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St. Louis Real Estate Search

 

St Louis Real Estate Market Update VIDEO – July 2018

The St Louis real estate market continues to be an enjoyable one for sellers who benefit from the low inventory of homes for sale and somewhat of a challenge for home buyers who face stiff competition. The lack of inventory of available listings has contributed to St Louis home sales this year falling a little behind last years home sales. Find out more, as well as get information on some of St Louis’s best resources for home buyers and sellers in our just-released market In our MORE, REALTORS, 5 Minute St Louis Real Estate Market Update video below, you can quickly and easily get the latest information on home prices, home sales, trends and more for the entire St Louis area!   update video.


Thinking of selling and want to know if your neighborhood is a seller's market? Contact us and we'll  answer that question for you.
You can now subscribe to our ITUNES Podcast Channel to receive our updated market videos via podcast automatically each week! Just click here, then click on "Subscribe Free".) St Louis Real Estate Market Update Video - St Louis Home Prices

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Top Ten St Louis Metro Cities Where Homes Sold The Fastest In June

It took an average of just 9 days for homes to sell in Columbia, Illinois last month, making Columbia the fastest selling city in the St Louis MSA during June.  Waterloo was the other Illinois city that made the list (#4) with the remaining 8 cities being in Missouri.  Of the eight cities in Missouri on the list, 7 are in St Louis County and 1 in St Charles County.

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St Louis MSA Top 10 Fastest SOLD Cities In June 2018

(click on the list below for complete list)

St Louis MSA Top 10 Fastest SOLD Cities In June 2018

St Louis Home Sales Decline Slightly While Prices Rise

Home sales in St Louis declined a little over 2 percent during the most recent 12-month period from the prior period while the median price of homes sold in St Louis rose 4.4%, according to the latest data from MORE, REALTORS.

St Louis home sales are trending downward slightly as well, as illustrated by the chart below.  The light green line depicts year to date home sales for the St Louis 5-county core market (city of St Louis and counties of St Louis, St Charles, Jefferson and Franklin) and reveals that through June of this year, there have been 13,237 homes sold and, at the same time last year, 13,466, a decline of 1.7% in year to date sales.


St Louis 5-County Home Sales & Home Prices

(click on the table below for live report and complete data)

St Louis 5-County Core Market YTD & Past 12 Months Home Sales

St Louis 5-County Core Market YTD & Past 12 Months Home Sales

 

St Charles County Residents Have Best Housing Affordability Threshold In St Louis Area

Nearly 80 percent (78.8%) of the homeowners with a mortgage in St Charles County spend less than 30% of their household income for gross monthly housing costs, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest data.  As the table below shows, the 4-largest St Louis area counties are all within the green (good) level for housing affordability in all categories:  Homeowners with a mortgage, homeowners without a mortgage and renters.

Of the three categories, St Louis renters have the worst housing affordability threshold with a median of 46.3% of St Louis renters spending more then 30% of their household income on housing costs.  Conversely, a median of just 25.6% of St Louis homeowners with a mortgage, spend more than30% of their household income on housing costs.

Of the four counties reported on in the table below, residents of the city of St Louis fare the worst in all 3 categories in terms of their housing affordability threshold.

St Louis Area Housing Affordability ThresholdSt Louis Area Housing Affordability Threshold

Source: NACo Analysis of U.S. Census Bureau – American Community Survey (ACS) 5 year estimates, 2016

 

Happy Independence Day!

Declaration of Independence Today, the Fourth of July is the day we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence which took place 242 years ago on July 4, 1776.  With the signing of this Declaration, the 13 colonies, or united States, declared their independence from Great Britain and thus, the United States was born!

While I don’t recall the specific number of times I have read this document, I can say with reasonable certainty that I doubt the number would take more than one hand to count.  It’s pretty amazing that such an important document while referred to often, and celebrated annually, is read so little.  Or, perhaps, I’m in the minority and others read it more often than I.

In any event, in celebration of “the 4th of July” or, more accurately, “Independence Day”, I just read the complete context of the Declaration of Independence and have shared it below for all that are interested to read.  When you take the time to read it, think about what was happening at the time, the number of people that risked their lives, and gave their lives to create this, then later defend it, and then digest it all, it’s a pretty amazing document.

Continue reading Happy Independence Day!

Are iBuyers Changing The Way People Sell Their Homes?

One of the “buzz words” you hear often in the real estate industry today is “disrupter“.  To disrupt, by definition, is to “throw into turmoil or disorder, interrupt the progress of (a movement, meeting, etc) or break or split (something) apart.”  With dozens and dozens of new startups, new business models and new practices coming upon the real estate scene over the last handful of years, it seems practically everyone wants to disrupt the real estate industry.  Why not?  Afterall, there was some $70 Billion (yes, Billion with a “B”) in commissions made by residential real estate agents last year on the 5.5 million home sales that took place in 2017, so who wouldn’t want a piece of that pie?

One of the disrupters that have come along is the “iBuyer”, which refers to one of the Internet-based company’s that buys homes directly from sellers offering them an alternative to the more traditional method of listing their home, waiting for the buyer to surface and then waiting for the closing.  Some, or perhaps many, real estate agents are concerned that iBuyers may negatively impact their profession if in no other way by putting a dent in their commissions by offering sellers a way to sell their homes without an agent.  However, before agents get too worried about it and before sellers get too excited about the idea, especially in St Louis, we need to recognize a few things: According to ATTOM Data, the two biggest iBuyers, Offerpad and Opendoor combined only purchased a total of 3,992 homes in 2017 so less than 1/10 of 1% of the 5,510,000 homes sold that year, this is nothing new, and, there is a price to pay for the convenience.

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Continue reading Are iBuyers Changing The Way People Sell Their Homes?

St Louis Home Prices And Sales Surge In May Time To Sell Drops

The St Louis real estate market continues to be a strong one and continues to favor sellers in many cases.  As the chart below illustrates, the median price per foot that homes sold for in May (green line) shot up in May to $133 from $129 the month before, a 3.1% increase from the month before and an increase of 6.4% from May 2017 when the price per foot was $125.  This increase in home prices didn’t seem to affect St Louis home sales, however, as there were 2,922 homes sold in May, an increase of 24.3% from the month before and an increase of 3.9% from May 2017 when there were 2,811 St Louis homes sold.  The time it took for a home to sell in St Louis hit a new low in May at 11 days, the lowest median time to sell that we’ve seen ever!


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St Louis 5-County Core Market – Home Prices, Sales & Days On Market – Past 2 Years

Click on chart for current, live chart

St Louis 5-County Core Market - Home Prices, Sales & Days On Market - Past 2 Years

St Louis Home Sales Trend Show Lower Rate of Increase

Homes have sold in the St Louis area at an increasing rate for a little more than 3 years now, however, as the chart below illustrates, the trend is flattening.  The chart below, which was created from software our firm developed which compiles data from the MLS, plots homes sales for the past 12 months for each month.  So, rather than just seeing the activity for one month and all the seasonal fluctuation, you can actually see the sales trend.

Since March 2015, the 12-month home sales trend has steadily increased at a fairly steady pace however, it appears we may have hit the ceiling.  For the 12-month period ended May 31, 2018, there were 27,755 homes sold in the St Louis 5-County Core market (city of St Louis and counties of St Louis, St Charles, Jefferson and Franklin) a very slight increase over the 12-month period ended April 2018 when there were 27,653 homes sold and just a 1.5% increase from a year ago when there  27,339 homes sold in the prior 12-month period.


St Louis 5-County Core Market- 12-Month Home Sales Trend – Past 5 Years

(click chart for live chart and table)

t Louis 5-County Core Market- 12-Month Home Sales Trend - Past 5 Years

St Louis Area Population Growth Nearly Flat But Asians and Males on The Rise

The St Louis 5-county core had a total population of 2,027,996 in 2017, up from 2,000,405 in 2010.  The population increase os 27,591 represents a very modest population increase of just 1.36% for the 7-year period, according to the latest date from the U.S. Census Bureau.  As the table below shows, the number of Asian people in St Louis grew by 11,913 during the period, an amount equal to 43% of the total St Louis population growth.

The St Louis 5-county core consists of the city of St Louis and the counties of St Louis, St Charles, Jefferson and Franklin.  As shown below, three of the five counties experienced a growth in population from 2010 to 2017 with St Charles having the greatest growth at over 8.5%.  The city of St Louis experienced the largest population decline with a loss of about 3.5% of its population during the 7-year period.

Another interesting tidbit in the data below is the growth in the male population in the St Louis 5-county core.  During this period, the male population increased by 1.6% while the female population increased just 1.14%.  While it may seem that significant, that is a 40% higher growth rate for males.

Continue reading St Louis Area Population Growth Nearly Flat But Asians and Males on The Rise

Neighborhoods Where Homes Sold The Fast Last Month

Anyone in the market to buy a home in St Louis has probably already discovered the good listings are selling quickly and often with multiple offers.  While this is not true in all areas and prices ranges, it is certainly true in many.  So where are homes selling the fastest in St Louis?  Well, the answer has been kind of a moving target, largely impacted by the low inventory of homes for sale, but, as of today, as the table below shows, Wright City is the answer with homes taking an average of only 6 days to sell last month.

St Louis Neighborhoods Where Homes Sold The Fastest

Click on table for complete, up to date, list

St Louis Neighborhoods Where Homes Sold The Fastest

“MLS Exempt” Listings – Is This Approach Good For Sellers Or Just Listing Agents?

Something that has become fairly common today in the St Louis real estate market are “MLS exempt” (or “non-MLS”) listings. Also known in the industry as “Pocket Listings“, this refers to a home that is listed with an agent but is not entered into the MLS.  When I first enteered the real estate business, back in 1979, these type of listings were known as “Vest Pocket LIstings” with the reason being the agent would instead of turning the listing agreement into his or her office, making everyone aware of it, would keep the listing in their vest pocket so they would be the only one aware the home was for sale.  At that time, from my vantage point, the only reason I saw for vest pocket listings was so the listing agent could “double dip”, meaning sell it themselves to a buyer without the involvement of a buyers agent, thus getting to keep all the commission themselves.

Before I go further, let me give a quick lesson on how real estate commissions work.  Almost always, the seller, in the listing agreement, has agreed to pay a percentage of the sales price of their home as commission.  This commission is split in some fashion between the listing agent and the selling (buyers) agent.  In fact, a requirement of the MLS is that all listings that are entered by listing agents must offer compensation to the selling (buyers) agent.  However, if the buyer is not represented by a buyers agent and works with the listing agent directly (which is a bad idea, see DontBuyFromTheListingAgent.com for why) then the listing agent keeps all the commission.


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Continue reading “MLS Exempt” Listings – Is This Approach Good For Sellers Or Just Listing Agents?

Home Loan Origination Data Showing Impact Of Interest Rates On Refi’s But Not Home Purchases In St Louis

Mortgage interest rates have been on the rise and hit their highest level in seven years toward the end of May, however, the higher rates don’t appear to be having an effect on the number of people in St Louis obtaining home loans yet.  The table below is based upon the latest data from ATTOM Data Research, just released yesterday, and shows that there were 6,830 home purchase mortgage loans obtained in the St Louis metro area during the 1st quarter of this year.  This represents an increase of nearly 10% from the number of home purchase mortgage loans that were obtained in St Louis a year ago.  Even if we go back to the first quarter of 2016, when the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate was below 4%, there were just 6,093 home purchase loan originations, 12.1% fewer than the most recent quarter.

The number of St Louis homeowners refinancing their home mortgages during the first quarter of this year dropped over 10% from a year ago and was down over 15% from the first quarter of 2016.



Continue reading Home Loan Origination Data Showing Impact Of Interest Rates On Refi’s But Not Home Purchases In St Louis

St Louis Real Estate Market Update VIDEO – June 2018

There is a lot of activity in the St Louis real estate market!  The inventory of homes for sale in St Louis remains low,  interest rates have dropped a little over the past couple of weeks, home prices are beginning to soften as we move beyond the peak spring market and demand is still strong.

In our MORE, REALTORS, 5 Minute St Louis Real Estate Market Update video below, you can quickly and easily get the latest information on home prices, home sales, trends and more for the entire St Louis area!  

Sell Your Home For The Highest Price In The Least Amount of Time!  See how- STLSellersAdvantage.com 
Save Commission On Your Home Sale Without Sacrificing Service! See how- FairCommissionRate.com

Thinking of selling and want to know if your neighborhood is a seller's market? Contact us and we'll  answer that question for you.
You can now subscribe to our ITUNES Podcast Channel to receive our updated market videos via podcast automatically each week! Just click here, then click on "Subscribe Free".) St Louis Real Estate Market Update Video - St Louis Home Prices

 

Do Home Prices In A Growth Market Like Wentzville Perform Better Than An Established Market?

One of the things that often attract homebuyers to a new or expanding area is the availability of new homes at affordable prices.  This is something that is hard to find in older areas that have mature real estate markets due to the lack of available ground and the cost of the ground when it does become available.  This is, no doubt, one of the things that have been responsible for the population growth in Wentzville in spite of the fact it is in the farthest west most area of St Charles County.  As a result, the city of Wentzville has seen its population grow from 5,733 in 1998 to 39,414 currently, a growth of 587% over the 20 year period.

One topic that often comes up in conversation about new and emerging markets, is whether homebuyers will benefit in those areas, as they mature and grow, from a higher appreciation rate than a typical established market.  In order to examine this, I’m going to compare the Wentzville housing market with that of Ballwin, a municipality in St Louis County similar in size to Wentzville, with a current population of 30,161 which is just 15% greater than the 1998 population of 26, 205.




Wentzville Real Estate Listing Info & Resources:

Wentzville Homes For Sale
Wentzville Homes Sold in Past 12 Months

Continue reading Do Home Prices In A Growth Market Like Wentzville Perform Better Than An Established Market?

House Flipping Volume In St Louis Down From Year Ago

During the first quarter of this year, there were 600 home “flips” in St Louis or about 8.6% of the homes sold in St Louis, according to data just released by ATTOM Data Research.  This rate of flipped homes is up 5% from the prior quarter, however, is down 7% from a year ago. The decline certainly doesn’t have anything to do with a lack of interest by investors in flipping, it has more to do with a low inventory and declining mortgage delinquency and foreclosure rates reducing the opportunities.

What is a “flipped” home?

In the report issued by ATTOM Data Research, any home or condo that was sold during the first quarter of this year in an arms-length sale that had previously had an arms-length sale within the prior 12 months as well, was considered a “flip”.  Since homeowners don’t tend to buy a home only to turn around and resell it within a year, when this does occur it is typically the result of an investor buying a property, renovating it, then reselling it.

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Continue reading House Flipping Volume In St Louis Down From Year Ago

Home Sales And Price Trends Between St Louis Area Counties

The five counties I refer to as the “St Louis Core Market“, which include the city of St Louis and counties of St Louis, St Charles, Jefferson and Franklin, account for over 90% of the home sales in the 9 Missouri Counties that are part of the St Louis MSA.  This is why I typically focus on those five counties when reporting real estate market stats as they give the “big picture” view of the St Louis market but in a more accurate way than the St Louis MSA stats.

The counties making up the St Louis core market vary significantly in everything from socioeconomics and demographics to housing style, quality of public schools and home prices.  As a result, the counties respond somewhat differently to market conditions, whether good or bad.  To show how they compare, I produced a chart depicting home sales and price trends for the past 3 years.  Which county fared the best over the past few years depends on which market statistic we rank them on.

Franklin County is the clear winner for home sales trend….

As the first chart below illustrates, the home sales trend for Franklin County has been the best, with a 39% increase over the past 3 years.  For the 12-month period ended June 2015 there were 889 homes sold in Franklin County and for the 12-month period ended May 2018, there were 1237 homes sold.

St Louis City and St Charles County are at the top for home price appreciation…

The bottom chart reflects the median price per foot for the homes sold in each county and shows that, over the 3-year period, the city of St Louis had the highest increase in home prices at 13.9% followed by St Charles County with a 12.7% increase.  Interestingly enough, Franklin County, with the largest increase in home sales, had the second-lowest increase in home prices during the period.

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Continue reading Home Sales And Price Trends Between St Louis Area Counties

Why You Shouldn’t Use 12 p.m. As A Deadline When Making An Offer On A Home

When you make an offer on a home, it is normal to include a deadline for the seller to accept the offer by otherwise the offer dies.  Deadlines are also used when sellers and buyers make counter-offers and negotiate building inspection resolutions.  These deadlines typically include both a date and time.  Unfortunately, many real estate agents seem to like using “12 p.m.” as a deadline which, personally, I think is a bad idea and should not be done.

Why is 12 p.m. as a deadline bad to use?

For starters, I’m a big fan of trying to keep things as clear as possible and avoid the potential of conflict whenever I can.  Therefore, I like using contract terms that are clear and precise as opposed to those that are vague and ambiguous.  Given that “12 p.m.” is, at best, a confusing term that is subject to interpretation and can be interpreted to mean “noon” or “midnight” and, at worst, doesn’t refer to anything “real” at all, it sounds like something good to avoid.

Noon and 12 p.m. are the same, right?

Let’s break it down a little to answer that question and start with what the “p.m.” in 12 p.m. stands for.  P.M. is an abbreviation for post meridiemwhich is Latin for “after noon”.  So, when is noon?  That is simple, right?  It’s right after 11:59 a.m. and right before 12:01 p.m., correct?  Assuming you agree with that, then how can 12 p.m. be “12 after noon”? How can it be “after” that moment in time when it is occurring at the same time as the event it is to be after?

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What about 12 a.m. and midnight, they’re the same, right?

Basically, we run into the same issue as above, we are trying to identify a moment in time by referencing it’s relationship to that moment.  But, for the sake of this conversation, let’s break this down a bit by looking at the definition of a.m.  A.M. is an abbreviation for ante meridiem, which is Latin for “before noon”.  Now, you could argue that since midnight is 12 hours before noon that the term 12 a.m. would be the accurate time for midnight. Not so fast though, because using the same argument would mean that 12 p.m would also be the accurate term for midnight since it is 12 hours “after noon”.  See the problem?

What does the “official timekeeper” for the United States Government say on this topic?

The Time and Frequency Division of  The National Institute of Standards and Technology (part of the U.S. Department of Commerce)  maintains the standard for frequency and time interval for the United States and provides official time to the United States.  On their FAQ’s page, is the question “Are noon and midnight referred to as 12 a.m. or 12 p.m.?” Their answer is “This is a tricky question because 12 a.m. and 12 p.m. are ambiguous and should not be used.

There’s an EASY Answer!

To avoid the confusion and conflict that may come as a result of using 12:00 p.m., 12 noon, 12:00 a.m., or 12 midnight as a deadline in a contract, just simply pick a time that is clear such as anything from 12:01 p.m. through 11:59 p.m. or 12:01 a.m. through 11:59 a.m.  Then, there is no confusion and easy for all the parties to be on the same page.

St Louis Area New Home Construction In Past 12 Months At Same Pace As Prior 12 Overall; St Charles County Down Nearly 20 Percent Though

As the table below shows, for the most recent 12-months that new home building permit data is available for from the Home Builders Association of St Louis & Eastern Missouri, there have been 4,610 new home building permits issued in the 7 counties they report on.  This is just slightly less than was issued for the prior 12-month period ending April 2017, when there were 4,625 permits issued.

St Charles County New Home Building Permit Trend Continues to Fall…

There were 1,555 new home permits issued in St Charles County in the most recent 12-month period, a decline of 18.54% from the prior 12-month period.  Year to date through April, there have been 447 new home building permits issued in St Charles County, a decline of 27% from the same time last year and a 35.2% decline from the same time in 2016.

St Charles County housing market doesn’t appear to be the problem

The overall real estate market in St Charles County is doing pretty well with 6,013 homes sold during the 12-month period ended April 30, 2018.  That is a 2.5% decline from the prior 12 month period but still shows the demand is there meaning that decline in new home building permits is most likely not market driven but perhaps more related to lack of available ground.

  

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Continue reading St Louis Area New Home Construction In Past 12 Months At Same Pace As Prior 12 Overall; St Charles County Down Nearly 20 Percent Though

Jefferson & Franklin County Zips Move To Top of Fastest Selling Zip Code List

Typically, Franklin County and Jefferson County home sales stats tend to lag behind their “closer in” neighbors of St Louis and St Charles County, however, when it comes to fastest-selling zip codes, the two outlying counties claim the number 1 and number 2 spots, respectively.  As the table below shows, homes in the 63072 zip code area (Robertsville) of Franklin County are selling the fastest, based upon average days on market of existing listings which stands at 24 days as of this morning.  With an average time on the market of 33 days, the High-Ridge area zip of 63049 in Jefferson County comes in at #2.

Of the top-ten fastest selling zip-codes, 5 are in St Louis County, 2 in Jefferson County, and then 1 each in Franklin and St Charles County as well as the city of St Louis.

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Continue reading Jefferson & Franklin County Zips Move To Top of Fastest Selling Zip Code List

Mortgage Interest Rates Hit Highest Level In Over Seven Years

Freddie Mac has been tracking average mortgage rates since 1971 through their Primary Mortgage Market Survey® and yesterday it revealed that, as the chart below shows, the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was at 4.6%, the highest rate in over 7 years.  The last time mortgage interest rates were this high was back on May 5, 2011 when the 30-year rate hit 4.71%.

Even with the recent increase, mortgage interest rates are still reasonably low from a historical perspective.  As the second chart below illustrates, 20 years ago the rates were around 8 percent.  Mortgage interest rates then spent nearly a decade around the 5% – 6% range before beginning the descent after the housing bubble burst in 2008.

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Mortgage Interest Rates – 2018- Chart

Mortgage Interest Rates - 2018- Chart 

Mortgage Interest Rates – 1995 -2018- Chart

Mortgage Interest Rates - 2017- Chart 

 

Great Scott! The Scott’s Are Buying Out St Louis!

According to a report just released by ATTOM Data Research, during 2017, there was a 40 percent increase in homes purchased by people with a family name of Scott from the year before making Scott the family name with the largest increase in home purchases in the St Louis MSA during 2017.

This increase of home purchase by “Scott’s” was the largest increase in St Louis home purchases for a family name during 2017.   At the other end of the spectrum, the family name of “Martin” saw the largest decline in home purchases with a 26% decline in homes purchased by “Martin’s” in 2017 from the year before.

For Missouri, the largest increase in 2017 was for the family name of “Sanders” with a 38% increase in home purchases during 2017 from the year before.

Nationally, Lin was the family name with the largest increase in home purchases during 2017, with a 30% increase in home sales to families with the last name of Lin over the year before.

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St Louis’ Home Purchases By Family Name

St Louis' Home Purchases By Family Name

 

St Louis Ranked 8th Most Affordable Metro Area To Buy A Home

According to a report just released by HSH, St Louis is the 8th most affordable metro area to buy a home in and one of just 17 metro areas where an income of less than $50,000 per year will buy a median-priced home.  The report is based upon data from the 1st quarter of this year when the median-priced home in the St Louis MSA was $162,400 (a 4.84% increase from a year ago) and the average mortgage interest rate was 4.41% (an increase of 0.36% from the previous quarter) resulting in a house payment (principal and interest portion only) of $933.44.   Depending upon the loan type and credit-worthiness of buyer, it will vary, but under typical circumstances, a person with an annual salary of about $40,000 would qualify for the house payment on a median-priced home in St Louis.

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Should Home Buyers Use Price Escalation Clauses?

St Louis home buyers today face stiff competition from other buyers and often find themselves in a “multiple bid” situations where a seller has several offers to consider.  This has led many buyers agents to suggest the use of “escalation clauses” by their clients in order to increase their chances of success.  However, not everyone in real estate industry agrees that this is a good practice and some think it is doesn’t serve the buyer well.  I tend to fall into the latter camp as I am not a fan of escalation clauses for buyers, however, in the right situation and when done properly, I do believe they could benefit a buyer.

What’s wrong with escalation clause use by buyers?

In the interest of brevity, which, is not my strong suit, I’m going to simply make a list of the issues:

  • If the buyer is willing to do an escalation clause, they are obviously willing to pay more than they are offering.  Given that in the scenario that would give rise to an escalation clause being considered probably means the buyer gets one shot at it, it may make more sense for the buyer to make their best offer from the start.
  • Buyer is “showing their hand” to the seller.  The escalation clause reveals to the seller the true value the buyer sees in the house and there is nothing that prevents the seller from using this to their benefit.  For example, if buyer’s offer if $205,000 but the escalation clause indicates that buyer will beat any offer by $1,000 up to a maximum of $210,000, guess what my advice to the seller will get in terms of a counter offer?  You guessed it, $210,000.
  • Seller may question buyers approach and choose to deal with a buyer that appeared more forthcoming.  This one comes straight from experience on the sellers’ side of things on some deals.  Some sellers are a little put off by buyers using escalation clauses feeling like they are willing to pay more but trying to take advantage and buy it cheaper if possible.  If there is another “clean” deal that is close in price, the seller may choose to try to make a deal with them first.  There is also some uncertainty for the seller as to whether the escalation clause buyer will actually agree to the increased price if it kicks in.

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Continue reading Should Home Buyers Use Price Escalation Clauses?

St Louis Foreclosure Rate Drops Over Twenty-Percent In Past Year

The number of St Louis homeowners losing their homes in foreclosure declined to a total of 700 foreclosure actions in the St Louis MSA, according to the latest report from ATTOM Research.  Aprils foreclosure rate of 1 in every 1,768 housing units in the St Louis MSA is a decline of 22.82% from the rate a year ago and a decline of 9.68% from the foreclosure rate for March 2018.

As the table below illustrates, of the 15 counties in the St Louis MSA covered, all but three have seen a decline in foreclosure rates from a year ago (and all of those double-digit declines at that) and two-thirds of the counties saw a decline from the month before.

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St Louis MSA Foreclosures – April 2018

St Louis MSA Foreclosures - April 2018

 

 

Where St Louis Area Homeowners Are Moving

The St Louis metro area has seen some population growth over the last few decades but not nearly as much as many other areas.  From 1975 until last year, the population of the St Louis MSA increased 12.3% from 2,500,100 in 1975 to 2,807,338 in 2017.  Of the major counties in Missouri that make up the St Louis MSA, St Charles County gained the most population increasing 248% during the same period.  As the table below shows, 4 of the 5 major counties covered saw an increase in population from 1975 to 2017, although St Louis County’s increase was a rather lackluster 3.3%.  Even St Louis County’s modest increase looks good when compared with the city of St Louis that lost 40% of its population during the period.

City of St Louis’ loss is St Charles County gain…

As the table below illustrates, St Charles County gained 281,700 people from 1975 through 2017 while the city of St Louis lost 205,474.  Granted, not everyone that left the city of St Louis moved to St Charles County, but there is a lot of “shuffling of the population” that occurs here with movement from one area to another within St Louis as the population shifts.  As a result, we end up with things such as the triple-digit increase in population in St Charles County and the city of St Louis losing nearly half of its population, while the overall metro area just had a modest gain.

How we compare to others…

To see how St Louis fared with other similar-sized areas, I checked the population history for the Davidson County Tennessee (Nashville) and Mecklenburg County North Carolina (Charlotte).  Below is what I found:

  • Davidson County TN49.5% population growth from 1975 to 2017 increasing from 462,600 to 691,243.
  • Mecklenburg County  NC185% population growth during the same period increasing from 377,400 to 1,076,837

So, while smaller, St Charles, Jefferson, and Franklin County’s population growth outpaced Davidson County and just St Charles County managed to outperform Mecklenburg County.

In the coming days, I’ll take a look at how population change has affected home prices and sales.

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St Louis Population – 1975 – 2017

(click on the table below for live charts showing complete data for each area)

St Louis Population - 1975 - 2017

 

St Louis Real Estate Market Update VIDEO – May 2018

The low inventory of homes for sale in many areas and price ranges throughout St Louis continues to plague the St Louis housing market and is causing home sales to run behind last years sales.  Find out more, as well as get information on some of St Louis’s best resources for home buyers and sellers in our just-released market update video. In our MORE, REALTORS, 5 Minute St Louis Real Estate Market Update video below, you can quickly and easily get the latest information on home prices, home sales, trends and more for the entire St Louis area!  

Sell Your Home For The Highest Price In The Least Amount of Time!  See how- STLSellersAdvantage.com 
Save Commission On Your Home Sale Without Sacrificing Service! See howFairCommissionRate.com

Thinking of selling and want to know if your neighborhood is a seller’s market? Contact us and we’ll  answer that question for you.

You can now subscribe to our ITUNES Podcast Channel to receive our updated market videos via podcast automatically each week! Just click here, then click on “Subscribe Free”.)

St Louis Real Estate Market Update Video - St Louis Home Prices

 

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First-Time Homebuyers; 5 Things You Should Do BEFORE You Buy

Just over 1 of every three (34%) homebuyers in 2017 were first-time homebuyers according to the  With the growing population of millennials reaching an age where many are buying homes, I expect to see the percentage of first-time homebuyers increase over the next couple of years.

Many first-time homebuyers find the home buying process to be a little intimidating which is largely due to just lacking the experience of having done it before and the knowledge that is gained from the experience.  However, with a time spent getting educated on the process, the fears can be calmed and the home buying experience can be a great one for a first-time buyer!

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5-Things First-Time Homebuyers Should Do BEFORE Buying A Home…

(the summary is below but you can see the complete report by clicking the link above)

Step 1 Ask a real estate professional if current market conditions make now a good time to buy a home?
The real estate market suffered a blow when the housing bubble burst in 2008 but has now recovered and the talk for the past couple of years has been rising home prices and a shortage of homes for sale.  So does this make now a bad time to buy?
Step 2 Ask yourself these 3 questions to determine if now is the right time for YOU to buy?

  1. Do you want the responsibility?  Home-ownership does bring with it the responsibility to care for it and maintain it (there is no longer a landlord to call to take care of things for you); you are responsible for maintaining insurance coverage on the home, paying property taxes, subdivision association fees and, of course, your house payments on time.
  2. Are you financially ready?  DON’T BUY if you have not saved enough money to make a reasonable down-payment, pay closing costs, moving costs, etc., and still have some money left in the bank for “reserves”. Also, make sure your income is adequate to support the house payment you are taking on and if there is any doubt then either don’t buy or buy a lower-priced house, you can always move-up later down the road.

Is your income stable? If you get to this point and feel you are OK and can afford to buy a home, step back and look at the source of your income and consider how solid you think it is.
Step 3 Educate yourself on the market, the process and your rights.
Even though you will be using professionals in your home purchase and, particularly if you follow the advice in this report, will select good ones, you still should educate yourself about the process to give you a better understanding as you go through it. Plus, by knowing your rights and how the deal should go, you will notice when something is not right or you are not be treated properly.

Don’t buy before checking out the resources below:

Step 4 Pick a REALTOR® to work with you.
If you think the timing is right for you to buy a home, then the next step is to select a REALTOR® to work with you to help guide you through the process and avoid the “landmines” that are out there. Many buyers want to go it alone for a while and there are plenty of websites out there where you can search for homes for sale from now to eternity, you will save yourself a lot of time and aggravation by simply utilizing the services of a professional REALTOR® from the outset.

7 Questions you MUST ask an agent before choosing one

Step 5 Get pre-approved for a home loan
This step is important for several reasons: One, it confirms to you that you do have the financial resources to buy a house in the price range you are interested in and, two, when you provide the pre-approval letter to the seller with your offer it shows you are not only a serious buyer, but that you should be able to get a loan to buy their house. This gives you a leg-up in your negotiations over a buyer that is not as prepared.

(See The COMPLETE Report by Clicking the Link Below)

5-Things First-Time Homebuyers Should Do BEFORE Buying A Home…

 

St Louis Real Estate Market Update VIDEO – April 2018

A low inventory of homes for sale is making it tough on the St Louis real estate market with sales for the first quarter of this year lagging behind last year. St Louis home prices, on the other hand, continue to rise as do the number of “seller’s markets” in St Louis. In fact, as the video shows, the list of buyers markets in the St Louis area is short…in fact the shortest list I can remember.   Find out more, as well as get information on some of St Louis’s best resources for home buyers and sellers in our just-released market update video.
In our MORE, REALTORS, 5 Minute“> St Louis Real Estate Market Update video below, you can quickly and easily get the latest information on home prices, home sales, trends and more for the entire St Louis area!  

Sell Your Home For The Highest Price In The Least Amount of Time!  See how- STLSellersAdvantage.com 
Save Commission On Your Home Sale Without Sacrificing Service! See howFairCommissionRate.com

Thinking of selling and want to know if your neighborhood is a seller’s market? Contact us and we’ll  answer that question for you.

You can now subscribe to our ITUNES Podcast Channel to receive our updated market videos via podcast automatically each week! Just click here, then click on “Subscribe Free”.)

St Louis Real Estate Market Update Video - St Louis Home Prices

 

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New Home Construction Activity Up Slightly In St Louis Area – St Charles County Losing Steam

New home construction, based upon building permits issued, is up overall for the 7-county area covered in St Louis by the Home Builders Association of St Louis and Eastern Missouri (HBA). For the most recent 12-month period reported for this area, through the end of February 2018, there have been 4,720 single family permits issue versus 4,579 for the prior 12-month period, an increase of 3.08%.

As the table below shows, 5 of the 7 counties reported on by the HBA have seen double-digit increases in new home construction during the past 12-months, Lincoln County and St Charles County being the exceptions.  St Charles County has suffered the most, with a double-digit decrease in home sales.  The St Charles decline is likely at least partially contributed to a lack of developed lots.

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New Home Building Permits – St Louis Area

New Home Building Permits - St Louis Area

When Is The Best Time To Sell Your Home?

If I had a dollar for everytime someone asks me when is the best time to sell their home I would probably not have to be writing this article today and instead would be relaxing somewhere warm :).  My initial answer, while somewhat snarky, is always the same “when you have a buyer“.  Actually though, just because there is a buyer doesn’t mean you are realizing the best price and terms as may be possible.

It’s not really possible to be totally objective when analyzing this as no more which data I choose to use or consider is going to make it subjective, but I think I have come up with a reasonable criteria to base my answer on.  For the purposes of this article, below are the criteria I selected to include in my analysis and why:

  • Sold Price Per Foot– For an overall market view, price per foot is a good way to look at a trend.
  • Days on Market – The time it takes a home to sell is certainly indicative of how good or bad a current market may be.
  • % of Original List Price Sold For – This is a very good indicator of the market for when sellers are able receive close to their original asking price it is typically indicative of a good market (and a good listing agent that knows the benefit of properly pricing a home at the start)
  • % of Current List Price Sold For – Like the previous one, and is somewhat an indicator of the strength of the current market but is probably more driven by a seller finally facing reality and getting the price to the point where their home sold.

I then created the chart below, using software created by MORE, REALTORS for the St Louis 5-County core market for the past 24 months and then plotted the data above.  As the chart illustrates, during the past 12 months, one clear “winner” stands out when all the planets aligned (or data) to deliver the best result to the seller and it happend with closings that occured in June 2017.   Therefore, the best month to sell your home is June, right?  Wrong!  Considering the average sale takes about 5 – 6 weeks to close, and these closings occured in June, the majority of these homes most likely went under contract for sale in April and May, with the majority in May.  So, not surprising, since I believe most agents would give this answer without even doing research, but the spring market, April and May is the best time to sell your home.  If you look back to June 2016 on the chart, while the % of original price didn’t fare as well as in 2017, June 2016 was defiinitely a winner month for sellers as well!

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When Is The Best Time To Sell Your Home? (Chart)

(click on chart for current, live chart)When Is The Best Time To Sell Your Home? (Chart)

So does this mean you shouldn’t sell your home in the winter?

One downside to conversations like this is it can create a certain panic among homeoweners that are considering, or need to sell, but have missed the spring season.  Does this mean they should wait unitl next spring? While there’s a lot to take into consideration, the short answer is no, you don’t have to wait until spring.  There are advantages to selling in “non-peak” seasons, including less competition, not to mention, if you are buying another home, you will have a better chance of getting a good deal.  

Therefore, the perfect scenario is to put your home on the market for sale April 1st, sell it, close it and live in temporary housing.  Then, December 1st, start the search for your new home. :)