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Congress Passes Extension of Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate passed H.R. 5771, the “Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014″,  which had been passed by U.S. House of Representatives on December 3, 2014 and is now headed to President Obama’s desk for his approval.  Assuming President Obama signs the act into law, it will be good news for homeowners that sold their homes in a short sale in 2014 or in some other way was forgiven on mortgage debt during this year.  The Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 extends the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 through December 31, 2014 and makes it retroactive to January 1, 2014 so there is no gap in coverage from when the last extension expired.

This falls short of the two year extension the National Association of REALTORS (NAR), among other groups, pushed for which would have covered next year as well, but is at least some relief for those affected this year.  Read the complete article on the extension from last month here.

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New Home Construction In Midwest Increases In November as Does Home Size

New home construction starts in the Midwest during November occurred at a seasonally adjusted, annual rate, of 107,000 homes, an increase of 5.9 percent from the month before and a decline of 10.1 percent from November 2013, according to the latest data released by the U.S. Census Bureau.  Year to date through the end of November, there have been 97,800 single family homes started, an increase of 2 percent from this time last year when construction had started on a total of 95,700 new single family homes.

Only half the new homes built are for sale-

One of the things to keep in mind about the new home construction numbers you hear about is not all the homes being built are for sale or adding to the inventory of homes for sale.  Some new homes are built specifically for a client, perhaps on their own property, or are built for rental or other purpose.  During the 3rd quarter of this year construction was begun on 32,000 new single-family homes and only 16,000 (50%) of those were built “for sale”.  During the same period construction was begun on 18,000 new units in multi-family buildings (2 units or more) and less than 1/2% of those were built for sale, with 94.4% of them being built for rental.

New homes in the Midwest getting larger-

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St Louis Home Prices and Sales Market Update VIDEO-November 2014

St Louis home sales are lagging behind last years however St Louis home prices are up from last year.  How much are home prices up?  What are the HOT St Louis real estate markets (and the COLD ones as well)? Find the answers to these, and many other questions you may have about the current St Louis real state market in our newly published, 5-minute, market video update for December 2014, below.

There are neighborhoods throughout St Louis that are low on inventory and high on demand creating a seller’s market!  If you have considered selling your home, or perhaps tried and failed in the past year or so, now is the time to consider it again.  Give us a call and we’ll be happy to let you know the value of your home in today’s market or, try our new online home valuation site and find your homes value in under a minute – go to StLouisHousePrices.com and find your home’s value now!

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.

Continue reading St Louis Home Prices and Sales Market Update VIDEO-November 2014

St Louis Foreclosure Activity Continues Downward Trend

St Louis foreclosure activity continued to decline in November with the number of foreclosure actions decreasing in all of the St Louis core counties from the month before, according to a report just released this morning from RealtyTrac.  The St Louis MSA as well as the core counties that make up the bulk of the St Louis market in Missouri, also saw double digit declines in foreclosure activity in November from the year before with the exception being Jefferson County which, as the table below shows, saw an increase of almost 90%.

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Mortgage Delinquency Rate Forecasted To Drop To Pre-Bubble Rates Next Year

The Mortgage Delinquency Rate, the pre-cursor to, and leading indicator of, foreclosures, which play havoc with home prices, is expected to decline to 3.12 percent by the end of this month and continue to decline next year hitting 2.51 percent by the end of 2015,  according to a forecast just released by TransUnion.  If mortgage delinquency rates fall as lowest as forecast, it will hit the lowest level since the housing bubble burst.  A home mortgage that is 60 days or more delinquent is counted in the mortgage delinquency rate for this report by TransUnion.

The report goes on to state that, even though the forecast is good and the rate will be low relative to what we have seen the past 6 years or so, even if the mortgage delinquency rate hits 2.51% as projected, it will still be significantly higher than the historical norm of 1.5% – 2.0%.

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St Louis Home Sales Decline In November While Prices Rise

St Louis home sales slipped in November to 1722 home sales for the 5-county core St Louis market (the city of St Louis and the counties of St Louis, St Charles, Jefferson and Franklin) from 1808 home sales in November 2013, according to the latest data available from MORE, REALTORS.  Home prices in St Louis went the opposite direction during the same period however, rising from a median price of $147,500 for homes sold in November 2013 to a median price of $156,000 for homes sold in November 2014, an increase of 5.8% for the year.

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Help For Underwater Homeowners-FHA Short Refinance

In 2010, in an effort to “help responsible homeowners who owe more on their mortgage than the value of their property”, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) began a program that allowed lenders to offer refinancing options to underwater borrowers that included a reduction in the principal amount of their mortgage to get it more in line with the current value.

This program, called the “FHA Refinance  of Borrowers in Negative Equity Positions (Short Refi) Program”, has helped only about 4,000 people or so reduce their loan balances, in spite of the fact that when announced in 2010 David Stevens, the FHA Commissioner at the time, testified before the Committee on Financial Services that this program was designed to help some of the “1.5 million borrowers who owe more not their mortgages than their homes are worth..”.

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St Louis Metro Area 14th Lowest Performing Real Estate Market

St Louis ranked 14th on Clear Capital’s list of the 15 Lowest Performing Real Estate Markets based upon home price appreciation on a quarter over quarter basis.  The report, based upon data through November 2014, shows Hartford, CT at the top of the list with a .6% loss in home prices for the most recent quarter from the prior quarter.  The rest of the metro areas on the list, like St Louis, did have an increase in home prices from the prior quarter, just all .7% of less.  At the other end of the spectrum, as the table below shows, was the list of 15 Highest Performing Real Estate Markets with, believe it or not, Detroit, MI a the top of the list with a  5.5% increase in home prices from the prior quarter.

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Who Lives In Ferguson?

I spent most of my childhood as well as my early adulthood living in Ferguson and have fond memories of those days. I remember, as a young child, walking down South Florissant Road, south of Carson Road, past a head shop surrounded by hippies in a building on the east side of the street where now is just a parking lot, thinking how strange everyone looked and wondering what a head shop was.  I also remember riding my bike all the way from my parents house on Spring to E.J. Korvette’s in Cool Valley to buy my mom a mothers day present.  Oh yeah, I also remember being “busted” by the railroad police when me and my dad were attempting to make off with an empty 55 gallon drum from the railroad property near the old train station. I was a teenager by this time and my latest “wild hair” was to build a forge to heat railroad spikes to the point I could pound them into some sort of art or whatever I had in mind. In either event, I needed a 55 gallon drum and found one just laying around by the railroad tracks…who would have known the railroad cared so much about their trash?

I never dreamed that some day Ferguson would be a household name, albeit for the wrong reasons.  In the past month I have spoke with reporters from the St Louis Post Dispatch, Fox 2 News, Reuters and even the Wall Street Journal, all wanting to know about the Ferguson real estate market.   I don’t know if the real estate market is just another angle to report about or if that many people are genuinely interested in the Ferguson real estate market, but it’s safe to say there are plenty of people talking about it.  An interesting thing hit me this morning….no one has asked me anything about the people that live in Ferguson, just about home prices, whether there has been “white flight”, if the market is being flooded by people wanting out, etc.   So, while I’ve been gone from Ferguson long enough not to personally know too many people there I decided to do some research and at least give some stats on who lives in Ferguson today.

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St Louis Distressed Home Sales Down Dramatically In Past Year

St Louis Distressed Home Sales continue to have less impact on the St Louis real estate market paving the way for sustainable home appreciation, according to the latest data available from RealtyTrac.  According to the chart below, short sales in St Louis accounted for just 1% of the overall home sales last month, a 10% decrease from the month before and a decrease of almost 68% from a year ago.  Nationally, short sales accounted for 5% of all home sales last month.

St Louis REO’s (bank-owned properties obtained through foreclosure) declined slightly in October from the month before and dropped over 30% from a year ago.

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St Louis Short Sales For Sale
St Louis Distressed Home Sales - St Louis Foreclosures - St Louis Short Sales - October 2014 vs October 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Proclamation

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other trangressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

George Washington

St Louis New Home Sales Slip Slightly In October

St Louis New Home Sales in October 2014 slipped 3.8% behind October 2013 but increased a little over 16% from the month before.  The St Louis new home sales activity followed suit with the Midwest Region of the U.S. which saw a 15.8% increase in new home sales activity in October from the month before but a decline of 2.9% from October 2013, according to data just released by the U.S. Census Bureau and HUD.

As the chart below shows, the median price of new homes sold in St Louis in October 2014 was $205,000 a decline of 4.7% from a year ago when the median new home sale price in St Louis was $215,000 and is 3% below September’s median new home price of $211,500.

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Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Told To Allow Foreclosed Homeowners To Buy Their Home Back

Today, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) told Fannie May and Freddie Mac to change their policies to allow foreclosed homeowners the opportunity to buy their home back at the property’s fair-market value, just like any other purchaser can.  Currently, if a foreclosed homeowner wanted to buy their home back from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac they would be required to pay the entire amount owed on their previous mortgage although a non-related purchaser, not buying the home for the benefit of the former homeowner, only has to pay the current fair market value.

“This is a targeted, but important policy change that should help reduce property vacancies and stabilize home values and neighborhoods,” said FHFA Director Melvin L. Watt.  “It expands the number of potential buyers of REO properties and is consistent with the Enterprises’ practice of requiring fair-market value for those properties.”

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Will Millennials Fuel Home Sales Next Year?

The Millennial generation, consisting of people born between 1980 and the mid-2000s, make up about one-third of the U.S. population and, as more of them are becoming adults, have been seen as perhaps the saving grace to a lagging home market.  Unfortunately, thus far, the Millennial’s have appeared to favor renting rather than buying, although that may be more the result of necessity than desire, the result of increased student loan debt and tight lending standards.  However, according to a survey of Millenial’s recently conducted by the California Association of REALTORS, a majority of the Millenial’s plan to buy a home in the next five years and over half (54%) of the 18-34 year-olds surveyed gave homeownership and importance of “8” on a scale of 1 to 10.

This is good news for the housing industry as, like the chart below illustrates, the homeownership rate by people less than 35 years old has been at historic lows at just over 36.5% the last couple of years after peaking at 42.6% in 2006.  Considering there are 24.8 million people in this category, if the rate of home ownership increases by just 1% that could increase home sales by 250,000 sales.

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Property Flips In St Louis Down Over 50 Percent From Year Ago

Property “flips” in St Louis slowed during the 3rd quarter of this year to just 234 properties flipped in the St Louis MSA during the quarter making up 2.6% of overall home sales for the quarter, a decline of 20% from the quarter before and a decline of 55% from the third quarter of 2013, according to data just released by RealtyTrac.  Property flipping is a term that has been loosely applied to a variety of real estate transactions but, for the purpose of this report, was considered to be when a single family home sold in during the third quarter had been sold within the previous 12 months.

Back in 1979, when I entered the real estate business, my focus was on buying property to resell and a “flip” at that time referred to a property I had under contract to buy that I managed to sell, or “flip” to someone else (often a competitor) with the closing of both my purchase and my sale taking place on the same day, hence a “flip”.  So, in the last 35 years a flip has went from being a property bought and sold on the same day to one bought and sold within a year…hmm…

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Property Flips In St Louis- 3rd Quater 2014 -

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Will The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 Be Extended?

UPDATE December 17, 2014 – Congress has passed an extension of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 through December 31, 2014 – It is part of a bill that has been sent to President Obama for his approval.  This falls short of the two year extension the National Association of REALTORS (NAR), among other groups, was pushing for which would have covered next year as well, but is at least some relief for those affected this year.

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 provided relief for homeowners that receive forgiveness on some of their mortgage debt (such as is the case on a short-sale) in the form of removing their obligation to pay income tax on the amount of their debt that was forgiven by their lender.  Originally, the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, was to expire at the end of 2012 but was later extended through the end of 2013 and on April 3rd of this year the Senate Finance Committee approved a bill that, if passed, would reinstate a bunch of tax provisions that expired at the end of 2013, including the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 , through December 31, 2015.  Thus far, the bill has not passed and now many are concerned that it may not which will leave all the people that did short sales this year, or had debt relieved in some other manner, possibly owing income tax on the forgiven debt.

The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) have issued a call to action to it’s 1 million plus members asking them to urge their Member of Congress and Senators to act on “The Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act” before the end of 2014.  Apparently, the stumbling block to getting this extended has been politics…shocker, right?  The Democratic Majority Leader of the Senate, Harry Reid, according to the NAR website, “refused to allow an open amendment process” which then, in turn, the Republicans “exercised their rights to prevent the bill from moving to a vote.”

Should the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 be extended?  

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New Home Construction Slows In The Midwest

New Home Construction in the Midwest Region of the U.S. slowed in October with new home building permits being used at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 102,000 homes, a decline of 3.8% from September but a 4.1% increase from October 2014, according to data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau and HUD.  Year to date for 2014, through October, there have been 89,100 permits issued for new homes, down very slightly from the same time last year when there had been 89,400 new home permits issued.

New Home Starts Fall Dramatically In The Midwest In October-

Construction began on new homes in the midwest in October at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 94,000 homes, down 21% from September and down 7.8% from October 2013.

New Home Completions Decline In The Midwest In October-

New homes were completed in the midwest region in October at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 99,000 homes, down 6.6% from the month before and down 2% from October 2013.

On a national level, new home permits were issued in October at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 640,000 homes, an increase of 1.4% from the month before and an increase of 2.4% from October 2013.    Year to date for 2014, there have been 541,300 building permits issued for new single-family homes nationwide, an increase of 1.4% from the same time last year.

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Effect Of School Districts On St Louis Home Prices

I think most people know that good schools benefit the housing market and home prices in that district by creating more demand for homes in the district.  This demand contributes to a healthy market and, the ultimate hope of most home owners, appreciating home prices that yield a good return on the investment over time.  Conversely, the opposite is generally believed to be true as well that a poor school district has a negative effect on the housing market and home prices within that district.

How much effect does a school district have on home prices, whether a good district or bad?  

To address this, I first went to SchoolDigger.com to find school district rankings for St Louis area districts.  I then chose the five districts that were ranked highest and the five ranked the lowest, which are:

  • Highest Ranked-
    • Lindbergh (3)
    • Clayton (6)
    • Brentwood (11)
    • Kirkwood (12)
    • Rockwood (14)
  • Lowest Ranked-
    • Riverview (502)
    • St Louis City (497)
    • Normandy (495)
    • Ferguson-Florissant (464)
    • Ritenour (458)

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St Louis’ 15 Top Buyer’s Market Neighborhoods

Over two-thirds of the 68 St Louis neighborhoods that we track favor sellers, according to our Market Action IndexTM, leaving 20 St Louis neighborhoods (32%) that are currently buyer’s markets.  As the table below shows, the  top buyers market in the St Louis area as of today is Saint Albans with a Market Action Index of 20, followed by House Springs with a 24.  Our Market Action IndexTM looks at supply, demand and inventory for an area and then applies an index value to it based upon 30 begin a balanced market not favoring buyers or sellers.  The farther the index goes below a “30” (down to a low of 0) the colder the market is and the more it favors buyers .

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St Louis Foreclosure Activity Increases In October But Down Overall

St Louis Foreclosure Activity was on the rise during the month of October with a big spike in foreclosure activity from the month before in St Charles and Franklin Counties as well as the St Louis MSA as a whole, according to newly released data from RealtyTrac.  As the table below shows, St Charles County saw an increase of over 3,000% in foreclosure activity during the month of October from September, and over a 400% increase in activity from October 2013, however, this is the result of a large influx of REO property in October.  When you look at the second table below, showing year-to-date foreclosure activity, you will see that St Charles County foreclosure activity is actually down 13.6% in 2014 from the same time period in 2013.

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Missouri Supreme Court Strikes Down St Louis County Foreclosure Mediation Ordinance

Yesterday, the Missouri Supreme Court handed down it’s decision in the case “Missouri Bankers Association, Inc., and Jonesburg State Bank v. St. Louis County, Missouri, and Charlie A. Dooley” ruling in favor of the Appellants (Missouri Bankers Association and Jonesburg State Bank) and against the Respondents (St Louis County and Charlie A. Dooley) by reversing an lower courts decision that ruled the Banker’s suit was moot.  The original suit was filed after St Louis county enacted its “Mortgage Foreclosure Intervention Code” which, among other things, required mediation prior to a bank or other lender proceeding with a foreclosure on a deed a trust.

In it’s decision, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that the ordinance passed by St Louis County known as the “Mortgage Foreclosure Intervention Code” was “void and unenforceable” because the county exceeded its charter authority when enacting the ordinance.

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St Louis’ Most Expensive Neighborhoods

Huntleigh is at the top of the list of St Louis’ Most Expensive Neighborhoods with homes selling in the past year at a median price of $1,375,000 followed by Ladue with a median sale price of $797,000, according to MORE, REALTORS.  The chart below depicts median sale prices in blue for the 10 most expensive cities in the St Louis area and the median list prices in orange.

In terms of median list price, Huntleigh is also number 1 on the list with a median price of $2,350,000 for homes currently listed for sale followed by Westwood with a median price of $1,250,000 for listed homes.

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How To Sell Your Home For The Highest Price In The Shortest Time

Would you like to know how to sell your home for the highest price in the shortest time?  If so, perhaps the best place to find the answer is from prior sellers that have been successful in doing just that.  This, and much more information gathered from home owners that sold a home in the past year, was just released in the National Association of REALTORS 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.  This gives some great insight into what worked for sellers as well as what did not.

Highlights from the NAR 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers:

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St Louis Home Sales and Prices Market Update VIDEO-November 2014

St Louis home prices have increased in the past year while home sales are lagging a little behind last years pace largely due to a lack of inventory of homes for sale.  Get more details on this, as well as a complete update on St Louis home sales, St Louis home prices as well as the St Louis Real Estate market in general in our new, 5-minute, market video update below.

There are neighborhoods throughout St Louis that are low on inventory and high on demand creating a seller’s market!  If you have considered selling your home, or perhaps tried and failed in the past year or so, now is the time to consider it again.  Give us a call and we’ll be happy to let you know the value of your home in today’s market or, try our new online home valuation site and find your homes value in under a minute – go to StLouisHousePrices.com and find your home’s value now!

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.

Continue reading St Louis Home Sales and Prices Market Update VIDEO-November 2014

Brinkmann Constructor’s Founders’ St Albans La Charette Estate Hit’s Market

Robert G. Brinkmann, founder and CEO of Brinkmann Constructors, has listed for sale his 12,000 square foot
St Albans estate home  for $8.5 million.  The Brinkmann estate, named “La Charette”, sits on 15.7 acres overlooking the Missouri river valley and claims to have “the most beautiful views in St Louis“.  I was pondering the name given the estate, “La Charette”, and did a little research to try to find a connection between the name and Brinmann, who built the home 12 years ago.  I looked first at the french definition of the word which is basically a “cart”, sort of like a chariot or wagon which at first made no sense to me until I discovered this type of French cart was often used to transport drawings.  However, the other definition I found of it, which seems perhaps even more fitting, is (from Merriam’s) “the intense final effort made by architectural students to complete their solutions to a given architectural problem in an allotted time or the period in which such an effort is made.”

This is not the first time on the market for La Charette as it spent a year on the market from May 2013 through May 2014 at a  price of $8.9 million.  Whether or not the $400,000 price reduction will be enough to motivate a buyer in what has been a rather stagnant market in St Albans is hard to say but it is safe to say the St Albans housing market has been soft for a while.  As the chart below shows, the price per foot for homes in St Albans peaked around 2009 and the fell to a low around 2011 pretty much like the rest of the St Louis market however, different than most markets in this area, after spending a year or so gaining back some lost ground in home prices, has taken another dip and now reached a point even lower than the bottom in 2011.

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St Louis Area Cash Home Sales On The Decline

Cash home sales’ percentage of overall home sales declined during the 3rd quarter of this year from the 2nd quarter in the city of St Louis as well as St Louis and St Charles County, according to data just released by RealtyTrac.  As the table below shows, the counties of Jefferson and Franklin saw cash sales take a bigger share of their home sales during the same period.

Purchases of homes by institutional investors increased during the 3rd quarter from the quarter before in Franklin and Jefferson County as well as the City of St Louis and declined in St Charles and St Louis county.

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St Louis Cash Home Sales Percentage of Overall Home Sales 3rd Quarter 2014

Source: RealtyTrac

Top Real Estate Exec’s Thoughts On The Housing Market

Broker-owners and top executives of leading real estate firms across the U.S., responsible for nearly half of all the home sales in the U.S., were surveyed in October 2013 and then again last month, about their confidence in the housing market as well as their outlook for the housing market.  The survey, commissioned by Imprev, revealed that real estate execs are not as optimistic now about the outlook for the housing market as they were a year ago.

Survey results are shown on the info graphics below:

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Who Are The Home Buyers Today?

As the look, size, price and location of homes we live in has changed over the years so the typical buyer of these homes.  The best way to find out what the typical home buyer is like and what they are looking for in a home is to turn to the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) annual survey of Home Buyers and Sellers.  Annually, NAR produces the results of the massive survey they conduct and just today they released the 2014 survey results which I will highlight below.

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Who are the home buyers today?

  • 33% were first- time buyers which is down significantly from the historical norm of 40% showing younger people (the millennial’s in particular) are not as interested in home ownership as their parents were at their age.
  • The typical first-time buyer was 31-years-old, while the typical repeat buyer was 53.
  • The median income of first-time buyers was $68,300, $84,500 for all buyers and $95,000 for repeat home buyers.
  • Almost two-thirds (65%) were married couples.
  • 24% bought a home because they had a desire to own a home, 9% purchased due to job relocation or move and 8% bought due to change in family situation or to be in a better area.

What are home buyers today buying?

  • 16% bought a new home.
  • The typical home purchased was 20 years old, had 1,870 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths.
  • 79% of the homes purchased were detached single-family homes.
  • 13% of the people over 50 years of age bought a home in a senior housing development

How are buyers finding the homes they buy?

  • 43% looked online for homes for sale as the first step in the process
  • 92% used the internet in some way in their home search process
  • 50% used a mobile website or app in their home search
  • 98% used a real estate agent in their home search process
  • The typical buyer viewed 10 homes over a 10 week period
  • 86% bought  a home through a real estate agent or broker.

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St Louis New Home Building Permits Increase In September

St Louis new home building permits issued in September increased by 6 percent from a year ago for the 5-county core area of St Louis (city of St Louis and counties of St Louis, St Charles, Jefferson and Franklin), according to data just released by the Home Builders Association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri.  On a year to date basis, as the table below shows, the city of St Louis is up 13 percent from the same period last year, St Louis county is up 2 percent and the rest of the counties are running behind last years numbers.

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St Louis Building Permits - September 2014 - St Louis New Home Permits

Ballwin Makes List Of Top 50 Suburbs In America

Business Insider just produced it’s list of “The 50 Best Suburbs in America” and Ballwin made the list coming in at number 46.  Ballwin was the only Missouri suburb on the list.  To compile the top 50 list, Business Insider considered suburbs with populations between 5,000 and 100,000 within about 25 miles of the nearest metro area and then ranked the suburb on commute times, median household income, crime and poverty rates, housing affordability and school rankings.

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Ballwin, MO one of top 50 towns in America to live

This is not Ballwin’s first time in the spot light as Money Magazine named Ballwin as one of America’s best places to live 3 times, most recently in 2013 when Ballwin came in at number 40 on the list.