Kentucky REALTOR® News

Unemployment rates down in 93 KY counties
August 25, 2016

Unemployment rates fell in 93 Kentucky counties between July 2015 and July 2016, but rose in 27 counties, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

Oldham County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 3.5 percent. It was followed by Woodford County, 3.6 percent; Campbell, Fayette, Shelby and Spencer counties, 3.8 percent each; Boone County, 3.9 percent; Anderson County, 4 percent; and Franklin, Jessamine, Kenton, Monroe, Owen and Scott counties, 4.1 percent each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 16.3 percent. It was followed by Leslie County, 12.7 percent; Harlan County, 12.3 percent; Letcher County, 12.2 percent; Elliott County, 11.6 percent; Knott County, 11 percent; Floyd County, 10.9 percent; Pike County, 10.8 percent; and Lawrence and Wolfe counties; 10.6 percent each.

In contrast to the monthly national and state data, unemployment statistics for counties are not seasonally adjusted. The comparable, unadjusted state unemployment rate for the state was 5.2 percent for July 2016, and 5.1 percent for the nation. Read More

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Overtime rule from the DOL
August 16, 2016

Effective December 1, 2016, DOL revised the requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regarding the minimum salary threshold for employees to be considered exempt from overtime.

The final rule raises the annual salary threshold to $47,476, up significantly from $23,660, and will increase automatically every three years, starting in 2020. Unless specifically exempted, workers are guaranteed time-and-a-half pay if they work more than 40 hours in any given week if they make less than $47,476, including up to 10 percent of the standard salary requirement with nondiscretionary bonuses, incentive payments, and commissions, provided these forms of compensation are paid at least quarterly. Read More

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'Know Before You Owe' helps agents and consumers
August 8, 2016

Since the October 2015 implementation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's ‘Know Before You Owe' mortgage initiative, Realtors® have raised red flags (link is external) over challenges in gaining access to what's known as the mortgage "closing disclosure" form, or CD. The CD is delivered to homebuyers in advance of their closing and contains important financial information related to their purchase.

Unfortunately, many lenders have chosen to withhold this document from real estate agents since Know Before You Owe went into effect, despite a longstanding tradition of sharing similar information.

Earlier this year, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau announced that it was considering changes to Know Before You Owe - also known as the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure, or TRID - including a clarification of the rules regarding sharing the CD. Read More

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Kentucky's jobless rate drops to 5% in June
July 22, 2016

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

The preliminary June 2016 jobless rate was 0.3 percentage points lower than the 5.3 percent rate recorded for the state in June 2015.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for June 2016 was 4.9 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Read More

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Kentucky's Red Tape Reduction Initiative backed by KAR
July 7, 2016

Governor Bevin recently announced the Red Tape Reduction Initiative, which will cut through the red tape of excessive and complex regulatory burdens that are a hardship for many business owners and will reduce the amount of government bureaucracy affecting Kentucky businesses, thus making the Commonwealth more employee-friendly.

The governor's office projects that more than 4,500 business regulations will be evaluated as part of the initiative, and Bevin has directed cabinet secretaries to comb through all the business regulations on the books to weed out outdated or inefficient requirements.

Bevin has also called on state employees, businesses and individuals across the state to assist his administration by identifying what they consider burdensome regulations. A website,, has been created to collect feedback and ideas directly from the public and the state's business communities.

The initiative has the support of many business organizations throughout the state, including the Kentucky Association of REALTORS (KAR).

KAR wants to encourage members from across the state to provide assistance to this intitiative as burdensome and unnecessary regulations can hinder economic development and decrease home sales across a region. If you have experience dealing with a regulation that proved to be burdensome, share it in the comments below or, better yet, visit the Red Tape Reduction website and report it using the online submission form (red button in the top right corner).

Red Tape Reduction website

Press release about the initiative

Report a Reg feature


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Top 10 issues affecting real estate
June 24, 2016

Every year, the Counselors of Real Estate, a group of real estate professionals who hold the CRE designation and seek to offer unbiased guidance on real estate topics, offers a list of major issues that they feel could affect the industry. Learn what the implications of these potential shifts could be for your business.

  1. Shifts in the World Economy In response to economic and political uncertainties, the International Monetary Fund amended GDP growth to spiral downward for much of the globe in 2016 and 2017. Implications for real estate: The CRE sees China as the primary competition in this sector, having capped a five-year real estate investment total to more than $110 billion. They caution that economic deceleration could lead to lower investment in infrastructure worldwide. Read More
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FAA changes regulations for commercial drone use
June 23, 2016

Using a drone to capture listing photos and videos or inspect properties is about to become significantly easier now that the federal government has finalized its long-awaited regulations over the commercial use of unmanned aerial systems.

The final rule issued Tuesday by the Federal Aviation Administration paves the way for people who obtain a remote pilot certificate to operate drones that weigh less than 55 pounds, as long as the aircraft remains within visual line-of-sight. Earning the certificate will involve passing a test of aeronautical knowledge at an FAA-approved testing center - but it will not require applicants to have formal flight training. Read More

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Kentucky's jobless rate drops to 5.1% in May 2016
June 17, 2016

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate for May 2016 dropped to 5.1 percent from a revised 5.4 percent in April 2016, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

The preliminary May 2016 jobless rate was 0.2 percentage points lower than the 5.3 percent rate recorded for the state in May 2015. The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for May 2016 was 4.7 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Read More

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Jobless rates up in 65 Kentucky counties in March 2016
May 20, 2016

Unemployment rates rose in 65 Kentucky counties between March 2015 and March 2016, fell in 37 counties, and remained the same in 18, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. Read More

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Stevens Named CEO for KAR
April 28, 2016

The Kentucky Association of REALTORS® (KAR) has named Steve Stevens as its Chief Executive Officer, effective May 17, 2016.

Stevens had most recently been president and CEO of Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI), the 1,200-member chamber of commerce and economic development agency for eastern Washington. In his role, Stevens’ focus was on recruitment and expansion of business and industry, government relations, workforce development and member services. During his tenure, strong legislative advocacy by the organization helped secure over $1.7 billion in new funding for the region.

“We are excited to have Steve on board,” stated Lamont Breland, president of KAR. “His diverse background in public policy and perspectives on business management issues at the local, state and federal levels will serve our Association well going forward.”

Before joining GSI, Stevens served for eight years as president and CEO of the 2,000 member Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce located in Ft. Mitchell. Prior to that appointment, he was the Chamber’s Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and spent more than 12 years advocating for the advancement of pro-business issues, community priorities and trade development, as well as serving as the Chamber’s legislative agent in Frankfort. Stevens also served the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce as the Director of Government Affairs for three years.

“I am thrilled to be coming home to Kentucky to apply my expertise and years of experience to help support such an important segment of Kentucky’s businesses. Working as a dedicated business advocate for most of my life, it’s been my ‘calling’ and I am energized to be part of this team. Nearly 10,000 members count on KAR’s strong advocacy to advance issues and provide important member services that help them grow and maintain strong businesses in Kentucky.”

Stevens is a graduate of the University of Kentucky, the Institute for Organization Management, the Center for Creative Leadership and Leadership Kentucky. In a volunteer capacity, Stevens served as president of the state association of Chamber of Commerce Executives in Kentucky and has been an active member of the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE). He earned the Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) designation from ACCE and was named Chamber Executive of Year in 2011 by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

Stevens and his wife, Marilyn, have two sons, Stewart, who is also a University of Kentucky graduate and Logan, who will soon graduate from Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia. The Kentucky Association of REALTORS® is one of the largest and most influential associations in Kentucky.

Founded in 1923, KAR represents more than 9,600 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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