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More Small Rental Property Owners in Ky. Looking to Sell; Sellers Market to Continue, Realtors Say

Kentucky Realtors released the results of its January HousingIQ survey of members and found that 38% of respondents said that individual rental property owners are beginning to consider selling those properties.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the economic impact of governmental response to it such as eviction moratoriums and financially struggling tenants receiving uneven financial assistance, along with steady expenses are taking their toll on small property investors, the survey found.

“The impact of the eviction moratorium on landlords, especially the mom and pop rental property owners who are left with ever-increasing amounts of unpaid rent and no relief on expenses, is a challenge that we continue to highlight in conversations concerning rent relief,” said Kentucky Realtors CEO Steve Stevens.

When broken down by region in the state, Northern Kentucky actually has the lowest percentage of individual rental property owners considering a sale, at 26%.

Lexington respondents placed that percentage at 40 while it was 38 in Louisville. In Ashland and its neighboring West Virginia markets, the number was 67%.

A graphic illustrating the percentages across the state by region is above, as provided by Kentucky Realtors.

The survey included responses from 265 members, or more than 2% of the organization's overall membership.

Meanwhile, the survey also found that 32% of realtors in the state anticipate more houses to sell above the asking price over the next year while 46% reported a decrease in the number of motivated sellers compared to last fall.

“The survey results reflect a general optimism. Nearly forty percent of respondents anticipate an increase in renters looking to buy and forty percent expect lesser price cutting”, said Vidur Dhanda, author of the survey. “The remarkably lowered expectation among respondents for distressed sales points to the success of forbearance measures and confidence in the economic recovery.”

Realtors also expressed optimism about the real estate market's conditions, with the survey's confidence index moving to 51.3, with a rate of 50 representing no expectation of change to the conditions and 100 representing a unanimous anticipation of improvement to conditions.

With over forty percent of respondents anticipating greater foot traffic, more than one-third expecting houses to sell faster, and nearly one-third expecting more houses to sell above the asking price in the next twelve months, Kentucky Realtors collectively anticipate a sellers’ market, the survey found.

“Kentucky Realtors ability to respond to the pandemic’s challenges allowed 2020 to be a record year for the housing market. No doubt, the market’s resilience will continue this year and real estate will play an important part in the economic recovery,” said Kentucky Realtors Communications Director Paul Del Rio.

Other findings:

  • 49% of respondents expect an increase in sales volume
    • 57% expect increased homebuying by Millennials
    • 46% expect increased sales to investors
    • 39% anticipate increased homebuying by renters
  • 32% of respondents expect more houses to sell above the asking price
    • 43% anticipate greater foot traffic
    • 38% expect houses to sell faster

“With the market heating up, buyers need to be prepared to act in a competitive environment. A REALTOR® can help buyers weigh the pros and cons of all-cash offers, waiving contingencies, and crafting an escalation clause,” said Kentucky Realtors President Charles Hinckley.

-Staff report

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