Franklin County’s residential real estate market has improved significantly in the past year.
According to data from the Lexington-Bluegrass Association of Realtors, the number of new listings and sales increased from 2018 to 2019, signaling an upward trend in the local real estate market.
- A 10% increase in number of houses sold in the first 11 months of 2019 compared to the same time period in 2018 — from 552 to 607.
- A 12% increase in residential listings.
- A 5% increase in the average sale price — from $156,452 in 2018 to $163,604 in 2019.
- Franklin County properties for sale spent less time on the market in 2019. For the first 11 months of 2018, the average number of days on the market was 58. This year is down to 47 days, a 19% decrease.
The data comes after Property Valuation Administrator Kellie Lang told the Franklin County Fiscal Court in October that her office found an increase of about 4%, or $117 million, in total real estate assessments from 2018 to 2019.
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Brent Simpson of Century 21 Simpson and Associates said that all of the trends are positive for the market. He estimated that from 2008 until three years ago, Frankfort’s real estate market had not been improving. As new builders and developers moved into the area, upward trends came back.
“We still need more inventory,” Simpson said, as the demand for homes in Franklin County is up and builders are catching up.
Among potential buyers, most of them are coming from nearby counties, where the market is a little tighter, so there’s less time to make a decision on properties. The average time on the market for a home in Fayette County in 2019 is 33 days and 41 days in Anderson County, according to data provided by Simpson.
Lori Adkinson, Coldwell Banker Preferred Realty co-owner, said she sees a "mix of buyers" with current Franklin County residents and those looking to move to the county.
"I think the economy overall has been better," she said as one of the factors for positive trends in the real estate market. Also, there hasn't been a lot of bad weather in 2019, which leads to more sales.
Simpson said that one of the areas in Franklin County to watch in the next few years will be Downtown Frankfort. He noted that there will be some flow in and out of real estate due to a change in gubernatorial administrations, and that there is a lot of “excitement” around the future development of the former Capital Plaza land known as Parcels B and C, which could pave the way for newer properties in downtown.
Adkinson said that new development creates more options on the market for homeowners looking for a bigger home to move up, and first-time homeowners to buy the properties being vacated. She added that another attraction of Frankfort is that it's a small town with close proximity to bigger cities, like Lexington, Louisville and Cincinnati.
For property owners looking to sell now, Adkinson said that once a house is ready to be presented and it is priced right, it usually goes off the market pretty quickly. She advised those looking to buy real estate to get preapproved for a loan and set a budget that factors in down payments and closing costs before beginning a property search.
“It’s a good time for them to capitalize on the market,” Simpson said for both potential homebuyers and those looking to sell. If someone is looking to downsize from a large property to a smaller one, like a townhouse or a condo, with less maintenance, now is the time, he said.