After slipping a bit in September, the housing market in Kentucky picked up in October following the national trend for the month.
The number of homes sold in October rose 1.8 percent to 4,421 sold versus 4,342 sold in 2016. For the year, the number of homes sold jumped to 45,236, up from 43,905 in 2016, for a 3 percent increase. At this pace, 2018 is on track to break last year’s record for the most homes sold in a calendar year.
Nationally, total existing home sales increased 2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million in October from a downwardly revised 5.37 million in September. After the increase in October, sales are at their strongest pace since June, but still remain 0.9 percent below a year ago.
The Commerce Department reported that new home sales increased 6.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 685,000 units in October, making it three straight months for improvements. That was the highest level since October 2007 and followed September’s slightly downwardly revised sales pace of 645,000 units.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says sales activity in October picked up for the second straight month, with increases in all four major regions, including the South, up 1.9 percent, which includes Kentucky. “Job growth in most of the country continues to carry on at a robust level and is starting to slowly push up wages, which is in turn giving households added assurance that now is a good time to buy a home,” he said. “While the housing market gained a little more momentum last month, sales are still below year ago levels because low inventory is limiting choices for prospective buyers and keeping price growth elevated.”
Home prices in Kentucky have continued to climb, with the October median reaching $129,829 compared to $118,144 in October 2016, an increase of almost 10 percent. For the year, median home prices are up almost 4 percent, hitting $127,194 for the first ten months of the year.
Housing inventories saw a slight increase in September, but fell by over 4 percent in October 2017 versus the same month a year prior. Year-to-date, the state’s housing supply is down over 14 percent, dropping from 4.9 months of supply in 2016 to only 4.2 months in 2017. Homes are also selling much faster, with days on market in 2017 hitting 119, a 10.5 percent decline from the 133 days in 2016.
“The housing market is still very competitive,” said Mike Becker, president of Kentucky REALTORS. “The weather is cooling off and activity usually levels off in the last few months of the year. That doesn’t seem to be the case, as foot traffic and overall sales are continuing on a record pace. Based on year-to-date information, 2018 may turn out to be the busiest year we’ve ever seen despite the low levels of inventory.
Kentucky REALTORS is one of the largest associations in Kentucky. Founded in 1922, Kentucky REALTORS represents more than 10,800 Realtors who are involved in all aspects of real estate.