Lexington real estate shatters sales records, prices increase in 2020 despite COVID

Jan. 27—Buoyed by near record-low interest rates, real estate transactions in Fayette and surrounding counties topped $3 billion in 2020, a new record.

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The number of Central Kentucky sales was also up compared to 2019 with 15,309 sales in 2020 compared to 14,153 the year prior, according to Lexington-Bluegrass Association of Realtors.

That’s an 8 percent increase.

Total sales were $3.5 billion, up 19 percent from 2019. It was the first year that total sales topped $3 billion.

December was also the 22nd straight month of increasing home prices.

In Fayette County, the median home price in December 2019 was $203, 985. In December 2020, the median home price was $229,000, a 12 percent increase.

“Last year was phenomenal for real estate in terms of overall transactions,”said Kristy Gooch, president of LBAR. “It served as a catalyst for the economy when many other industries weren’t so fortunate. It also shows how much demand there is for housing in our region.”

The available inventory of homes for sale is also low, driving up demand, real estate officials said.

December recorded a drop of 50 percent in total homes on the market with 1,633 residential properties for sale across all

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New Nonprofit Aims To Increase Diversity In Real Estate

In the company’s annual year-end trends report, T3 Sixty’s chairman, CEO and founder Stefan Swanepoel imagined a “more diverse,” real estate industry in 2021. His company is taking another step towards acting on that hope.

Kenya Burrell-VanWormer | Photo credit: HAR

A new nonprofit spearheaded by T3 Sixty’s diversity initiative is looking to help individuals from underrepresented and underprivileged groups pursue a career in real estate. The nonprofit, The Real Estate Apprentice Foundation, will be based in Texas.

In practice, The Real Estate Apprentice Foundation will assist individuals from those communities with various tools, technology, services, Realtor association memberships, multiple listing service fees and provide a path to working with a residential real estate brokerage. The nonprofit hopes to be able to provide cash grants to cover some of the costs related to obtaining a real estate license.

“It is hard to get into real estate, but it is much harder to stay in real estate and remain consistently successful,” Kenya Burrell-VanWormer, who heads T3 Sixty’s diversity initiative, said in a statement.

Burrell-VanWormer, formerly the Houston Association Realtors’ Realtor of the Year and Inman’s Person of the Year, joined T3 Sixty last year to head its diversity initiative. She

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Pandemic Drives Increase In Kentuckians Home Gardening

Concerns about food shortages and the dangers of grocery shopping during the pandemic drove more Kentuckians to try their hand at home gardening in 2020, according to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. 

In a Kentucky Department of Agriculture survey of 230 garden growers, 45{ac967ad544075fb2f6bcea1234f8d91da186cac15e616dc329e302b7c7326b8c} gardened for  the first time in 2020, up from 34 percent in 2019. Department spokesman Sean Southard said many people tried gardening for the first time because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture got a lot of questions from constituents about food supply and the safety and stability of our food supply, especially with some of the pressures we saw on our supply chain,” Southard said.

Southard said the department believes Kentucky’s food supply chain remains “strong,” but low inventories at grocery stores around the state and country last year have prompted some to grow their own food. To accommodate the increased interest, the Department of Agriculture, along with the University of Kentucky and Kentucky State University made home gardening “toolkits” available through agriculture extension offices in each of the state’s 120 counties.

The contents of the toolkits varied by county, according to Marisa Aull, with UK.

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