Kentucky REALTOR® News

Kentucky REALTOR® News

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

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.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Kentucky Enterpreneur NetworkKAR 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.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

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

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

Friday, December 2, 2016

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.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Unemployment rates fell in 82 Kentucky counties between October 2015 and October 2016, rose in 33 and stayed the same in five counties (Breckinridge, Knott, Laurel, McLean and Powell), 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 percent. It was followed by Oldham and Shelby counties, 3.1 percent each; Fayette and Spencer counties, 3.3 percent each; Warren County, 3.4 percent; and Anderson, Boone, Campbell and Scott counties, 3.5 percent each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 14.1 percent. It was followed by Leslie County, 11.6 percent; Harlan County, 10.5 percent; Letcher County, 10.3 percent; Elliott County, 10.1 percent; Floyd County, 9.9 percent; Pike County, 9.6 percent; Knott County, 9.5 percent; and Clay and Perry counties, 9.3 percent each.

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 4.6 percent for October 2016, and 4.7 percent for the nation.

To view a set of maps detailing these monthly numbers, click here. For PDF charts of the data, click here.

To access Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) data click here.

Learn more about the Office of Employment and Training at

Friday, November 18, 2016

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate for October 2016 was 5.1 percent from a revised 5 percent in September 2016, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

The preliminary October 2016 jobless rate was 0.4 percentage points lower than the 5.5 percent rate recorded for the state in October 2015. The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for October 2016 was 4.9 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 October 2016, Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 1,996,795, an increase of 14,997 individuals compared to the previous month. Employment was up by 12,931, and the number of unemployed increased by 2,066. Read More

Friday, November 18, 2016

Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, examines how the real estate market will be impacted by Donald Trump’s victory and Republicans controlling both chambers of Congress. Though Mr. Trump is a real estate man, his policy platform has been largely vague on real estate proposals. Here are his thoughts on how certain real estate issues may play out under President Trump and their potential impact to consumers.

  1. There will no doubt be a short-term stimulus to the economy. A combination of tax cuts and government spending in the form of upgrading nation’s infrastructure and for national defense will provide a short boost to the economy in the first half of 2017. Inflation will likely kick a bit higher from a faster GDP growth and that will lead to modestly higher interest rates. Accompanying gains in consumer confidence will further move the economy higher. Should the faster GDP growth be sustained and arise out of higher productivity, then inflation will be manageable. Moreover, more jobs will automatically mean more tax revenue, which will lessen budget deficit. Should, however, the stimulus impact give only a short term boost and not be durable then a much larger budget deficit will force interest rates notably higher. The future generation will be saddled with more debt. Read More
Friday, November 18, 2016

As real estate agents, you spend (or probably should spend) a lot of time online collecting leads, generating referrals, researching properties, etc. Most of that time may be spent on social media. Are you using that time wisely and appropriately? Here are seven tips on ways to quit bad behavior and make better choices on what you do online. Stop doing these things:

  1. Be gullible to posts and videos It doesn’t take much effort to create a convincing hoax. With the right phrasing and a dab of digital wizardry, you can convince millions of people that Brad Pitt committed suicide, or drilling a hole in your iPhone 7 will reveal a hidden headphone jack. (It won’t by the way, but here’s the video that has over 15 million views and fooled some into destroying an iPhone.) A recent hoax alleges that Facebook's privacy policy has changed and all your pictures, posts, and messages will now become public. People are upset and posting false status updates that they do not give Facebook permission to share their private content. This particular post, like many others, cites a news source along with mumbo jumbo legal statutes. True, it’s hard to tell a hoax is a hoax, but if you hear something shocking, run a quick internet search before you believe it. You may save yourself a lot of embarrassment, and you’ll leave the pranksters less reason to fool people. Read More
Thursday, October 20, 2016

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate for September 2016 was 5 percent from a revised 4.9 percent in August 2016, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

The preliminary September 2016 jobless rate was 0.4 percentage points lower than the 5.4 percent rate recorded for the state in September 2015.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for September 2016 was 5 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 September 2016, Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 1,981,794, an increase of 12,605 individuals compared to the previous month. Employment was up by 10,571, and the number of unemployed increased by 2,034.

“The sharp increase in the labor force signals that more workers are returning to the workforce as they see the employment situation improving. For the last five months our unemployment rate has hovered around 5 percent, which is effectively full employment,” said economist Manoj Shanker of the OET. “Though there has been an uptick in labor force participation, Kentucky is still ranks near the bottom of the stack in participation rates.” 

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 11,500 jobs in September 2016 from the month before and was up 25,800 positions since September 2015.

“Nonfarm employment, or what’s normally called the jobs number, is at a historical high. The September report delivered an unexpected boost to the flat situation we have experienced so far in 2016, “said Shanker. “The biggest increase was in professional and business services which was buoyed by jobs in temp services.”

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

Employment in Kentucky’s professional and business services increased by nearly 3 percent with the addition of 6,200 jobs in September 2016 from a month ago. Year-over-year there was a gain of 6,000 jobs. This category includes establishments engaged in services that support the day-to-day activities of other organizations, including temporary employment services and payroll processing.

“Typically, when businesses plan to expand they test the waters by hiring more temp employees. The robust gain in temp hiring—after a nine-month decline—is reassuring,” said Shanker. 

The leisure and hospitality sector gained 2,500 jobs in September 2016 from a month ago. Since September last year, the sector has expanded by nearly 2 percent with the addition of 3,500 jobs. This sector includes arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, and food services.

Kentucky’s trade, transportation, and utilities sector expanded by 1,200 jobs in September 2016 from a month ago. This is the largest sector in Kentucky with nearly 400,000 jobs accounting for one-fifth of all nonfarm employment. Since September 2015, this sector has expanded substantially with a gain of 9,300 jobs. Retail trade added 1,000 jobs over the previous month, and gained 7,600 jobs over the year, while transportation and warehousing added 700 jobs from a month ago and increased 2,400 positions over the year. 

The manufacturing sector rose by 700 jobs in September 2016 compared to the previous month. Over the year, however, manufacturing employment declined by 1,300. Durable goods account for two-thirds of the manufacturing sector and grew by 1.5 percent from a year ago with the addition of 2,400 jobs, while nondurable goods lost 3,700 jobs over the year. 

The government sector, which includes public education, public administration agencies and state-owned hospitals, increased by 600 jobs in September 2016 but declined by 2,100 positions compared to last September. Almost all of the month-to-month gain was in federal employment.

Employment in educational and health services sector was up by 500 positions in September 2016, and had a robust gain of 10,600 jobs, or 4 percent, from a year ago. Health care jobs account for about 15 percent of all nonfarm employment in Kentucky and decreased by 200 positions for the month, but showed strong gains over the year with the addition of 12,000 jobs.

The financial activities sector expanded by 300 jobs in September 2016 from a month ago. The sector has added 4,600 jobs since last September.

Mining and logging sector jobs increased by 100 in September 2016 from a month ago. The industry has declined by 2,300 positions from a year ago.

Employment in the information sector remained unchanged in September 2016. This segment has declined by 900 positions from a year ago. The industries in this sector include traditional publishing as well as software publishing; motion pictures and broadcasting; and telecommunications.

The construction sector dropped by 200 jobs in September 2016 from a month ago. Since September 2015, construction jobs have decreased by 1,800 positions.

Employment in the other services sector, which includes repairs and maintenance, personal care services, and religious organizations, decreased by 400 positions in September 2016 from a month ago. This sector has increased by 200 jobs from a year ago.

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

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The real estate industry won a major referral-law victory in court this week when a federal appeals court shot down a controversial Sec. 8 anti-kickback enforcement action taken by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last year.

In a decision that aligns with arguments by NAR and other industry groups, the court said the CFPB incorrectly levied a $109 million fine on a mortgage company, PHH Corp., for entering into an arrangement with mortgage insurers to refer customers to them if they bought reinsurance from PHH-affiliated reinsurers.

At the time it handed down the fine, the CFPB said the “tying” arrangement between the companies amounted to an illegal referral arrangement under Sec. 8(c)(2) of the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act. Sec. 8 prohibits payments of anything of value for referrals of business in connection with real estate settlements. Read More