April 2015

Monday, April 27, 2015

Unemployment rates fell in all 120 Kentucky counties between March 2014 and March 2015, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary March 2015 unemployment rate dipped to 5.1 percent, the lowest rate since June 2001 when it was 5 percent. Kentucky’s figure is below the national rate (5.5 percent) for the eighth month in a row, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 3.5 percent. It was followed by Oldham County, 3.9 percent; Fayette County, 4 percent; Scott County, 4.1 percent; Shelby County, 4.2 percent; Boone and Owen counties, 4.3 percent each; and Anderson, Campbell, Jessamine, Madison and Spencer counties, 4.4 percent each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate – 14.7 percent. It was followed by Russell County, 11 percent; Harlan County, 10.7 percent; Elliott County, 10.5 percent; Leslie County, 10.2 percent; Letcher and Wolfe counties, 10.1 percent each; Breathitt County, 10 percent; and Clay, Knott and Menifee counties, 9.9 percent each. Read More

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Mortgage-finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac recently unveiled changes to the fees they charge to back mortgages. The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates the companies, also disclosed finalized capital requirements for private-mortgage insurers who want to do business with the companies. Read More

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

On April 14, 2015, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 685, “The Mortgage Choice Act” by a vote of 286-140 with 45 Democrats joining the Republicans. H.R. 685 is bipartisan legislation introduced by Representatives Bill Huizenga (R-MI), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Ed Royce (R-CA), David Scott (D-GA), Steve Stivers (R-OH), Mike Doyle (D-PA), David Joyce (R-OH), Betty McCollum (D-MN) and Stephen Fincher (R-TN) which makes two adjustments to the Truth in Lending Act’s definition of “points and fees” to ensure greater consumer choice in mortgage and settlement services under the CFPB’s Ability to Repay/Qualified Mortgage (QM) rule. Companion legislation is being worked on in the Senate by Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA). NAR continues to work with coalition partners to advance this important legislation in the Senate. Read More

Friday, April 10, 2015

Freddie Mac says a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.66 percent this week, not much more than the all-time low of 3.31 percent in November 2012. A year ago, 30-year rates averaged 4.34 percent.

A 15-year fix now averages 2.93 percent, down from 2.98 percent last week. A one-year adjustable rate mortgage averaged 2.46 percent, up from 2.41 percent. Read More

Monday, April 6, 2015

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has released the 2015 rate changes which take effect on April 1. On average overall, rates are rising 10%. This is consistent with the 5-10% increases prior to the 2012 Biggert-Waters Act. There is also a new surcharge to pay for recent NFIP legislative reforms.

Last year, Biggert-Waters was amended for about 20% of policy holders who bought an older property (including second homes) and jumped from a subsidized rate to full cost for flood insurance overnight. The amendments resolve the implementation problems by resetting the rates to pre-Biggert-Waters levels and capping them at 18-25% per year in the future. Read More

Monday, April 6, 2015

April 2015 marks the 47th anniversary of the 1968 landmark Fair Housing Act. Each year REALTORS® recognize the significance of this event and reconfirm our commitment to upholding fair housing law as well as our commitment to offering equal professional service to all in their search for real property. Access tons of resources (key facts, declaration, poster, articles) to use in April to increase education and awareness for both you and your clients. Read More