for November 2016 was 4.6 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 November 2016, Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 2,004,568, an increase of 7,365 individuals compared to the previous month. Employment was up by 12,437, and the number of unemployed decreased by 5,072.
“In November, our labor force increased by .4 percent,” said Kentucky Labor Market Information Director Kate Shirley Akers, Ph.D. “Over the last year, Kentucky has seen growth in both the labor force and the number of employed, with the labor force growing by 2.8 percent and employment increasing by 3.7 percent.” Read More
Kenneth W. Warden, of Fort Thomas, has been appointed Executive Director of the newly created Kentucky Real Estate Authority. The appointment was announced by the Secretary of the Public Protection Cabinet, David Dickerson, and will be effective immediately.
Warden brings over 40 years of real estate experience to the position, most recently as the owner of Warden & Associates in Northern Kentucky where he also worked as a broker. Prior to founding his own firm, Warden oversaw the Campbell County operations of West Shell, Inc. and served the company as a vice-president and partner.
“Ken Warden is an accomplished professional with decades of experience in all sectors of the real estate industry. His qualifications and knowledge make him a perfect fit for this new role,” said Secretary Dickerson.
As a member of several state professional real estate organizations, Warden has overseen high priority initiatives for the industry. He is a former president of the Kentucky Association of Realtors and was named the group’s 2015 Distinguished Service Award winner for his outstanding contributions to real estate. Warden also served as a president, director and member of the Northern Kentucky Association of Realtors and a regional vice-president and director of the National Association of Realtors. He holds state licenses in Kentucky and Ohio as a real estate broker and is a Kentucky state certified residential appraiser.
“I am honored to receive this appointment,” said Warden. “The Kentucky Real Estate Authority was created to be a point of collaboration and innovation for the industry. I look forward to working with board members to impact positive change for the statewide real estate sector.”
A graduate of Northern Kentucky University, Warden is an Army Veteran and received an Army Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service in Vietnam.
KAR and other business and trade associations across Kentucky are participating in the Entrepreneurial Climate Study, which is being conducted by the Kentucky Entrepreneur Network (KEN). This statewide online survey of entrepreneurs and small business owners with fewer than 100 employees has been scientifically designed to gauge the entrepreneurial environment in Kentucky as viewed by active entrepreneurs.
As a small business in Kentucky, you know the important role small businesses play in Kentucky’s economic climate. Growing a strong entrepreneurial environment in Kentucky helps all of our citizens through job creation and economic improvement. The goal of the study is to determine the awareness and perceived effectiveness of programs in Kentucky that are designed to help the entrepreneur, examine the resources available, and define what changes are needed to provide better assistance to the entrepreneur.
KEN is asking that you take just a few minutes to participate and provide your valuable feedback. The data collected will be used to improve the entrepreneurial climate in Kentucky, and your individual responses will not be shared with anyone.
BONUS: Those completing the survey before December 31, 2016, will be entered into a drawing to win a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and other services!
Read more about the survey and study here.
Governor Bevin recently issued Executive Order 2016-859 to reorganize the Office of Occupations and Professions, the Real Estate Commission, the Real Estate Appraisers Board, the Board of Auctioneers and the Kentucky Board of Home Inspectors and created the Kentucky Real Estate Authority.
Read the Executive Order
Read the press release
KAR’s mission is to support and enhance the ability of local associations of REALTORS and REALTOR members to succeed in their businesses in an ethical and competent manner and, through a united voice, preserve real property rights. KAR has a responsibility to its members and consumers to ensure that such actions will continue to promote this mission.
In order to do this, KAR is looking for your feedback. Please read the executive order, consider the changes and contact us by December 12th with any questions or concerns. You can send us an email at email@example.com.
Soon after, KAR leaders will analyze this feedback and share the information with the Governor’s office. We look forward to working with the administration on this action and other issues important to the real estate industry.
Thanks for all you do to help make our industry the best it can be.
Lamont Breland, KAR President
The maximum homestead exemption on real estate owned by qualified persons has been set at $37,600 for the 2017 and 2018 tax periods. The 2017-2018 exemption reflects a $700 increase over the 2015 – 2016 exemption of $36,900.
The amount of the homestead exemption is adjusted every two years in accordance with KRS 132.810 to compensate for changes in the purchasing power of the dollar. The exemption provided state and local property tax savings of approximately $209 million for more than 440,000 elderly or disabled Kentuckians during the 2016 tax year.
To qualify for the homestead exemption, a person must be at least 65 years old during the tax period or have been classified as totally disabled by any public or private retirement system. The property must also be owned, occupied and maintained by the taxpayer as a personal residence on the Jan. 1 assessment date.
Applications for the homestead exemption should be filed in the local Property Valuation Administrator’s office.