Kentucky REALTOR® News
Kentucky home sales in January are down eight percent from January 2018. Units sold reached 2,747 which comes in 252 units shy of last year’s mark of 2,999. A near record year in 2018 home sales resulted in below average inventory and above average prices creating a market that proved to be difficult to sustain.
Nationwide, existing-home sales dropped just 1.2% in January, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, says January’s home sales of 4.94 million were the lowest since November 2015, but that he does not expect the numbers to decline further going forward. “Existing home sales in January were weak compared to historical norms; however, they are likely to have reached a cyclical low. Moderating home prices combined with gains in household income will boost housing affordability, bringing more buyers to the market in the coming months.”
While the January housing inventory mark was up only 5% over last year at 5.66 months, it is now double what it was just six months ago at its lowest 2018 level. The rebounding number continues to approach the six-month mark which is considered a comfortable standard by most economists.
The days on market level rose just 2%. January saw houses remain on the market for an average of 118 days, up from 116 one year ago.
Rip Phillips, President of Kentucky REALTORS®, said that a market correction was inevitable as the supply of homes dwindled throughout the latter half of last year. “There are areas in Kentucky where inventory became so strapped that it created a seller’s market which inflated home prices. This can price certain segments of potential home-buyers out of the market.” Phillips noted that a slowdown in sales will help bolster inventory. “Hopefully, prices will normalize and allow those looking to get into the market for the first time to find financing options that will meet their needs”, he said.
The median home price rose by 7% in January after falling for two consecutive months. January 2018 numbers topped out at $131,120 while the 2018 level was $122,495.
Kentucky REALTORS® (KYR) announces that Richard Wilson has been hired as the Director of Governmental Affairs. His first day with KYR will be January 21st. Richard brings with him a strong and impressive background in governmental affairs and advocacy.
Richard comes to KYR from Nashville, TN where he worked most recently as the Small Business Advocate for the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury. In this role, he was a liaison between the state’s small business community and the legislature, identifying issues to bring before the legislature to assist small businesses and improve the business climate. He successfully lobbied approximately 60 bills on behalf of the Comptroller during 2018.
Other positions held include Bill Clerk for the Tennessee Legislature where he handled bills for the Finance, Ways and Means Committee; Field Representative for the House Republican Caucus in TN; and roles with numerous state and federal campaigns in Tennessee and Mississippi.
“We are very pleased to have Richard joining KYR's Government Affairs Team,” said Steve Stevens, Kentucky REALTORS® C.E.O. “He has seasoned experience in advocacy and political action through his previous work in Tennessee and Mississippi and understands how to work closely with legislative members to articulate important policy needs of business. I know our members will enjoy working with him across the state as he supports their advocacy efforts.”
Richard’s primary responsibility at the Association will be to promote and defend homeownership and private property rights across the state. His wife is a native Lexingtonian and they both looking forward to settling into life in the Bluegrass.
Kentucky home sales in November are down just one-quarter of one percent from November 2017. Units sold topped out at 3,909 homes which is just 10 units shy of last years mark of 3,919. The 2018 housing market is almost as strong as last year’s record-breaking mark. 2018 numbers are down just 1.1% at 48,615 units sold compared to 2017’s tally of 49,167.
Nationwide, existing-home sales increased in November, according to the National Association of Realtors®, marking two consecutive months of increases. Unlike Kentucky, however, year-over-year numbers are down 7% from 2017. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, says two consecutive months of increases is a welcomed sign for the market. “The market conditions in November were mixed, with good signs of stabilizing home sales compared to recent months, though down significantly from one year ago. Rising inventory is clearly taming home price appreciation.”
Steve Cline, President of Kentucky REALTORS®, said that certain areas of the state have stronger than usual numbers and are causing the home sales tally to flirt with record territory. “While most area sales remain largely unchanged over last November, some areas are seeing record-breaking numbers of units being sold. Places like Greater Owensboro, Hardin County, the Bowling Green area, and particularly Ashland have seen their highest sales in over a decade. Ashland’s November numbers bested their high-water mark by an amazing 21%.”
The median home price fell by 6.3% in November after rising for three consecutive months, easing concerns that falling inventory might raise prices high enough to begin pricing some first-time home buyers out of the market. November 2018 numbers topped out at $129,200 while the 2017 level was $137,361.
While the November housing inventory was up slightly over last year at 4.73 months, the year-to-date inventory fell 2% to 4.2 months. Kentucky continues to have low inventory levels. Six months of inventory is considered to be a comfortable standard by most economists.
Days on market levels also dropped slightly in both year-over-year and year-to-date measurements. November saw houses on the market for an average of 107 days, down from 109 one year ago.
Kentucky REALTORS® is proud to announce that the statewide participation total for the first annual Kentucky REALTOR® Ring Day reached $13,102.75. This total is cumulative from nine different cities across the Commonwealth.
Nearly half of the state-wide total came from Paducah, KY where a donation match brought the Paducah Board of REALTORS® area total to just over $6,000.
KYR President, Steve Cline, is pleased that so many areas saw participation. “It’s wonderful that folks across the state were able to see a familiar face at one of these kettles. Though its most important that money was raised for a great organization, the fact that people were able to interact with REALTORS® who were giving of their time is a bonus. I hope this event grows by leaps and bounds”, Cline said.
Kentucky REALTORS® C.E.O., Steve Stevens said, “It’s long been known that REALTORS® are a philanthropic bunch with over eighty-percent of them giving to charity annually. It comes as no surprise that they were ready and willing to get out and encourage others to be generous as well.”
Stevens is excited for this time next year when, hopefully, more members will get out and ring bells at kettles. “This was a publicized effort that netted great results. Now that folks see what can be accomplished, I hope we can at least double our participation and our tally in 2019”, he said.
The Salvation Army has been helping coordinate “Ring Days” for different organizations for years, but this event marked the first of its kind in Kentucky with REALTORS® as a focus.
KYR staff members, as well as the staff of various local REALTOR® associations across the state, also participated in the event. Kettles were staffed at retail outlets where shoppers were greeted and invited to donate.
Kentucky home sales in October remained statistically unchanged over October 2017 numbers. October 2018 sales reached 4,415 units compared to 4,432 sold one year ago. Year-to-date sales stand at 44,706. This is down just over one percent over 2017 numbers when sales stood at 45,248 units.
Similarly, pending home sales declined slightly nationwide in October in all regions but the Northeast, according to the National Association of Realtors®. The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, decreased 2.6 percent to 102.1 in October, down from 104.8 in September. However, year-over-year contract signings dropped 6.7 percent, making this the tenth straight month of annual decreases.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said that ten straight months of decline certainly isn’t favorable news for the housing sector. “The recent rise in mortgage rates have reduced the pool of eligible homebuyers,” he said.
Yun notes that a similar period of decline occurred during the 2013 Taper Tantrum when interest rates jumped from 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent. After 11 months – November 2013 to September 2014 – sales finally rebounded when rates decreased. “But this time, interest rates are not going down, in fact, they are probably going to increase even further,” Yun noted.
“As we near the end of the year, Kentucky housing market sales numbers are closely mirroring those of 2017,” said Steve Cline, president of Kentucky REALTORS®. “It seems as though emergent influencers on the national economy will dictate whether we end 2018 slightly down or with just a small bump up in units sold.”
Home prices in Kentucky were up for the third straight month in October. The Commonwealth saw a two percent jump to a median price of $132,023, up from $129,781 in 2017.
Kentucky’s housing inventory rebounded over last month’s decrease and jumped four percent in October. The 4.5 months of supply in Octobers best 2017’s supply of 4.31 months. For the year, inventory remains virtually unchanged versus the same period in 2017, showing 4.1 months through October.
Kentucky saw a decrease in the amount of time properties stayed on the market in October. At 104 days, this is level bests the 108-day average reached in October 2017.
Kentucky home sales in September slid compared to 2017, topping out at 4,453 units. This is down 3.4 percent from last year’s September tally of 4,608. For the year, home sales are trailing 2017 by just over 1 percent, with 40,291 transactions through September (40,816 sales were recorded in the same period for 2017).
Nationally, home sales rose slightly in September and saw substantial increases in both the West and Midwest, according to the National Association of Realtors®. A forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, increased 0.5 percent to 104.6 in September from 104.1 in August. However, year-over-year, contract signings dropped 1.0 percent making this the ninth straight month of annual decreases.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist says that even though we are still seeing year-over-year declines, the latest monthly increase is a good, stabilizing trend. “This shows that buyers are out there on the sidelines, waiting to jump in once more inventory becomes available and the price is right,” he said.
“The Kentucky housing market continues to buck the national trend,” said Steve Cline, president of Kentucky REALTORS®. “Closings are down slightly while national numbers are up. However, Kentucky saw increases in July and August while others did not. While it remains difficult to predict the short-term future, the stabilizing national trend is encouragement that 2018 will be a near-record year in Kentucky.”
Home prices in Kentucky were up for the second straight month in September. A nearly five and a half percent jump to a median price of $136,920 was a marked change from $126,850 in 2017. Nationally, median home prices landed at $258,100, once again roughly doubling the Kentucky median price.
Kentucky’s housing inventory dipped only slightly in September year-over-year. The 4.42 months of supply in September was up less than half a percent versus September 2017 and was a significant increase of August 2018’s level of 3.56 months. For the year, inventory remains unchanged versus the same period in 2017, showing 4.2 months through September.
September saw only a 5.7 percent increase in the amount of time properties stayed on the market. At 110 days, this is level matches the average for days on the market in Kentucky.
Median prices were up in Louisville but remained almost unchanged in Lexington and Northern Kentucky.
With rising mortgage rates and high prices, conversations about the possible benefits of renting over buying have begun to pop up; however, Yun believes that homeownership is still the path to long-term financial health. “Excluding periods of subprime lending, homeownership has consistently led to wealth gains,” said Yun. “If people are willing to purchase a home within their budget, they will likely continue to accumulate equity.”
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin has announced the appointment of Steve Cline to the Kentucky Real Estate Commission. Cline will serve a three-year term beginning on November 1, 2018.
A full-time REALTOR® for 30 years, Cline works in Bowling Green, KY with his wife Angi where they partner to run The CLINE Team. He was awarded 2015 REALTOR® of the Year by Kentucky REALTORS®. Cline currently serves as President of Kentucky REALTORS®, a state-wide trade association which serves more than 11,000 real estate professionals in the Commonwealth.
Kentucky REALTORS® C.E.O., Steve Stevens says “Steve’s tremendous passion for improving this industry will make him an invaluable asset to the Commission.”
Cline says he is excited to begin his term. “I’m deeply honored to receive this appointment and am eager to work with my colleagues on the Commission to carry out our mission”, he said.
Cline will be serving alongside the other KREC Commissioners which include Lois Ann Disponett, Joe Hayden, Tom Waldrop, Billy Beckham, and Shirley McVay Wiseman.
Kentucky REALTORS® (KYR), one of the state’s largest professional associations representing over 11,000 members, presented several awards honoring outstanding REALTORS® across the Commonwealth during the 96th Annual KYR Convention in Louisville, Kentucky.
Barbara Flannery was named the 2018 REALTOR® of the Year. Flannery is the owner of USA Realty in London, Kentucky. She received her real estate license in 1992 and a broker’s license in 1995 when she started her business.
At her local board – the Cumberland Valley Board of REALTORS®, she served as President three times and has been named REALTOR® of the Year by her local board twice. On the state level, Ms. Flannery served as a KYR delegate and KYR director. She served as both a Trustee and the Treasurer of the Kentucky REALTOR® Institute (KRI).
She has been a volunteer in her community as a member of her local chamber of commerce, member of the Golden Rule Chapter of the Eastern Star, and she has participated in a mission trip with Hand in Hand Ministries. She is a member of the Republican Woman’s Club.
The 2018 KYR Distinguished Service Award was presented to Becky Murphy of Lexington. The Kentucky REALTORS® Distinguished Service Award is given annually to a member of the Association who has reached the age of 60 or has at least 25 years of membership. The recipient must have held leadership positions in local, state and/or national associations and with affiliated institutes, societies and councils. The recipient must have also been recognized as a local leader whose service and involvement in political and or community activities has been extraordinary. This award is the highest statewide honor bestowed on a member.
Becky Murphy has been in the business for 40 years and is co-owner of Charlie Murphy Real Estate - a family brokerage. She holds the GRI, CRS and CRB designations. On the state level, Ms. Murphy has served as KYR’s state president in 1996 and was also named KYR’s REALTOR® of the Year in 1992. She was a Trustee for both KRI and KYR’s REALTOR® Political Action Committee.
At her local Association – the Lexington-Bluegrass Association of REALTORS® - she served in leadership positions and received their honor of REALTOR® of the Year.
Nationally, she served as Regional Vice President for Region 4 of the National Association of REALTORS®.
Larry Disney of Lexington is the winner of the Nat Sanders Award presented to recognize the individual who has made the most significant contributions to, and exemplified leadership and service in, real estate education at either the local, state or national level. He has been a practicing real property appraiser since 1977, and since 1982, he has developed and instructed qualifying education and continuing education courses for real estate licensees and real property appraisers across the state. Larry retired February 1, 2017 after serving on the Kentucky Real Estate Appraisers Board for twenty years in the capacity of Complaint Investigator and Executive Director. He is a Kentucky Certified General Real Property Appraiser, a Kentucky licensed Real Estate Broker, designated SRA member of the Appraisal Institute, designated IFAS member of the National Association of Independent Fee Appraisers, certified by the Appraiser Qualifications Board of The Appraisal Foundation as an instructor of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), and certified by the International Distance Education Certification Center as a Certified Distance Education Instructor (CDEI).
As Executive Director of the Appraisal Board, he guided the organization through the massive changes that accompanied the mortgage meltdown and government reassessment of Dodd/Frank.
The 2018 Good Neighbor Award is presented to recognize a REALTOR® who has made an extraordinary impact on his or her community or nation, through volunteerism. This year’s recipient is Ruby Mason of RE/MAX Elite Realty in Nicholasville.
Ms. Mason is a volunteer for the Jessamine County Drug Court and has been since its inception 9 years ago. She has volunteered countless hours, without compensation, for the betterment of the community in helping combat the drug crisis and opioid epidemic. She is also a board member and chair of Nicholasville NOW, a main street program that advocates for the restoration of the historic character of downtown.
She is also a board member and chair of the Nicholasville Housing Authority,
serves as an ambassador for her local chamber of commerce for Jessamine County and is president-elect in 2018. She is also president-elect in 2018 for the Jessamine County Rotary Club and has been a member of the Order of the Eastern Stars for 33 years. She is a Lifetime member of the Camp Nelson Heritage Park. She serves as a Sunday school teacher, is a past president of her church choir, an assistant church clerk and a past missionary president. She is also a board member for the United Way.
Honorable mentions for the Good Neighbor award went to Rebecca Trout for her contributions to her local community.
The 2018 Community Service Awards, given to REALTOR® associations on the local level that improve the quality of life in their communities, were presented to three local REALTOR® associations based on their size – in small, medium and large association categories. The award in the large category went to the REALTOR® Association of Southern Kentucky.
The medium category winner was the Old Kentucky Home Board of REALTORS®.
The Murray-Calloway Board of REALTORS® took home the award in the small category.
The Kentucky REALTORS®. (KYR), one of the state’s largest professional associations representing more than 11,000 members, elected and installed the association’s 2019 board of directors and leadership during the Annual KYR Convention in Louisville, Kentucky September 23-25, 2018.
R. “Rip” Phillips, a member of the Greater Louisville Association of REALTORS® (GLAR) and Principal Broker with Keller Williams Louisville, was installed at the Convention as the 2019 President of the Kentucky REALTORS®. Rip has been an active leader for KYR for over 11 years, serving in leadership at many levels on boards and committees of the association. After serving as class President of KYR’s Leadership program in 2007, he was instrumental in developing and implementing a financial plan for the association which helped rebuild the association’s financial reserves following the recession. He is a Major Investor in the Realtor® Political Action Committee (RPAC).
Three new positions (Senior Vice Presidents) were elected to the Board of Directors for 2019:
Pam Featherstone (Semonin Realtors® - Elizabethtown)
Barbara Flannery (USA Realty - London)
Mike Spicer (Coldwell Banker West Shell - Independence).
Newly elected to the 2019 board of directors were:
President-elect (2020): Lester Sanders (Semonin Realtors® - Louisville)
Treasurer-elect (2020): Robin Roseberry (The Breland Group - Foster)
Region 2 Director: Bobby Hunton (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Bowling Green)
Region 4 Director: Barbara Curtis (Coldwell Banker McMahan - Georgetown)
Region 6 Director: Brenda Gooslin (AAA Real Estate - Pikeville)
At-Large Director: Donna Gordon-Willoughby (Semonin Realtors® - Louisville)
At-Large Director: Karen Gross (Century 21 Partners - Owensboro)
At-Large Director: Helen Fardo (NextHome Bluegrass - Richmond)
Existing members serving on the board of directors will be:
Immediate Past President Steve Cline (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Bowling Green)
Treasurer Charles Hinckley (Network Realty - Radcliff)
Existing At-Large Directors include:
Ann Elizabeth Delahanty (Keller Williams - Louisville)
Mike Inman (Coldwell Banker McMahan - Salvisa)
Brenda Loyal (Century 21 Partners - Owensboro)
Libbi Taylor (RE/MAX Creative - Lexington)
Art Reed (Huff Realty - Erlanger)
At-Large Delegates for 2019:
Laura Disney (Keller Williams Bluegrass - Lexington), Trey McCallie (Urban Toolbox Real Estate - Lexington) and Joy Murphy (Coldwell Banker McMahan - Lexington) were elected to serve.
Lamont Breland (The Breland Group - Louisville) was elected to serve as a Director for the National Association of REALTORS®.
Carl Tackett (Coldwell Banker McMahan - Georgetown) was elected to serve as a Regional Vice President, Region IV, for the National Association of REALTORS® in 2020.
KENTUCKY HOME SALES REBOUND IN AUGUST 2018
Kentucky home sales followed the national trend by rising in August and reaching 5,485 transactions. This is a 4.3 percent increase over August 2017 and the second highest monthly sales for the state since June 2017. For the year, home sales are trailing 2017 by just 1.02 percent, with 35,838 transactions through the first eight months of the year (36,208 sales were recorded in the same period for 2017).
Nationally, existing home sales remained steady in August after four straight months of decline, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says the decline in existing home sales appears to have hit a plateau with robust regional sales. “With inventory stabilizing and modestly rising, buyers appear ready to step back into the market”.
Home prices in Kentucky rebounded in August by 3.2 percent to a median price of $134,440 after a decrease in July and are up from $130,220 for August 2017. Nationally, median home prices rose 4.6 percent from August 2017. The U.S. median home price in August was $264,800, roughly twice that of Kentucky’s.
Kentucky’s housing inventory fell from 3.82 months in July to a 3.56 month supply in August 2018 and is down 7.3 percent from August 2017. Nationally, housing inventory at the end of August remained unchanged from July and is at a 4.3 month supply.
In July, the number of days properties stayed on the market had hit a record low of 95 days, but in August rose to 104 days. Still, the time properties stay on the market in Kentucky is down 11.9% from August of 2017 and year-to-date, is down 9 percent. Nationally, the time properties typically stayed on the market rose slightly, but is at just 29 days. Across the country, 52 percent of homes were on the market for less than one month.
“Nationally, surveys show that half of all Americans strongly believe now is a good time to sell their home, but their belief that now is a good time to buy one is now 5 percent lower than the previous quarter” said Steve Cline, President of Kentucky REALTORS®. “ We know that the Kentucky and national economies are booming, but many people are fearful of selling their home and not being able to find a replacement quickly or that they can afford,” Cline said.
Kentucky REALTORS® is one of the largest and most influential associations in Kentucky. Founded in 1922, Kentucky REALTORS® represents more than 11,000 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 Kentucky REALTORS®, visit housingstats.kyrealtors.com.