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PARIS, Ky. -- Buckner Woodford began his banking career, after earning and MBA from Harvard Business School in 1971, with Bourbon Agricultural Bank. At that time, the bank had assets of $12 million. He succeeded Samuel Clay as bank CEO in 1974. In 1990, the bank began expanding to other counties in central Kentucky and eventually changed their name to Kentucky Bank. Woodford became Chairman of Kentucky Bank in January 2005. Assets have now grown to over one billion dollars. The bank employs 250 people in 11 cities, within 17 offices, throughout the state.

Louis Prichard, President and CEO of Kentucky Bank congratulated Woodford, "I want to thank Buck for his service as President and CEO and then his contribution as Chairman. His leadership, commitment and dedication to Kentucky Bank has, without question, made Kentucky Bank one of the most well respected and successful banking institutions in the commonwealth of Kentucky."

Kentucky Bancshares, INC., incoming chairman will be Proctor Caudill. Caudill has also had a very long history in operating a successful bank. Caudill was President and CEO of Peoples Bank in Elliott and Rowan counties until 2006, when the bank was acquired by Kentucky Bank.

Real estate transactions pick up pace in October

Homes in Central Kentucky sold much quicker in October this year than in 2018. Days on market throughout the region fell 20%, with homes selling in an average of 41 days in 2019 versus 51 in October last year. Over 61% of all transactions occurred in less than one month with only 8% taking longer than four months.

With homes selling so rapidly, and total sales surging, the months of inventory saw a steep decline for the month. In October, the supply of homes decreased 15%, from 3.9 months of inventory in 2018 to just 3.3 months this year. This is following a 21% drop in inventory in September and is 2.5% decrease month-over-month. The hottest segment of the market continues to be properties priced between $140,000 and $200,000 which have less than 2.5 months of inventory available.

Real estate sales were up 8% compared to last year, with total transactions for the month reaching 1,169, compared to 1,086 in 2018. October marked four consecutive months of year-over-year increases with nine out of 10 months in 2019 showing sales growth.

Single-family home sales rose 7% overall, 1,096 in 2019 versus 1,028 in 2018. Condos/townhome sales, which made up just over 6% of the total market, jumped a staggering 26%, with 73 sales in September versus 58 last year. Year-to-date, sales are up 6%, reaching 11,963 this year compared to 11,307 in 2018. Nationally, homes sales are up 4.6% from a year ago.

Pending sales, a leading indicator of future housing activity, saw a large jump in October, increasing 15% over the same month last year, with 1,195 homes pending compared to 1,040 in 2018. Pending sales have risen every month, year-over-year, in 2019 including four consecutive months of double-digit increases.

"The market is on a roll," said Blevins. "The economy is still strong, reports show that homeownership is still a priority for most people in the U.S., and interest rates are low and forecasted to remain under 4 percent in 2020. Given all of this, real estate should remain solid for a while, especially in this region."

Data from Realtor.com shows Millennials made up a whopping 46% of all mortgage originations last month -- up from 43% the year prior. And this group of buyers, the largest generation of buyers, rank homeownership as one of their top goals in life (72% saying it's their top priority even over getting married, having children and traveling). Across non-owners, 78% believe homeownership is a good financial decision and 81 percent want to own a home in the future.

Continuation of a strong market and uptick in demand has pushed housing appreciation higher. The median price in Central Kentucky rose 14 % in October 2019, reaching $185,000, up from $162,950 last year. Single-family homes increased 13% to $185,000 while condos/townhome prices rose 2% to $145,900. For the year, median prices stand at $180,000 for single-family properties and $143,250 for condos/townhomes.

To place your business announcement in The Register, email editor@richmondregister.com. Announcements should be between 100-150 words and can include a photo. Please include any contact information for potential follow-up. The Business Briefcase appears Thursdays in The Register and online at RichmondRegister.com.

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