Kentucky REALTOR® News
- Special election results for Kentucky
- March 9, 2016
Democrats won three of four House seats up for grabs in Tuesday’s special election, increasing their majority status in the House chamber by one for the rest of the 2016 General Assembly, including the all-important process of writing the next state budget.
The House will have 53 Democrats and 47 Republicans through the fall elections. It is the final state legislative chamber in the South to remain in Democratic control, and it is the last bastion of Democratic Party power in Kentucky, which otherwise has been trending Republican in state and federal elections.
Democrats won elections in Western Kentucky’s 8th District (Jeffrey R. Taylor of Hopkinsville), Central Kentucky’s 62nd District (Chuck Tackett of Georgetown) and northeastern Kentucky’s 98th District (Lew Nicholls of Greenup). The sole Republican won race in Central Kentucky’s 54th District (Daniel B. Elliott of Danville). Read More
- Kentucky's annual unemployment rate was lowest since 2007
- March 8, 2016
Kentucky’s annual unemployment rate fell to 5.4 percent in 2015 from 6.5 percent in 2014, while nonfarm employment gained 27,700 jobs, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.
It was the lowest annual jobless rate for the state since 2007 when it was also 5.4 percent.
“At 5.4 percent, Kentucky’s unemployment rate has reached the pre-recession low last seen in 2007,” said economist Manoj Shanker of OET. “The job market hit a historical high in 2015 with nonfarm employment rising to almost 1.9 million.
“In spite of these gains, there is undoubtedly room for improvement,” he added. “Kentucky has a low labor force participation rate, which at 53.7 percent, ranks us at 47th in the nation.” Read More
- Fake real estate agent in Kentucky gets into homes to steal
- March 7, 2016
A former Louisville real estate agent is under investigation after she allegedly posed as an active agent to gain access into homes, according to Shelbyville police.
According to one victim, the fake agent is using her past experience in showing houses to steal.
The investigation started with a surprising phone call to Linda Gibson Cecil, the CEO of Keller Williams Louisville East. Cecil said of the caller, "She's the daughter of an elderly woman who's a homeowner and who currently has her house on the market." Read More
- Top 10 home trends that buyers want in 2016
- March 4, 2016
Gone but not forgotten are the avocado kitchens, the carpeted bathrooms and the sponge-painted walls. I’ll bet that some of you are still rocking one of those beloved trends in your home. You know who you are. But 2016 home trends are more on the clean living side.
There are many new trends that we’ll see this year including new pastel Pantone colors and smart appliances. Some will stay, and some will hopefully go — quickly. Read More
- "Get REALTOR" consumer ad campaign launched by NAR
- February 8, 2016
Buying a home isn’t as easy as clicking a few buttons and magically getting the home of your dreams, as the current real estate advertising landscape leads many to believe. The reality is that real estate transactions can be stressful and there are often challenges and obstacles along the way.
To communicate Realtor® value in helping consumers succeed in all things real estate, the National Association of Realtors® has launched a new advertising campaign, “Get Realtor®.” The campaign targets hyper-connected and emerging generations of home buyers, sellers, owners and investors. Read More
- REALTORS® Applaud House Passage of "Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act"
- February 5, 2016
The U.S. House of Representatives voted today to advance legislation that will expand opportunities for homeownership. H.R. 3700, the "Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act," includes a number of initiatives that have strong support from the National Association of REALTORS®, who hailed the vote as important progress for home buyers and sellers.
"This legislation will put homeownership in reach for more families, and we applaud Congress's work to take us there," said NAR President Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Florida. "We look forward to seeing it advance through the legislative process and to the President's desk, so it can be signed into law."
NAR testified last year in support of H.R. 3700 before the U.S. House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance. In particular, NAR championed the inclusion of reforms to current Federal Housing Administration restrictions on condominium financing.
Condominiums are among the most affordable homeownership options for first-time homebuyers, as well as lower income borrowers, but barriers to safe, affordable mortgage credit for condos still exist. H.R. 3700 takes a number of steps to address those concerns.
These include efforts to make FHA's recertification process "substantially less burdensome," improving a process that is often costly and which condo developments must repeat every 24 months. H.R. 3700 also lowers FHA's current owner-occupancy requirement from 50 percent to 35 percent and requires FHA to replace existing policy on transfer fees with the less-restrictive model already in place at the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
Additionally, the "Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act" streamlines the process for exemptions to FHA's rule requiring that condominium projects have no more than 25 percent of the space dedicated to commercial use. This effort is in line with the Department of Housing and Urban Development's initiative to promote neighborhoods with a mix of residential housing, businesses and access to public transportation.
Finally, H.R. 3700 includes further support for rural housing loans and multifamily housing initiatives.
The National Association of REALTORS®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
- Gov. Bevin to study possibility of tax reform
- February 5, 2016
Gov. Matt Bevin and his top policy officials will study the possibility of reforming Kentucky’s tax code after this year’s legislative session, state budget director John Chilton said Thursday.
“He has said it needs to happen,” Chilton said. “All different things will be considered.”
Chilton said he attended nearly all the meetings of Gov. Steve Beshear’s Blue Ribbon Tax Commission, which presented a plan in 2012 that members said would modernize Kentucky’s antiquated tax code and eventually produce at least $690 million a year. Read More
- Yun insight into housing and stocks
- February 4, 2016
The stock market woke up on the wrong side of bed this year, suffering a 10% correction. But home prices, another important asset for many families, look to be reaccelerating. The national median home price increased 7.6% over the past 12 months to December 2015. Other home price data show similar strengthening in their respective measures to either the fastest rise of the year or nearly so: the CoreLogic home price index increased by 6.3% in December while the less timely home price data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency rose 5.9%, and the Case-Shiller index rose by 5.8% to November. Read More
- 7 tech game changers for your business
- February 3, 2016
One of the technology industry’s hottest shows wrapped up last week in Las Vegas, where we got a peak at some items that have the potential to drastically change the way real estate professionals do business. From virtual reality headsets to driverless cars, CES 2016 offered plenty of insights into how staying connected and marketing listings may evolve.
- DIY renovations: which are and aren't
- February 3, 2016
Your buyers like the house — mostly — but the closets could be reconfigured and the bathroom tile has to go. Are those DIY projects, or are they "DIFM" (do it for me)? In a new survey from the Home Projects Council, home owners reviewed a range of home improvements. Most said they would feel comfortable doing some projects, but it's best to have professional referrals ready for some. Read More