July 2017

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Pamela GregoryKentucky REALTORS® (KYR) announced that Pamela Gregory has been hired as the Director of Governmental Affairs. Pamela comes to KYR with an extensive background in managing various aspects of advocacy, governmental relations and outreach. 

Gregory was previously the manager of the Southeastern Region for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce based in Atlanta, GA. She supported congressional and public affairs for eight southeastern states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. The mission of the Southeastern Regional Office is to develop and maintain the region’s legislative, political, and grassroots resources to achieve the U.S. Chamber’s public policy goals.

Pamela joined the Chamber directly from the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. There, she served as the Southeast regional outreach manager and built relationships and coordinated all aspects of the coalition in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Previously, she spent more than five years in outreach roles for former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC). Gregory holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Charleston.

“The breadth of Pamela’s expertise in governmental relations and from working for one of the nation’s strongest business advocacy organizations is the perfect fit to help KYR achieve its legislative and political involvement goals.” said Steve Stevens, CCE, KYR’s CEO. “We look forward to having her take us to a new level of member engagement at KYR.”

KYR, the voice for real estate in Kentucky, is one of the largest and most influential associations in Kentucky. Founded in 1922, KYR represents more than 10,400 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, July 24, 2017

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary June unemployment rate was 5.1 percent, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The unemployment rate for June 2017 was up 0.1 percentage points from the 5 percent reported in May 2017.

The preliminary June 2017 jobless rate was up 0.1 percentage points from the 5 percent rate recorded for the state in June 2016.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for June 2017 was 4.4 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The U.S. unemployment rate for June was also up 0.1 percentage points from the 4.3 percent reported in May 2017.

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 June 2017, Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 2,077,465, a decrease of 8,530 individuals compared to the previous month. Employment was down by 10,721, while the number of unemployed increased by 2,191.

“Kentucky’s unemployment rate has remained steady around 5 percent for the past 24 months,” said University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) Director Chris Bollinger, Ph.D.

The Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics (KCEWS) recently partnered with the CBER to prepare economic analyses on the state’s workforce and labor market data, including the monthly statewide and county unemployment rate news releases.

In a separate federal survey of business establishments that excludes jobs in agriculture and people who are self-employed, Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment decreased by 500 jobs in June 2017 compared to May 2017. Kentucky has added 30,900 jobs since June 2016, a 1.6 percent employment growth.

“Kentucky has experienced solid and steady employment growth since 2010. However, both measures of employment suggest that Kentucky’s employment growth has slowed recently,” said Bollinger. “The survey of businesses indicates that Kentucky employers added about 7,600 jobs in the first quarter of 2017, but only 600 jobs in the second quarter.”

Nonfarm data is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics program. According to this survey, five of Kentucky’s 11 major nonfarm North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) job sectors registered gains in employment, while six declined from the previous month.

Kentucky’s trade, transportation and utilities sector showed the largest gain, adding 1,800 jobs from May 2017 to June 2017. This represents an increase of 0.4 percent since May 2017 and 2 percent since June 2016. Since June 2016, this sector is up by 8,100 jobs.

“This sector’s employment has steadily increased since early 2010, supported in part by the growth in other sectors such as manufacturing,” said Bollinger. “Kentucky has a number of important location and infrastructure features such as major interstates that help support this important industry.”

Professional and business services rose by 1,600 jobs, a 0.7 percent increase in June 2017. This sector has added 8,900 jobs since June 2016, a 4.1 percent growth. This sector includes administrative and support and waste management and remediation services.

Leisure and hospitality expanded by 1,000 jobs in June 2017. Since June 2016, employment in this sector has risen 3,300 or 1.7 percent. This sector includes arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation and food services.

The information services sector increased by 200 jobs from May 2017 to June 2017. Kentucky has seen a 6.1 percent growth in information jobs since June 2016 with 1,400 more positions. The industries in this sector include traditional publishing as well as software publishing; motion pictures and broadcasting; and telecommunications.

Other services sector gained 900 jobs in June 2017 and 2,200 since June 2016. Other services includes repairs and maintenance, personal care services and religious organizations.

Kentucky’s manufacturing sector lost 1,600 jobs, a 0.6 percent decrease, in June 2017. However, since June 2016, this sector has added 1,900 jobs, a 0.8 percent increase. Both durable and nondurable manufacturing showed decreases in employment from May 2017 to June 2017 but added positions over the year.

The education and health services sector decreased by 1,000 jobs in June 2017. This sector has added 2,600 jobs since June 2016, a 1 percent growth rate. Within this sector, employment in educational services increased by 700 jobs from May 2017 to June 2017. Health care and social assistance employment dropped by 1,700 jobs.

Construction employment fell by 800 jobs from May 2017 to June 2017. However, construction employment is up 2,900 jobs or 3.8 percent since June 2016.

The financial activities sector lost 800 jobs in June 2017. Since June 2016, this sector has gained 2,000 jobs or 2.1 percent.

Mining and logging decreased by 100 jobs in June 2017. This sector has dropped by 600 positions, or 5.8 percent, since June last year.

The government sector declined by 1,700 jobs from May 2017 to June 2017, and 1,800 since last June. In June 2017, state government employment decreased by 1,000 jobs, while local government jobs fell by 800 and federal government was up by 100.

Civilian labor force statistics include nonmilitary 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.

Kentucky’s statewide unemployment rate and employment levels are seasonally adjusted. 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. However, because of the small sample size, county unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

For more information about Kentucky’s labor market, visit https://kcews.ky.gov/KYLMI.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Kentucky Housing Market Update May 2017May sees increase in sales, slight drop in price

Real estate sales in Kentucky continue to exceed the totals seen through this time in 2016. Total home sales in May increased 8.6 percent, from 4,963 in 2016 to 5,391 in 2017, the first time sales have pushed over 5,000 in May. Housing inventory in May reached an all-time low at 3.5 months, down 14.6 percent from May of 2016.

“The fact that inventory remains so low and sales continue to grow shows a very active real estate market,” said Mike Becker, president of Kentucky REALTORS®. “Buyers who are in the market need to move quickly if they find a property they want to move on. Available inventory is in tight supply.”

In fact, days on market decreased to 123 days, down 7.5 percent from the 133 days last May. Near historic lows, the homes on the market aren’t staying around as long, mainly due to the decrease in the current housing stock in many areas of the state. Nationally, properties typically stayed on the market for 27 days in May, which is down from 29 days in April and 32 days in May last year. This is the shortest timeframe since tracking began nationally in May 2011.

But news may be good for buyers moving forward as an increased share of homeowners believe now is a good time to sell their home. This quarter, according to NAR's quarterly Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey, 71 percent of homeowners think now is a good time to sell, which is up from last quarter (69 percent) and considerably more than a year ago (61 percent). Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said of the findings, “Perhaps this notable uptick in seller confidence will translate to more added inventory later this year.”

The state’s median home price dropped slightly in May, less than one percent, from $131,636 in 2016 to $130,583 in 2017. This is a departure from what rest of the country saw in May as the national median price hit a new peak at $252,800.

“A slight drop in price for the month seems to be normal considering the state of the market,” stated Becker. “More activity on homes available in the lower price ranges will eventually bring down the median home price. Total sales volume for May, however, was just north of one billion dollars for the state, which was a record for the month.”       

Yun says sales activity expanded in May as more buyers overcame the increasingly challenging market conditions prevalent in many areas. He reiterated that the job market in most of the country continues to be healthy and mortgage rates remain favorable to buyers that qualify. He continued by saying those able to close on a home last month are probably feeling both happy and relieved. Listings in the affordable price range are scarce and homes are coming off the market at an extremely fast pace.

But he also states that monthly closings have recently been oscillating back and forth, but this third consecutive monthly decline in contract activity implies a possible topping off in sales. Buyer interest is solid, but there is just not enough supply to satisfy demand and prospective buyers are being sidelined by limited choices. Within the state, home sales have fluctuated monthly over 2017, with declines in two of the five months (February and April) so far this year.

Kentucky Housing Market Update May 2017Year to date, however, home sales in Kentucky are still up over last year by 5.4 percent, with 20,438 homes sold in 2017 versus 19,379 in 2016. Median prices to date have remained solid at $121,577 in 2017, an increase of 1.7 percent over the $119,463 in 2016.

Kentucky REALTORS® is one of the largest and most influential associations in Kentucky. Founded in 1922, Kentucky REALTORS® represents more than 10,400 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.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Shirley WisemanShirley Wiseman, a real estate broker, appraiser, builder and developer in Lexington and member of Kentucky REALTORS® (KYR), was appointed by Governor Bevin as a Commissioner with the Kentucky Real Estate Commission (KREC). Her term runs through June 15, 2020.

Ms. Wiseman began her real estate career in 1965 as a home builder in the central Kentucky area. After serving as a director for the Home Builders Association of Lexington in 1972 and the Home Builders Association of Kentucky in 1974, she became the first woman ever elected to a senior officer position with the National Association of Home Builders, serving as Area VI vice president in 1986, treasurer in 1987 and president in 1989.

She was named Builder of the Year in 1978 at the local level and in 1980 was awarded the same honor at the state level. Wiseman was named to the Kentucky Housing Hall of Fame in 2000 and the National Association of Home Builders Hall of Fame in 1995.   

Ms. Wiseman served the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as the Assistant Secretary for Housing. She is also a past member of the Rural Housing Preservation National Task Force, the Federal National Mortgage Association Advisory Council and the National Wetland Policy Task Force.

“I am honored to serve the real estate community of home owners, buyers and sellers as well as the thousands of real estate professionals across the state,” stated Ms. Wiseman. “I am ready to do what I can to make the real estate environment the best it can be for citizens of the Commonwealth.”

Ms. Wiseman was a charter designee of the American Association of Certified Appraisers, served as an advisor to the Urban League and is a member of the Order of Eastern Star. She held numerous positions with the Small Business Administration, was founder of Lexington Housing for the Handicapped and is a Kentucky Colonel.

“KREC is getting someone with a tremendous background in real estate and a vast amount of experience in the building industry,” stated Mike Becker, president of Kentucky REALTORS®. “Ms. Wiseman will bring the Commission unmatched knowledge in many areas of the business that will be a source of support for consumers across the state.”

As an agency of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Kentucky Real Estate Commission is empowered to regulate state licensing and education of real estate brokers and sales associates and to safeguard and protect the public interest. The Commission strives to elevate the real estate industry to the highest standards possible through communication, education and the latest technology.

KYR, the voice for real estate in Kentucky, is one of the largest and most influential associations in Kentucky. Founded in 1922, KYR represents more than 10,400 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.