Kentucky REALTOR® News

Kentucky REALTOR® News

Monday, November 13, 2017

The legislative proposals for tax reform passed by the House Ways and Means Committee and the new Senate plan released last week include some sweeping changes to the tax benefits that homeowners have come to depend on. According to Kentucky REALTORS® (KYR) and the National Association of REALTORS®, the bills are a direct threat to consumers, homeowners and businesses, as they represent a tax increase on middle-class homeowners.

In addition to millions of homeowners not benefitting from either of the proposals, many will get a tax increase that will average $815 for middle-class homeowners. Additionally, homeowners could lose substantial equity from the more than 10% drop in home values predicted by economists if either of the bills are enacted.

KYR believes in the promise of lower tax rates, but these bills are not as good a deal as the one middle-class homeowners get under current law. Tax hikes and falling home prices are a one-two punch that homeowners must absorb, and at a time when the housing market is stable and providing a boost to the economy.

“We have always said that tax reform – a worthy endeavor – should first do no harm to homeowners. This tax framework misses that goal,” said Mike Becker, president of Kentucky REALTORS®. “These proposals recommend a backdoor elimination of the mortgage interest deduction (MID) for all but the top 5 percent who would still itemize their deductions in addition to losing many other important benefits afforded to homeowners.”

The pieces of legislation double the standard deduction, while repealing nearly all itemized deductions. The House bill, however, goes even further by capping the mortgage interest deduction at $500,000 for newly purchased homes and eliminates it altogether for second homes, which could negatively affect home sales around Kentucky’s lake and river regions where consumers typically make those purchases. The Senate bill completely eliminates the deductions for property taxes even though it doesn’t lower the cap on the MID.

Both bills eliminate state and local income or sales tax deductions while at the same time putting new restrictions on the capital gains exemption homeowners utilize today when they sell their home. The bills would require homeowners to live in their home for 5 of 8 years before a sale to qualify for the exemption, versus just 2 of the previous 5 years today. This could create a hardship for homeowners who have to move inside that five-year window like members of the military who have turnarounds in as little as 3 years. The exemption is also vital to allowing homeowners to use their equity to pay for retirement and other long-term needs.

In addition, the bills eliminate many other real estate-related benefits, including the deduction for moving expenses, the deduction on interest on student loans (House version), the deduction for medical expenses (House version) - even for the elderly and the deduction for personal casualty losses, such as from hurricanes or wildfires.

Currently, America's homeownership rate hovers near the 50-year low at 63.9%. For many middle-class families, buying a home is the single largest investment they will ever make. In fact, the average net worth of a homeowner is 45 times that of a renter. By eliminating or nullifying the incentive for homeownership, however, KYR and REALTORS® across the state are concerned that homeownership's wealth-building potential could be pushed out of reach.

"All in all, both bills not only represent a tax increase on millions of middle-class homeowners, but at the same time, create a lost incentive to purchase a home which could cause home values to fall,” said Becker. “Plummeting home values are a poor housewarming gift for recent homebuyers and a tremendous blow to older Americans who depend on their home to provide a nest egg for retirement. We are pushing for sensible reform that will provide a win for American families by promoting lower rates and comprehensive reform that doesn’t single out homeowners for a tax hike, while also preserving important investment incentives.”

When all the changes included in the latest tax reform proposals are totaled, millions of middle class homeowners will see little benefit, while others will actually see a tax increase. All of this is being placed on the backs of middle class homeowners, while their children and grandchildren are asked to take on an additional $1.5 trillion to the deficit. Tax reform is important, but the final product should reflect the tremendous value that homeownership offers the community.

In summary,

  • If you are a seller: You might not be able to exempt your capital gains when you sell.
  • If you are a buyer: You might not be able to deduct your mortgage interest on your new home and you can’t deduct your moving expenses.
  • If you are a homeowner: You might not be able to deduct any of your property taxes.
  • If you are a second homeowner: You may not be able to deduct your mortgage interest.
  • If you are a REALTOR®: Homebuyers are losing incentives to buy a home, and homeowners have lots of incentives to stay put to keep their full mortgage interest tax deduction and to wait out the exemption for their capital gains.

Tax reform fact sheet - see how the two versions stack up for homeownership

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Kentucky Housing Market Update September 2017Kentucky saw home sales decrease in September, but remained positive for the first nine months of the year. Total home sales in September were down 4.6 percent, reaching 4,602 in 2017 versus 4,823 in 2016. For the quarter, homes sold hit 14,860 this year, slightly above the 14,777 sold in 2016. Year-to-date, home sales are still on a record breaking pace with a 3.1 percent increase, with 40,809 homes sold in 2017 versus 39,563 in 2016.


Housing inventories across the state jumped in September by 4.8 percent from the previous year, but for the quarter and year-to-date, inventories are still down 7 percent and 14.3 percent respectively, compared to 2016.


“Demand exceeds supply in most markets, which is keeping price growth high and essentially eliminating any savings buyers would realize from the decline in mortgage rates from earlier this year,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “While most of the country, except for the South, did see minor gains in contract signings last month, activity is falling further behind last year’s pace because new listings aren’t keeping up with what’s being sold.”


Kentucky Housing Market Update September 2017Not only is inventory an issue in many parts of the state, homes are selling faster than last year as well. For September, days on market dropped from 120 days in 2016 to 108 days in 2017, a decrease of 10 percent. For the year, days on market went from 134 days in 2016 to 120 in 2017, a drop of 10.4 percent.


“Even though the number of properties sold dipped in September, buyers are still on the hunt to find a home,” said Mike Becker, president of Kentucky REALTORS®. “As we move into the colder months, sellers who are serious about putting their homes on the market are encouraged to do so, as buyers will be searching due to pent up demand throughout the year and inventories naturally decline at this time of year. This could prove to be a good time to sell with serious buyers ready to purchase in the market.”


The median home price increased to a new monthly high for September, reaching $129,933, an increase of 2 percent from a year earlier. The median price for the year hit $126,902 from $122,967 for the same period in 2016. For the quarter, the median price rose 4.9 percent to $133,556. The total volume of all home sales reached $885 million in September and over $7.5 billion for the first three quarters of the year, an increase of 8.2 percent.


Kentucky Housing Market Update September 2017On the national front, home sales declined in September, compared to the same month last year by 1.5 percent, but rose less than a percent over the previous month (August), giving September the second slowest sales pace over the past year.


“We are hearing from others in the industry that the primary obstacles to sales growth are the same as we have known all year: not enough listings, especially at the lower end where first-time homebuyers typically come into the market, and prices that continue to rise which may prohibit some buyers from getting into the market even though affordability in Kentucky is well below most parts of the country,” stated Becker.


Kentucky REALTORS® is one of the largest and most influential associations in Kentucky. Founded in 1922, Kentucky REALTORS® represents more than 10,800 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

Thursday, October 19, 2017

You have no doubt heard about tax reform plans from Washington, DC. Now Congress is threatening tax incentives for homeowners, like the mortgage interest deduction and the state and local property tax deduction. These incentives are critical for a strong housing market that creates jobs and builds stable communities. Do not let tax reform become a tax increase for middle class homeowners. 

Homeownership is the bedrock of our industry and we need to make sure any tax reform legislation protects middle class homeowners.

  • Did you know that American homeowners already pay 83% of all federal income taxes?
  • Did you know that some of the tax reforms under discussion could result in a drop of more than 10% in home values?
  • Did you know that after the 1986 Tax Reform Act property values in the commercial sector dropped significantly, negatively impacting state and local tax revenue?
  • Did you know that home-owning families with incomes from $50,000 to $200,000 could face average tax hikes of $815 in the year after enactment?

Help Kentucky reach a 20% response rate so our voice is heard on this important issue

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Gov. Matt Bevin, together with Senate President Robert Stivers and House Speaker Jeff Hoover, unveiled “Keeping the Promise” - a comprehensive plan to save Kentucky’s ailing public pension systems.

Highlights of the plan include:

  • “Keeping the Promise” will save Kentucky’s pension systems and meet the legal and moral obligations owed to current and retired teachers and public servants
  • Requires full payment of ARC and creates new funding formula that mandates hundreds of millions more into every retirement plan, making them healthier and solvent sooner
  • For those still working: no increase to the full retirement age, and current defined benefits remain in place until the employee reaches the promised level of unreduced pension benefit
  • For those retired: no clawbacks or reductions to pension checks, and healthcare benefits are protected
  • For future non-hazardous employees and teachers: enrollment in a defined contribution retirement plan that will provide comparable retirement benefits
  • For current and future hazardous employees: will continue in the same system they are in now
  • Closes loophole to ensure payment of death benefits for the families of hazardous employees
  • Stops defined benefits plan for all legislators, moving them into the same defined contribution plan as other state employees under the jurisdiction of the KRS Board
  • No emergency clause: law will not go into effect until July 1, 2018
  • Structural changes should improve the Commonwealth’s rating with credit agencies, which have downgraded Kentucky’s rating, citing unfunded pension burdens

Gov. Bevin will call the General Assembly into special session in the coming weeks to pass into law these much-needed reforms.

The Commonwealth’s three major public pension systems — Kentucky Retirement Systems (KRS), Teachers’ Retirement System of Kentucky (TRS), and the Kentucky Judicial Form Retirement System (KJFRS) — collectively administer eight distinct retirement plans.

The state currently has an unfunded pension liability of at least $64 billion, ranking as the worst funded system in the nation. Using prior funding patterns, experts conclude that the Kentucky Employee Retirement System, Non-Hazardous (KERS-NH), will run completely out of money by the year 2022 if meaningful pension reform does not occur.

With $7 billion in negative cash flow over the past decade, Kentucky’s pension spending has been increasing nearly five times as fast as revenues. This effectively reduces funds available for other important budgetary priorities such as education, healthcare, public safety and transportation infrastructure.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The National Association of REALTORS® has announced the 2018 Committee Appointments. Join us in congratulating the 21 appointees from Kentucky.

2018 NAR Committee Appointments

Mike Becker
Member Communications Committee
Member: At-Large

Lamont Breland
REALTOR® Party Member Involvement Committee
Member: State Representative

Ty Brown
Board of Directors, Large Board Representative 
State and Local Issues Policy Committee
Member: At-Large

Steve Cline
Board of Directors, State President 
REALTOR® Party Member Involvement Committee
Member: At-Large

Jayne Cox
Public Policy Coordinating Committee
Member: At-Large

David Earls
RPAC Major Investor Council
Member: State Representative

David McCoy
Global Alliances Advisory Board
Member: President Liaison

Elizabeth Monarch
Risk Management Issues Committee
Member: State Representative

Guy Montgomery
Professional Standards Committee
Member: State Representative

Becky Murphy
Credentials and Campaign Rules Committee
Member: Regional Representative
RPAC Participation Council
Member: State Representative

Charlie Murphy
Board of Directors, State Allocated Director
Business Issues Policy Committee
Member: At-Large

Paul Ogden
Commercial Legislation and Regulatory Advisory Board
Member: At-Large

Dave Parks
Board of Directors, Large Board Representative
Business Issues Policy Committee
Member: At-Large

Rip Phillips
Broker Involvement Council
Member: State Representative

Lester Sanders
Housing Opportunity Committee
Member: State Representative

Jeff Smith
Board of Directors, State Allocated Director
Membership Policy and Board Jurisdiction Committee
Member: State Representative

Lisa Stephenson
Multiple Listing Issues and Policies Committee
Member: State Representative

Steve Stevens
Public Policy Coordinating Committee
AEC Representative

Karen Story
Board of Directors, Large Board Representative

Carl Tackett
Leadership Academy Advisory Group
Member: Leadership Academy Graduate

John Weikel
Federal Technology Policy Committee
Member: Commercial Specialist


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Kentucky REALTORS® (KYR), one of the state’s largest professional associations representing more than 10,600 members, elected and installed its 2018 Board of Directors and leadership during the 95th Annual KYR Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Steve ClineSteve Cline, a member of the REALTOR® Association of Southern Kentucky (RASK) in Bowling Green, was installed at the Convention as the 2018 President of Kentucky REALTORS®. Cline has been a REALTOR® for more than 25 years and has served the real estate industry at the local, state and national levels. He serves on the Board of Directors, Delegate Body and Leadership Team. He has been a member of the Investment, Strategic Planning and Finance committees and the Legislative Quick Response Team. He served as a Trustee for both the Kentucky REALTOR® Institute (KRI) and the REALTOR® Political Action Committee (RPAC), where he also served as chair. Cline is a graduate of the LeadershipKYR class of 2005 and holds the Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI), e-PRO and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) designations. Cline served as President of his local association in 2000, the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in 2005 and 2009 and the Kentucky chapter of CRS in 2009 and 2010. Locally, he was named REALTOR® of the Year in 1997 and 2004 and was twice honored with the Distinguished Service Award. He participated in Leadership Bowling Green, where he served as class president and received the Bart Hagerman Leadership Award, the top honor for a graduating member of the program and is selected by classmates. Nationally, he is a major investor in the REALTOR® Political Action Committee (RPAC) and serves as one of RPAC’s Federal Political Coordinators for U.S. Representative Brett Guthrie. In his community, he has served on numerous boards, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Foster Grandparent Program, Indian Hills Country Club, the Homebuilders Association and the Hilltopper Athletic Foundation. He is actively involved with his church, Hillvue Heights & Lakeside Experience, and currently serves as President of the Bowling Green Quarterback Club.


Other leaders elected to the KYR Board of Directors were as follows:

President-Elect: Rip Phillips (Louisville)

Treasurer-Elect: Charles Hinckley (Elizabethtown)

Region 1 Director: Earleene Woods (Murray)

Region 3 Director: Elizabeth Monarch (Louisville)

Region 5 Director: Robin Roseberry (Foster)

At-Large Director: Mike Inman (Salvisa)

At-Large Director: Brenda Loyal (Owensboro)

At-Large Director: Art Reed (Erlanger) 


Existing members serving on the Board of Directors will be Immediate Past President Mike Becker (Villa Hills), Treasurer Lester Sanders (Louisville), Region 2 Director Don Cecil (Vine Grove), Region 4 Director Barbara Curtis (Lexington) and Region 6 Director Marcie Estepp (Van Lear).

The five remaining At-Large Directors for the state include Barbara Flannery (London), Ann Elizabeth Delahanty (Louisville), Mike Spicer (Independence), Libbi Taylor (Lexington) and Donna Gordon-Willoughby (Louisville).


Cathy Corbett (Falls of Rough), Christie Moore (Henderson) and Nelson Weaver (Somerset) were elected to serve as At-Large Delegates. 


Kentucky REALTORS® is one of the largest and most influential associations in Kentucky. Founded in 1922, Kentucky REALTORS® represents over 10,600 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.                 

Monday, October 2, 2017

Kentucky REALTORS® (KYR), one of the state’s largest professional associations representing over 10,600 members, presented several awards honoring outstanding REALTORS® across the Commonwealth during the 95th Annual KYR Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Norman JonesNorman Jones, the owner and broker of two real estate companies, Big Sandy Realty in Pikeville and First Choice Realty in Paintsville and a member of the Eastern Kentucky Association of REALTORS® (EKAR), was named KYR’s 2017 REALTOR® of the Year. Jones began his real estate career in 1986 and specializes in residential sales and appraising. He has served in nearly every capacity at EKAR, including the organization’s Board of Directors and as President twice in 1994 and 1999. He was also named REALTOR® of the Year for EKAR in 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2012. On the state level, Jones completed a term as Treasurer in 2012, President in 2015 and has served on the Board of Directors and as Region Six Director. He has served on numerous KYR committees including Finance, Appraisal and Legal Affairs. In addition, he has served as a Trustee for the Kentucky REALTOR® Institute (KRI). Jones has given his time volunteering for Hand in Hand Ministries, the American Red Cross and the Boy Scouts of America.



Linzie CraigThe 2017 KYR Distinguished Service Award was presented to Linzie Craig, the broker and owner of Craig Realty Co. in Shelbyville and member of the Greater Louisville Association of REALTORS® (GLAR). This award is given to someone who has provided outstanding contributions to the real estate industry and his/her local community. Craig, who has been licensed for 38 years, is a third generation REALTOR® and is the first third generation REALTOR® to be a member of GLAR. He was also a lifelong member of the Shelbyville Board of REALTORS® until it merged with the Central Kentucky Association of REALTORS®, located in Danville. Craig was selected REALTOR® of the Year locally in 1985 and again in 1987 and served as President of the Shelbyville Board several times. On the state level, Craig was elected Director At-Large in 1987 and has since served on numerous committees, elected to the offices of Senior Vice President and in 1997, was elected KYR President. He was also awarded REALTOR® of the Year for KYR in 1999. Currently, he serves as a member of the KYR Delegate Body and is the program director with the state association’s leadership program where he has remained active for more than 15 years. He is also a Certified Residential Appraiser and was among the group that took the first appraisal exam administered by Kentucky in 1982. Craig served on the Board of Directors for the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce and the Shelby Development Corporation, helping direct the business/industrial development of Shelbyville/Shelby County.



Jeff RatanapoolJeff Ratanapool, the Chief Operating Officer at Century Mortgage, has taught more than 100 classes for KRI since 2002. He has taught the GRI finance course for more than a decade and is a regular speaker at numerous events, including presenting annually at the Kentucky REALTOR® Institute’s Broker Summit. For this, Ratanapool was presented the 2017 Nat Sanders Education Award, an award created to honor Nat Sanders, former executive vice president of the Greater Louisville Association of REALTORS®, and designed to recognize an individual who has made the most significant contributions to, while exemplifying leadership and service in real estate education at either the local, state or national levels. Ratanapool teaches at several local associations, and is an active instructor for the Kentucky REALTOR® Institute. He continually strives to not only stay current, but beyond the curve in the ever-changing world of financing mortgages. In addition to teaching, Ratanapool is committed to giving back to his community in many different forms. He has served or is serving on the boards of directors for Kentucky Easter Seals, Louisville Easter Seals, Louisville Homebuilders Association, Affordable Housing Task Force, Political Action Committee, JCPS/Stopher Elementary School and the Fern Creek High School Alumni Association.



Cathy CorbettThe 2017 Good Neighbor Award is designed to recognize a REALTOR® who has made an extraordinary impact on his or her community or on the national level, through volunteerism. This year’s recipient is Cathy Corbett of Falls of Rough and the Greater Louisville Association of REALTORS®, for her involvement with the Friends of Rough River. Corbett helped start the organization in 2008 to promote economic development of the lake and currently serves as Treasurer. Her role has helped move legislation forward that funded a nearly $2 million expansion, relocating the marina to a deep water year-round location, as well as legislation that keeps the lake at summer pool a full month longer than surrounding lakes which increases the tourism season by 25 percent. To accomplish this, she spent 20 or more hours each month traveling to Frankfort and Washington DC to weigh in on legislation to support the lake. In addition, her real estate company, Greater Rough River Realty Group, personally funded the construction of a new “swimming beach” at the lake which helps attract locals and tourists from around the state and country, and she contributed funds to help renovate the visitor’s center. Honorable mentions for the Good Neighbor award went to Laura Hayden, Lexington, and Willie Baker, Perryville, for their contributions to their local communities.



The 2017 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 (RASK) in Bowling Green for contributions with their REALTORS® Hope for Homeless event. Through the Hope for Homeless, RASK helps poverty stricken and homeless children, individuals, and families in the community by collecting non-perishable foods, toiletries and monetary donations. These donations benefit family resource centers throughout the area, as well as HOTEL, Inc., an organization that breaks the cycle of poverty and homelessness to build self-sufficient households. In the medium category, the Eastern Kentucky Association of REALTORS® won for donations to the Turning Point Domestic Violence Service, an organization dedicated to eliminating domestic partner violence through advocacy, education and action for social changes. The Association also contributed to the Harlan County Boys and Girls Club by collecting backpacks and school supplies for the children the organization serves. For their work with several organizations including Need Line, Soup for the Soul and the Humane Society of Calloway County, the Murray Calloway County Board of REALTORS® took home the award in the small category.



Kentucky REALTORS® is one of the largest and most influential associations in Kentucky. Founded in 1922, Kentucky REALTORS® represents over 10,600 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.        

Friday, September 29, 2017

Unemployment rates fell in 32 Kentucky counties, stayed the same in three and rose in 85 counties between August 2016 and August 2017, according to the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics (KCEWS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. 

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

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 15.4 percent. It was followed by Leslie County, 12.7 percent; Elliott County, 10.7 percent, Carter and Harlan counties, 10.5 percent each; Letcher County, 9.7 percent; Breathitt County, 9.3 percent; Lewis County, 9.2 percent; Owsley County, 9.1 percent; and Jackson County 9 percent.

Kentucky’s county unemployment rates and employment levels are not seasonally adjusted because of small sample sizes. Employment statistics undergo sharp fluctuations due to seasonal events such as weather changes, harvests, holidays and school openings and closings. Seasonal adjustments eliminate these influences and make it easier to observe statistical trends. The comparable, unadjusted unemployment rate for the state was 5.2 percent for August 2017, and 4.5 percent for the nation.

Unemployment statistics are based on estimates and are compiled to measure trends rather than actually to count people working. Civilian labor force statistics include non-military workers and unemployed Kentuckians who are actively seeking work. They do not include unemployed Kentuckians who have not looked for employment within the past four weeks. The data should only be compared to the same month in previous years.

Learn more about Kentucky labor market information at

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Second half of the year off to a solid start

Kenticky Housing Market Update July 2017Real estate sales in Kentucky continued to increase after a strong first half of the year. Total home sales in July hit 4,996 for a 3.9 percent increase over the same month in 2016. Year to date, home sales hit 30,939 versus 29,596 in 2016, an increase of 4.5 percent. These improvements in the market come at a time when housing inventories across the state dropped to under 4 months in July, a decrease of 13 percent from a year prior. For the year, inventory levels have declined almost 17 percent versus the same time in 2016.

Homes available for sale don’t stay that way for long as days on market in July dropped to 113 days versus 126 days in 2016, a drop of over 10 percent. For the first seven months of 2017, days on market hit 121.3 days versus 138.3 in the same period a year prior, a decline of over 12 percent.

“Buyer interest has held up through the strongest home buying months,” said Mike Becker, president of Kentucky REALTORS®. “The limited housing inventory would seem to be a concern, but from what we are seeing in most places across the state, home sales continue to be robust.”

The median home price in July rose to $140,502, a monthly record and an increase of 9.5 percent over the $128,260 median in July 2016. The median for the year increased to $126,023, an increase of 3.4 percent over 2016. The total volume of all home sales reached $981 million in July and $5.6 billion for the first seven months of the year.

On the national front, home sales rose slightly by 2.1 percent in July versus a year ago, but hit the slowest sales pace in 2017, dropping 1.3 percent from June. The median home price nationally in July was $258,300, up 6.2 percent from July 2016 when it was $243,200. July’s price increase marks the 65th straight month of year-over-year gains.

New home sales, which are viewed as a market stimulator, took a dip in July falling 9.4 percent from the month prior. Year to date, however, new home sales are 9.2 percent above where they were for the same period last year. According to the National Association of Home Builders, some pull back in new home sales in July is not surprising after strong May and June readings.

“The housing market in Kentucky has been left unshaken so far this year with home sales above where they were at the same time last year,” stated Becker. “Affordability within the state continues despite a less than ideal inventory of available homes. This is helped by mortgage rates that are still hovering around record lows despite an uptick in the national funds rate. Qualified buyers have more purchasing power and can afford more house when the rates are favorable.”

Kentucky REALTORS® is one of the largest and most influential associations in Kentucky. Founded in 1922, Kentucky REALTORS® represents more than 10,600 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.

To view housing statistics for the state, as reported to Kentucky REALTORS®, visit

Monday, September 18, 2017

On August 18, 2017, both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, collectively the Government Sponsored Entities (GSEs), announced they would allow for the use of their proprietary automated valuation tools in lieu of traditional appraisals for some purchase loan transactions.

Freddie Mac will utilize their automated collateral evaluation (ACE) to determine home value by using data from multiple listing services and public records as well as their own data of historical home values to determine collateral risks. Homes must have an 80% or lower loan to value, be a one unit single-family residence, and the borrower’s primary residence. Prior appraisals on the property are not required. Lenders will find out if a property is eligible for ACE by submitting the loan data through Freddie Mac's Loan Product Advisor®. Freddie Mac does not have an estimate for how many loans will be affected. ACE will be available for qualifying home purchase loans on September 1, 2017.

Fannie Mae will allow lenders to receive a Property Inspection Waiver (PIW) on certain one-unit principal residence and second home purchase transactions with loan to value ratios up to 80%. Home value is determined through Fannie Mae's data based valuation methods. Unlike Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae will require that the property in question have a prior appraisal in electronic format that has been analyzed by Fannie Mae's Collateral Underwriter®. Lenders must submit the loan data through Fannie Mae's Desktop Underwriter®. Fannie Mae anticipates no more than 5% of loans will be affected, but that could change in the future. PIWs for purchase loans are available immediately.

Freddie Mac Press Release(link is external)

Fannie Mae Press Release