Kentucky – Housing Experts Aren’t Singing the Blues Here!
Like most states, Kentucky lost a chunk of its workforce during the Great Recession. In fact, between 2007 and 2012, the Bluegrass State lost more than 46,000 jobs – or, about 2.5% of its workforce. And, by the middle of 2012, more than 25% of Kentucky children were living in poverty.
These aren’t exactly great numbers… So, what do they mean for the state’s housing market as we look towards the future?
Luckily, the Bluegrass State started off 2013 with some good news, numbers-wise. Kentucky’s foreclosure rate is lower than the national average. Specifically, the foreclosure rate for November 2012 (the numbers released right at the beginning of 2013) was 2.28%. That’s more than half a percent lower than it was the year before. With fewer foreclosures around the state, the “normal” homes for sale around Kentucky can sell for higher prices, and homeowners can watch their home values start to rise.
In Louisville, the numbers are even better – both in terms of foreclosures and mortgage delinquencies. And apparently, homeowners took notice! Realtors in Louisville were awfully busy throughout 2012. By the end of the year, the number of home sales here was up 16%, compared to 2011. Part of the increase is due to an increase in Louisville-area jobs, as both Ford Motor Company and Kentucky One both hired more employees.
Up in the northern part of the state, realtors are rejoicing. That’s because the homes for sale up there performed better than they have in a long time! In fact, with just under 5,000 sales tallied in 2012, realtors in northern Kentucky beat their 2011 total by 15% -- and had their best year since 2008. The number of home sales has been going up here for 18 straight months. As a result, realtors here expect new homeowners to enter the market in the months to come – meaning the competition for buyers’ attention could go way up in 2013.
Realtors in Lexington were probably nervous when 2012 began. After all, prices there dropped dramatically! Luckily, though, the decrease was only temporary, and prices spent most of the year on the rise. In fact, by the time all was said and done, home prices in Lexington ended 2012 with a 6% increase, as compared to the year before.
Interestingly, the apartments for rent in Lexington aren’t skyrocketing in price, like they are in much of the rest of the country. Sure, Lexington is home to the University of Kentucky – and, thus, lots of affordable student apartments. However, with all of that demand, you would think that prices would be going up. Instead, they remained fairly steady throughout 2012.
So, whether you’re renting or buying in Kentucky, there’s no reason to sing the Blues in the Bluegrass State!