December 2015

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Criminals are hacking into the email accounts of real estate agents or other persons involved in a real estate transaction and using information gained from the hack to dupe a party into a fraudulent wire transfer. The hackers often send an email that appears to be from an individual legitimately involved in the transaction, informing the recipient, often the buyer, that there has been a last minute change to the wiring instructions. Find out how to spot the crime and what to do if you are targeted. Read More

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Omnibus Appropriations Bill, sweeping legislation of more than two-thousand pages to fund the Federal Government for Fiscal Year 2016, was signed into law. The new legislation will put an end to the series of stop-gap funding measures known as “Continuing Resolutions” that have funded the government since October 1, 2015. Read the various real estate related provisions included in the bill. Read More

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The nation's recovery from the Great Recession reached a historic milestone Wednesday as the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade, ending an extraordinary era of easy-money policy.

The modest ¼ percentage point increase in the Fed's benchmark rate was widely expected and accompanied by signals that Fed policymakers intend to nudge up rates even more gradually than anticipated the next few years. That's a nod to inflation that remains unusually low and vestiges of the downturn that continue to thwart a more vibrant economy. Read More

Monday, December 14, 2015

Nearly all owners of remote-controlled aircraft across the country will have to register hundreds of thousands of drones with the Federal Aviation Administration starting Dec. 21.

The owner – whether it’s a new purchase or a drone that’s been flying for years – will have to register a name, a physical address and an email address with the FAA, the agency announced Monday. The decision follows a recommendation Nov. 21 by a task force of manufacturers, retailers, pilots and hobbyists. Existing owners will have to register by Feb. 19, 2016, and new buyers will have to register before their first flight. ​

The registry for drones weighing at least 9 ounces marks the latest balancing act for federal regulators who are trying to keep the skies safe as drones increasingly share airspace with passenger planes. Industry groups have estimated that hundreds of thousands have already been sold, with many more on the way as holiday gifts. Read More

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The majority of U.S. renters are now 40 and older, a fundamental shift over the past decade that reflects the lasting damage of the housing crash and an aging population.

This finding in a report released Wednesday by Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies overturns the assumption that the rental boom is only the result of twenty-somethings flocking to hip urban centers. Single-family houses are a growing share of rentals. And affordability problems are mounting as rents rise faster than wages, while apartment construction increasingly targets tenants with six-figure incomes.

Nearly 51 percent of renters have celebrated their 40th birthday, according to the report's analysis of Census Bureau data. That amounts to 22.4 million households.

A decade ago when the housing bubble peaked in 2005, 47 percent of renters — or 16.4 million households — were older than 40. Their share was 43 percent in 1995. Read More

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The first-ever "Remodeling Impact Report" looks at the resale value and customer satisfaction of 12 interior and 8 exterior projects. The projects range from upgrades (a new HVAC system) to full-scale remodels (a new master suite). Members of NARI reviewed specs and provided cost estimates for each project. REALTORS reported that 3 interior projects and 2 exterior projects - all estimated to cost under $10,000 - provide the greatest cost recovery at resale.

Download the report now

Read the press release with additional infographics


Projects with Greatest Cost Recovery



Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Kentucky foreclosures were down 0.1% in October compared to the same period a year prior. Kentucky's foreclosure inventory rate of 1.2% was equal to the national rate, with 3,012 completed foreclosures in the previous 12 months within the state. The serious deliquency rate stood at 3.3% for Kentucky, which came in just shy of the national rate of 3.4%, according to CoreLogic.

"Improved economic conditions and more foreclosure completions have pushed the foreclosure rate lower. The national unemployment rate declined to 5.0% in October, the lowest since December 2007, and the CoreLogic national Home Price Index has risen 37% from its trough." Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic.

Foreclosure Inventory by State