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Kentucky Financial institutions remain stable

Kentucky.gov:   The 2010 Annual Report of the Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), released today, shows state financial institutions continue to remain stable despite economic hardships, thanks to strong capital positions coupled with sound risk management practices.

“This annual report indicates that Kentucky’s financial services industry has weathered the storm and remains committed to helping our communities and residents deal with economic uncertainty,” said DFI Commissioner Charles Vice.

Kentucky’s 156 state-chartered banks increased total assets to more than $45 billion, and the state’s 26 state-chartered credit unions increased assets to more than $1.7 billion in 2010. Both also increased total loans last year. While profitability measures are below historical levels, the return on average assets for banks and credit unions in Kentucky improved during the past 12 months.

Read the entire report.

Unemployment down slightly

Kentucky.gov:  Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate continued to fall going from 9.6 percent in June 2011 to 9.5 percent in July 2011, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

The preliminary July 2011 jobless rate dropped .7 percentage point below the 10.2 percent rate recorded in July 2010 for the state. The state’s July 2011 rate is the lowest since the January 2009 rate of 9.2 percent.

“Kentucky’s economy continued to show signs of improvement in July 2011 as the unemployment rate dropped to 9.5 percent and nonfarm employment reached its highest level since December 2008. However, a decline in the civilian labor force compounded the decrease in the unemployment rate. Individuals who have faced long-term unemployment are becoming discouraged and dropping out of the labor force,” said Dr. Justine Detzel, OET chief labor market analyst.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate decreased from 9.2 percent in June 2011 to 9.1 percent in July 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Unemployment statistics are based on estimates and are compiled to measure trends rather than actually to count people working.

Foreclosure filings nationwide loaw

Bizjournals.com:  The nationwide rate of foreclosure filings fell to a 44-month low in July, according to RealtyTrac .

The Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac firm reported that U.S. foreclosure filings — including default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — fell to 212,764 in July, a 4 percent decline from June. Filing were 35 percent lower that July 2010.

Nationwide, the rate of foreclosures was one in every 611 housing units.

In Kentucky, the rate was one in every 2,312 households, and Indiana’s rate was one in every 962 units.

John Schnatter backed development owes back taxes

Courier-Journal:  A real estate development group involving Papa John’s International founder John Schnatter owes more than $68,000 in unpaid property taxes, interest and fees, according to records from the Jefferson County Clerk’s office.

In June, Republic Bank filed a foreclosure action against the Vinings of Hurstbourne LLC I, which plans to reconstruct the Williamsburg Plaza Office Park in Hurstbourne.

Records filed with the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office do not list Schnatter as a person involved in that particular limited liability company. But in court filings, Schnatter acknowledges he personally guaranteed a portion of a $7.6 million construction loan Republic gave the development company in 2007.

Jefferson County helping out with abandoned properties

Metro Louisville is building and renovating houses with funding from a federal program designed to improve distressed neighborhoods.

The city received $6.9 million from the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program and is using it to build five homes and renovate about 20 others in six areas of the city.

The effort is small given that there are 7,000 or more abandoned and vacant properties, but advocates say it is helping.

Funding in Jefferson County to help revitalize abandoned homes

Rebound takes run-down houses and turns them back into homes.A house in the Shawnee neighborhood is the first in a series of redevelopments made possible through the help of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.”The Neighborhood Stabilization Program was established to help revitalize homes that have been abandoned and distressed. Through the purchase of homes such as these that goal is being realized,” said Dave Railey of the HUD Kentucky Field Office.Louisville metro government received about $7 million from the program. It’s money helping neighborhoods like Murrell’s, who’s already liking the new look.

Home ownership down in Fayette, housing prices stable

The number of houses sold in Fayette County in 2010 declined for the fifth straight year, yet property values have remained stable, and Fayette County’s property valuation administrator sees that as a positive indicator that Lexington continues to weather the housing-market downturn better than many cities.

. . .

Among the highlights of the [Fayette Property Value Administrator’s] report:

• The number of sales of single-family residences has steadily decreased over the last five years, from 5,432 sales in 2005 to 2,917 in 2010. That’s a fall of 46 percent.

• But when homes do sell, “values are holding,” O’Neill said. The median home sale price increased from $142,000 in 2005 to $156,000 in 2010. Many areas of the country have seen prices decline when the housing bubble burst.

• Both commercial and residential construction in Fayette County have fallen dramatically since 2005. In 2005, 2,289 new residential units were built. That fell to 602 in 2010. In 2005, 165 commercial buildings were built; that dropped to just 14 in 2010.

• Overall, the taxable fair cash value of all property in Fayette County has risen modestly since 2008, a contrast to other areas of the country hit harder by the housing downturn.

• Fair cash value for commercial property in 2011 was $6.42 billion, up slightly from the total of $6.2 billion in 2008. Fair cash value of all residential property in Fayette County was $15.2 billion, up from $14.7 billion in 2008.

O’Neill’s report also includes more specific information, such as the biggest property-tax assessments in Fayette County. The top assessment belongs to Fayette Mall, which owns properties assessed at a total of more than $108 million for 2011.