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Kentucky REALTOR® News

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac drop mortgage modification interest rate to lowest level ever
November 10, 2015

For the first time since Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac first established a benchmark interest rate for the standard mortgage modification programs in Jan. 2012, the rate is about to be lower than 4%.

Beginning Nov. 13, Fannie Mae will lower its standard modification interest rate from 4% to 3.875%. Freddie Mac lowered its standard modification interest rate by the same margin, with its change taking effect Nov. 5. Read More

NAR releases 2015 Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers
November 5, 2015

The NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers is an annual survey conducted of recent home buyers and sellers that provides insight into detailed information about their experiences with this important transaction. Highlights include information like this:

For the third consecutive year, the share of first-time buyers declined to 32 percent (down one percent from 2014), hitting the second-lowest share since reporting began. First-time buyers had a median age of 31, median income of $69,400 (up from $68,300 in 2014) and purchased a 1,620sf home costing $170,000. Repeat buyers were 53 years old, income of $98,700 (up from $95,000 in 2014) and purchased a 2,020sf home costing $246,400.

Check out the other highlights from the NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers


Kentucky makes big jump in business climate rankings
November 5, 2015

Kentucky has its highest showing ever on Site Selection magazine's 2015 Business Climate Ranking. The state is ranked in third place, up from eighth place last year, according to a news release from Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear's office.

Half of the Business Climate Ranking is based on a survey of corporate site selectors who are asked to rank the states based on their recent experience of locating facilities in them, according to the Site Selection report. The other half is based on an index of seven criteria, including new projects, new facilities and tax burdens. Read More

Kentucky's jobless rate drops to 5 percent in September 2015
October 16, 2015

Kentucky’s preliminary September 2015 unemployment rate fell to 5 percent from a seasonally adjusted 5.2 percent in August 2015, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. Kentucky’s jobless rate had not been that low in more than 14 years. The state rate in September 2015 was 0.8 percent below the 5.8 percent rate recorded in September 2014.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate remained at 5.1 percent from August 2015 to September 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Read More

House passes bipartisan TRID grace period bill
October 12, 2015

Defying the threat of a White House veto, the House on Wednesday afternoon passed bipartisan legislation to help homebuyers avoid delays and disruptions when closing on their new homes by a bipartisan vote of 303-121.

The bill, the Homebuyers Assistance Act, provides a four-month grace period for businesses that are working in good faith to comply with a new 1,888-page rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that went into effect Oct. 4. Read More

FAA proposes $1.9 million fine against company for 'reckless' drone operations
October 8, 2015

Federal regulators sent a shot across the bow of civilian drone operators Tuesday, proposing a record $1.9 million fine for a company that markets “bird’s-eye views” of some of the country’s most congested airspace and heavily populated cities.

“Flying unmanned aircraft in violation of the Federal Aviation Regulations is illegal and can be dangerous,” said Michael Huerta, head of the Federal Aviation Administration. “We have the safest airspace in the world, and everyone who uses it must understand and observe our comprehensive set of rules and regulations.” Read More

Ratings added to realtor.com in beta, Realtor profiles revamped
October 7, 2015

What was once “Find A Realtor” is being rolled out nationally, starting with two cities in testing to work out any bugs. Realtor profiles have been revamped, ratings and reviews have been added, and “Find a Realtor” search has been updated.

Under new ownership, realtor.com is taking another whack at the ratings and reviews of Realtors (NAR members), having taken their lumps and learned some tough lessons that we think have helped them create a product that removes subjectivity from data by offering ratings from verified transactions only which comprise the stars system seen next to Realtors’ names. Read More

Jobless rates down in 112 Kentucky counties in August 2015
September 29, 2015

Unemployment rates fell in 112 Kentucky counties between August 2014 and August 2015, rose in six counties and remained the same in two counties (Lawrence and Lee), 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 3.3 percent. It was followed by Fayette and Owen counties, 3.5 percent each; Oldham and Spencer counties, 3.6 percent each; Boone, Scott and Shelby counties, 3.7 percent each; and Campbell, Jessamine, Madison and Monroe counties, 3.9 percent each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 14.1 percent. It was followed by Russell County, 11.2 percent; Owsley County, 11.1 percent; Harlan County, 10.9 percent; Leslie County, 10.2 percent; Letcher County, 10.1 percent; Carter County, 9.5 percent; Knott County, 9.2 percent; Clay County, 9.1 percent; and Wolfe County, 9 percent. Read More

$240 million needed to maintain and upgrade Kentucky's state parks
September 29, 2015

Kentucky State Park officials say as much as $240 million is needed to maintain and upgrade aging state park facilities in the next 6-year budget cycle in 2016.

Kentucky State Parks Commissioner Elaine Walker painted the bleak picture for members of the Interim Committee of Tourism and Development on Monday at Rough River Dam State Resort Park.

“Our infrastructure continues to deteriorate,” Walker said. “We have power outages, loss of phone and internet service, outdated and crumbling water and sewer lines. They all represent long term budget challenges.”

And, without mentioning any names, KAR was referenced in the report by Ms. Walker. Read More


Kentucky's jobless rate at 5.2 percent in July 2015
August 24, 2015

Kentucky’s preliminary July unemployment rate rose slightly to a seasonally adjusted 5.2 percent from a revised 5.1 percent in June 2015, and remained below the national rate, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

The state rate in July 2015 was 1 percentage point below the 6.2 percent rate recorded in July 2014.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate remained at 5.3 percent from June 2015 to July 2015, 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 July 2015, Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 1,959,681, a decline of 20,080 individuals compared to the previous month. Employment was down by 21,382, and the number of unemployed increased by 1,302. Read More