Kentucky realtors: effects of COVID-19 not as bad as expected

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- Kentucky realtors say the effects of COVID-19 on the Kentucky housing market were not as terrible as expected.

According to the association, there was a 12.5 percent drop in houses sold in April. There were 3,748 closings in April 2020 as compared to 4,281 in April 2019.

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The realtors say experts have been predicting a dip in sales nationwide of about 10 percent.

Nationwide, existing-home sales were at 17.8% in March. They fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.33 million in April, according to the realtors.

Overall, sales decreased year-over-year, down 17.2% from a year ago (5.23 million in April 2019). April’s decline in existing-home sales is the largest month-over-month drop since July 2010 (-22.5%), according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

“The economic lockdowns – occurring from mid-March through April in most states – have temporarily disrupted home sales,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “But the listings that are on the market are still attracting buyers and boosting home prices. Record-low mortgage rates are likely to remain in place for the rest of the year and will be the key factor driving housing demand as state economies steadily reopen,” Yun said. “Still, more listings and increased home construction will be needed to tame price growth.”

 

Kentucky Realtors say coronavirus didn’t decrease sale prices. The average sale price of homes in Kentucky surged 8.4% to $212,361 (up from $195,994 in April 2019).

Realtors also say sales volume was only down only 5.1%. It reached $839 million in April 2019, but dipped to about $796 million in April 2020. 

 

“Buyers have not relaxed much during the pandemic shutdowns and the demand remains”, said Lester T. Sanders, President of Kentucky REALTORS®. “Some sellers have been cautious and waited to list homes. But, creative strategies, such as distancing, sanitizing, and virtual showings have allowed Kentuckians to keep homes on the market and still get top dollar.”

 

Kentucky Realtors say there continues to be fewer homes available for sale with the inventory level falling to 3.28 months from 3.48 in April 2019. The association considers a 6-month supply ideal.

 

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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at VSeltzer@wtvq.com. She looks forward to hearing from you!