10,805 homes sold through March
LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 17, 2017) — Total home sales in Kentucky rose 8.6 percent during the first three months of 2017, from 9,946 in 2016 to 10,805 in 2017, according to Kentucky Realtors. The increase comes at a time when the time it takes for a property to sell dropped 22 days, or almost 15 percent, from the same period last year. Housing inventory also declined 21 percent ending at 4.9 months of supply.
The state’s median home price rose 1.9 percent for the quarter, jumping to $116,667 from $114,416. This increase still puts Kentucky’s prices at a level much lower than the national average of $232,100.
In March, the total number of homes sold rose 12.8 percent compared to March 2016. Median prices took a slight hit, dropping 1.4 percent to $118,850.
As the spring housing market usually signals an uptick in activity, March also saw inventory levels hit 4 months of supply while days on market dropped to 124 days, from 146 this time last year.
At the national level, the first quarter saw home sales at its strongest in a decade and prices that have experienced monthly increases for 61 consecutive months.
According to Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Realtors chief economist, continual supply shortages ignited faster price appreciation across the country in the first quarter. He said that an increased buyer presence led to a boost in sales while new listings failed to keep up and hovered around record lows all quarter.
But that may change as interest rates have, so far, remained low throughout the year and home building is starting to ramp up across the state. Nationally, new home starts have been on the increase for several consecutive years and the National Association of Home Builders chief economist Robert Dietz has forecasted a 9-10 percent gain in new housing starts in 2017 and 2018.
“The newest Housing Opportunity Index reports that housing affordability improved in the first quarter of 2017 due, in large part, to rising wages and better economy,” said Mike Becker, president of Kentucky Realtors. “The housing market may stay busy for a while, especially when the biggest home buying demographic, the Millennials, are ramped up – over 94 percent of that generation wants to own their own home.”