June 2020

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Hello Kentucky REALTOR® FAMILY

I greet you as family, friend, and as President of Kentucky REALTORS®. These are the most difficult of times, and this is a difficult letter to write.A conversation about race

We have witnessed with our own eyes a black man (any man) dying from asphyxiation at the hands of those chosen to protect and serve. His name is George Floyd. Here in our Commonwealth, we are outraged at hearing of a young black woman named Breonna Taylor, a first responder, shot in her home by a police officer’s gunfire. These are outrageous acts. They occurred while we are in the midst of a pandemic. People are already stressed and emotions are running over the top. This combined with mistrust and anger is the perfect formula for devastation.

What we have seen across our state and nation are peaceful protests against racial injustice. In other cases, we saw riots that hurt people and destroyed property. Unfortunately, this is history repeating itself based on injustice, police brutality, and unresolved racial issues. To not speak out on these issues could simply mean we are complicit.

As champions of fair housing and inclusion, both the National Association of REALTORS® and Kentucky REALTORS® recognize and accept our responsibility to support policies that address racial injustice. We have reached out to National Association of Real Estate Brokers to join affiliated groups in conversations affecting the real estate business.

I recently announced a KYR Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion. This group will make recommendations, suggest policy changes, and devise strategies to help build a more inclusive organization. KYR will then be a resource to encourage and help local associations in developing their own Diversity Committees. KYR has already scheduled an interactive Cultural and Diversity session as we move into our Strategic Planning. 

The Presidential Advisory Group, after in-depth discussion, has planned “A Conversation on Race” for our entire membership. This Virtual Town Hall will take place on Thursday, June 4th at 2:00 pm ET.  The panel will include REALTORS®, Brokers, and Cultural Experts. 

We are Champions for Home Ownership and we believe in the Protection of Private Property Rights. Kentucky REALTORS® NEVER condones violence of any kind against anyone or their property. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” As REALTOR® leaders we must be the calming voice in the midst of this storm (both physically and on social media). I welcome and invite the thoughts, comments, and suggestions of you, our members, as we work together for positive change. Our job is to respect our differences and “Lift as we climb.“ Yes, our families, communities, and each other. Why? 

Because That's who We R!

 

I remain,

Lester T. Sanders,  KYR President

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

April 2020The effect of COVID-19 on the housing market in Kentucky was finally seen in the April statistics as a 12.5% drop in homes sold. 3,748 closings took place in April, down from 4,281 in April 2019. Housing market experts have been predicting a nationwide dip in sales for 2020 of about ten percent.

Nationwide existing-home sales dropped 17.8% from March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.33 million in April. Overall, sales decreased year-over-year, down 17.2% from a year ago (5.23 million in April 2019). April’s decline in existing-home sales is the largest month-over-month drop since July 2010 (-22.5%).

“The economic lockdowns – occurring from mid-March through April in most states – have temporarily disrupted home sales,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “But the listings that are on the market are still attracting buyers and boosting home prices. Record-low mortgage rates are likely to remain in place for the rest of the year and will be the key factor driving housing demand as state economies steadily reopen,” Yun said. “Still, more listings and increased home construction will be needed to tame price growth.”

As expected, the market slowdown in Kentucky did not decrease sale prices. The average sale price of homes in Kentucky surged 8.4% to $212,361 (up from $195,994 in April 2019). Notably, sales volume was only down only 5.1%. April 2019 saw sales volume reach $839 million while April 2020 dipped to about $796 million.

April 2020 YTD“Buyers have not relaxed much during the pandemic shutdowns and the demand remains”, said Lester T. Sanders, President of Kentucky REALTORS®. “Some sellers have been cautious and waited to list homes. But, creative strategies, such as distancing, sanitizing, and virtual showings have allowed Kentuckians to keep homes on the market and still get top dollar.”

The number of homes available on the market continued its fall. The inventory level fell again to 3.28 months, down from 3.48 months in April 2019, a decline of about 6%. It continues to remain well below the ideal level of a 6-month supply.