LEXINGTON, Ky. (KT) - While many parts of the state’s economy remain down due to the coronavirus pandemic, one has already bounced back, the housing market.
The Kentucky Association of REALTORS® says COVID-19 had an adverse, albeit short, impact on the Kentucky housing market this spring, according to figures released on Monday.
Higher pending contracts over the past two months indicated that sales would come back, and June did not disappoint. 5,426 closings took place in Kentucky, up 13 percent over last June. Year-to-date sales have climbed to 24,159, which is one percent higher than sales through June of 2019, which peaked at 23,945.
The median sale price of homes in Kentucky continues to climb. The June median price, which was $183,000 in June 2019, rose 5 percent to $192,000. The statewide average home price hit $224,195. Sales volume rebounded strongly, up 45 percent from last month’s $837.9 million to $1.05 billion, which is also an increase of almost 17 percent from June of 2019. This surge raises the year-to-date sales volume 6.5 percent from last year’s $5.1 billion.
The number of homes available on the market hit a record low for the state for the second month in a row. There is now less than two months of inventory in Kentucky for the first time since record-keeping began. The figure currently sits at 1.96 months.
“The housing market rebound in June shows that REALTORS® responded admirably to the health and safety recommendations made by experts and state leadership," said Lester T. Sanders, president of Kentucky REALTORS®. “We stood ready to help Kentucky consumers successfully buy and sell property so the American dream of homeownership and wealth-building could continue. A housing market rebound means a better economic impact and outlook for all Kentuckians,” he said.
Distressed sales in Kentucky, such as foreclosures or short sales, were down 46 percent over June of 2019. However, it remains to be seen whether this figure will climb as forbearances and other programs expire during the year.
Nationally, total existing-home sales, completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, jumped 20.7 percent from May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.72 million in June. Sales overall, however, dipped year-over-year, down 11.3 percent from the 5.32 million in June 2019.
“The sales recovery is strong, as buyers were eager to purchase homes and properties that they had been eyeing during the shutdown,” said Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, with the National Association of Realtors. “This revitalization looks to be sustainable for many months ahead as long as mortgage rates remain low and job gains continue.”