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St. Louis Real Estate Search

 

St Louis Zip Codes Where Home Prices Have Increased The Most In Past 12 Months

Home prices in the St Louis metro area increased at what is a pretty “normal” rate (historically speaking) of about 3.5% in the past year.  However, as you hear me say often, all real estate is local, so the market varies significantly from neighborhood to neighborhood.  For example, on our St Louis Median Home Price Change by Zip list (part of which is shown below), of the 101 zip codes shown, 87 had an increase in home prices in the past 12-months from the prior 12-months, 1 remained even, and 13 saw a decline in home prices.  For the increases in home prices, they ranged from .06% to 115% and for the declines from 2.5% to 21.19%.

St Louis Median Home Price Change Year over Year by Zip Code

(click on list for current, complete list of all zips)

St Louis Median Home Price Change Year over Year by Zip Code

Are Home Prices Too High in Jefferson County? Is a Correction Coming?

Yesterday, I had lunch with a friend in the industry who expressed his concern that the Jefferson County real estate market was cooling off a little and questioned the possibility a market correction.  I referenced the article I wrote last week in which I explored the possibility of a market correction in St Louis and, based upon the data we have, came to the conclusion there wasn’t anything to be alarmed about at this time.  However, I had looked at the 5 counties that make up the St Louis core market as a whole (which included Jefferson County) but did not look at the counties individually.

Therefore, this morning I drilled down in our data to look only at the Jefferson County real estate market, including home sales, inventory of homes for sale and home prices in Jefferson County to determine if there were indicators of a market correction looming in the near future.

Is a market correction coming for Jefferson County?

The short answer is yes and probably.  Remember, all real estate is local, so the real estate market can vary signficantly within a metro area, a county, or even a city.  This is why it is vital to have current, accurate market information (why we have spent several years developing our own software) and a real estate agent with access to the data, that can interpret it and apply it to their clients situation (which is why we have hand picked some of the best in the industry to be in our firm, MORE, REALTORS).



Continue reading Are Home Prices Too High in Jefferson County? Is a Correction Coming?

Housing Market Report Card Gives 28 St Louis Neighborhood An “A” and 16 An “F”

In a neighborhood housing market report card just released by ATTOM Data Solutions, 10,950 neighborhoods across the nation were given a grade ranging from an A to an F.  The neighborhood grades were based upon six factors related to the housing market: housing affordability, home price appreciation, public school scores, crime rates, unemployment rates and property taxes.

In all, 82 neighborhoods in the St Louis metro area received a grade with 28 of them receiving an A, 17 a B, 13 a C, 8 a D and 16 received an F.  The list below shows the top 10 St Louis neighborhoods on the list (you can click on it for the complete St Louis list).  As the list shows, the neighorhood of “Riverwood” in the 63031 zip code area of Florissant was ranked at the top of the list for St Louis, coming in at 41 nationally.  

St Louis Neighborhood Report Card – Top 10

(click on list for complete list showing atll 82 St Louis Metro Neighborhoods That Received a Grade)St Louis Neighborhood Report Card - Top 10

See Some of St Louis’ Most Expensive Homes This Weekend

If you are in the market for a luxury home in St Louis, you have the opportunity to view some of St Louis’ most expensive homes this weekend.  Tomorrow, there will be more than a dozen open houses on luxury homes in St Louis priced at $1,000,000 and above.  The luxury home open houses extend from the Central West End to Town & Country, with a concentration around the I-40 corridor.

The map below is a live, interactive map showing all the open houses (you can click on one for details).  For a handy Open House report, which you can print out or save and is sorted by time of open house click here.

St Louis Luxury Home Upcoming Open Houses

St. Louis’ Top 10 Fastest Selling Cities In July 2018

During the month of July, the homes that sold in Maplewood, Missouri took a median time of just 5 days to sell making Maplewood the fastest SOLD city in the St Louis MSA for July 2018!  For July, the two fastest selling cities in St Louis took less time to sell than the number 1 city on June’s list (Columbia, IL at 9 days).  

Considering the sales that closed in June were from contracts executed during the spring market, we would expect the time to sell to be low, but the time to sell for July’s closings didn’t slip much.  In fact, for the 10-fastest-selling St Louis cities on our list this month, the median time to sell is 11 days, a day less than June’s median time of 12 days for the top 10 list.  For the overall St Louis MSA as a whole however, there has been a slight increase in time to sell going from a median time of 12 days in June (yes, the overall median was the same as the median for the top 10 (wow!) and for July it is 14 days.

St. Louis MSA 10 Fastest SOLD Neighborhoods – July 2018

(Click on list for complete, current list)
St. Louis MSA 10 Fastest SOLD Neighborhoods - July 2018


Sell Your Home For The Highest Price In The Least Amount of Time!  See how- STLSellersAdvantage.com 
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Is There a Market Correction Coming To The St Louis Real Estate Market?

This morning I watched a video from a firm that reports on the real industry and does so from a blunt, “call it as they see it”, perspective (pretty much my style too) in which they say “market correction indicators continue to roll in” and suggest that, to some extent, the party is over.   This report looked at the national real estate market as a whole and specifically looked at the west coast so is not necessarily indicative of what is happening in the St Louis real estate market, however, can often be an early indicator.

As a result, I spent my early morning looking closely at the St Louis real estate market in search of market correction indicators.  So, did I find indications that the St Louis real estate market is headed for a correction?

Yep.  It’s called “spring is over“.  :)

At about this time every year, we see a correction, of sorts due to the seasonality of the real estate business.  It’s no secret that spring and early summer are always the best time for the real estate market with increased home sales and prices.  As that season passes there is always a “correction” in home prices as they adjust downward for the decreased demand.

However, what I am really looking at is the “bigger picture”, is there an overall market correction taking place in St Louis or headed our way?

While it would be unrealistic to think that if a true market correction is going to be experienced by the bulk of the country that it won’t have an impact on the St Louis market, however, at this time there doesn’t appear to be any sort of serious correction imminent in the St Louis market.  That’s not to say we won’t see the normal downturn in home sales and prices we expect to see due to seasonality.

Below are some charts and tables that I think are good indicators of the health of the St Louis market as well as good indicators of things to come.  I’ll briefly give some comments on each as well as how I have applied the data shown to my opinion I have shared today.



Continue reading Is There a Market Correction Coming To The St Louis Real Estate Market?

St Louis Home Sales Trending Downward Slightly

On a national level, there have been reports lately of slowing home sales evidenced by both new home sales and existing home sales falling in June, housing affordability issues and the like.  Here in St Louis, the real estate market continues to perform well, however, indicators are showing a slight downward trend in St Louis home sales.

As the chart below illustrates, there have been 14,268 homes sold through the end of June in the St Louis metro area, a decline of 4.4% from the same period a year ago when there were 14,925 homes sold in St Louis.  The darker green line on the chart indicates the total sales for the past 12 months and is a good indicator of where things are headed.  As you can see, there was a pretty good jump in this line 2 years ago with a steady rise but it has fluctuated around the same level for the past 8 or 9 months.  Last month, as well as in two of the prior 5 months, it showed a downward trend.

St Louis MSA YTD & Past 12 Month Home Sales – June 2016 – June 2018

(Click on chart for live data)
St Louis MSA YTD & Past 12 Month Home Sales - June 2016 - June 2018

Homeownership Rate In Midwest Rises During 2nd Quarter – Highest In Nation

In the Midwest region of the U.S., the homeownership rate rose to 68.3% during the 2nd quarter of this year from 67.9% in the first quarter, according to a report just released by the U.S. Census Bureau.  The homeownership rate of 68.3% in the Midwest region is higher than the homeownership rate for the U.S. as a whole, which came in at 64.3% during the 2nd quarter, and is the highest of any region.  The South region has the 2nd highest homeownership rate at 65.9% and the West region the lowest at 59.7%, according to the report.

So much for “millennials don’t want to own homes“…

In many real estate circles over the past couple of years, there has been much debate over whether millennials have any interest in homeownership or not.  Probably more than half the time the consensus is this generation is not nearly as interested in, or focused on, homeownership as their baby boomer parents.  However, in the homeownership report for the 2nd quarter, the age group that had the largest increase in home ownership was the “under 35 years old” group.  Granted, this group has the lowest homeownership rate of the age groups in the report but increased to 36.5% from 35.3% in the prior quarter.  The homeownership rate for the older groups, 55-64 years and 65 years and above, both declined during the 2nd quarter to 75.1% from 75.4% and to 78.0% from 78.5%, both respectively.

Homeownership Rate – 1995-2018 – Chart

Homeownership Rate - 1995-2018 - Chart

 

 

New Home Sales Rate In The Midwest Decreases In June But Up From Year Ago

New homes sold in the Midwest region of the U.S. in June were at a seasonally-adjusted, annual rate of 71,000 homes, according to a report just released by the U.S. Department of Commerce and United States Census Bureau.  June’s new home sales activity in the Midwest represents a 13.4% decline from May when new homes in the Midwest sold at an annual rate of 82,000 homes but is a 7.6% increase from June 2017 when the annual rate was 66,000 homes.  Last year the rate of new home sales in this region increased every month after June up until December when it crashed but closed out the year with 72,000 new homes sold.

In terms of the actual number of new homes sold this year in the Midwest region, there have been 44,000 new homes sold this year thus far, through the end of June.  Last year, for the same time period, there were just 38,000 new homes sold in this region year to date so we are up 14.4% in non-seasonally adjusted, actual year to date new home sales in the Midwest through the end of June.

  

U.S. New Home Sales – 2013-2018 – Chart

U.S. New Home Sales - 2013-2018 - Chart

 

St Louis’s Most Expensive Homes

St Louis’s most expensive homes currently for sale:St Louis' Most Expensive Homes For Sale

St Louis’s most expensive homes sold during past 3 years:
St Louis's most expensive homes sold during past 3 years:

St Louis Ranked 4th In Nation For Home Price Inequality

Generally, when we think of inequality, such as income inequality, we perceive it as a bad thing however, when it comes to home prices, perhaps inequality is a good thing!  A recent study of home price inequality by Lending Tree resulted in St Louis being ranked as the 4th highest metro area in the nation for home price inequailty.  How Lending Tree ranked the cities was by using the GINI coefficient which is often used to measure income inequality.  The way it works, in a nutshell, is a GINI Coefficient of 0 means everything is equal, so everything is at the same value and a 1 means nothing is equal and there is one value for one and everyone else has none. So the higher the number, the greater equality.  St Louis has a GINI coefficient of 0.379.

Why is Home Price Inequality Good?

The reason I said home price inequality is a good thing for St Louis is that it means we have homes in a wide range of price ranges thereby making them affordable to people at widely different income levels.  For example, as the table below shows, the 95th Percentile home price in St Louis is $493,000 while the 5th Percentile is only $43,000 which works out to a ratio between the 95th and 5th percentile of 11.5, a huge gap.  By comparision, #50 on the list is Salt Lake City, Utah, where the 95th percentile home price is $597,000 and the 5th percentile $191,000 for a ratio of just 3.1.

Home Price Inequality In The U.S. – Top 10 MSA’s

Home Price Inequality In The U.S. - Top 10 MSA's

 

St Louis’ Millennial Population Shows a Shift From City To St Charles County

The millennial generation, people born from 1981 through 1994, is predicted to outnumber the baby boomer generation sometime in 2019.  Given the size of the generation, as well as the fact many are getting married and starting families, the real estate industry is very interested in these young people.  Much time is spent trying to figure out whether they want to buy or rent, whether they will consider the suburbs or just stick to urban areas, etc.

Therefore, it does not come as a surprise that more than a third of the residents in the city of St Louis are millennials, attracted, no doubt, by the city lifestyle, a sharp contrast from the suburban upbringing many of them had with their baby boomer parents.  However, the tides may be turning though.

As the table below shows, during 2017 the millennial population in the city of St Louis dropped by 1.4% while St Charles County grew by 1.0% and St Louis and Jefferson County by 0.3% each.  As of 2017, the city of St Louis had 105,900 millennials living there, while St Charles County had 103,500, but if the trend continues, the millennial population in St Charles County will surpass the city of St Louis soon.  Who knows?  Maybe the millennials are more like us baby boomers than we thought and will end up buying homes in suburbia?

St Louis Area Millennial Population and Population Change – 2017

St Louis Area Millennial Population and Population Change - 2017

Projected Population by Generation

Projected Population by Generation

Missouri Ranks 9th For Most Restrictive Zoning In U.S.

According to a recent report published by the Cato Institute, the state of Missouri ranks 9th in the nation for having the most restrictive zoning regulations.  Many anti-development folks may applaud this fact and look at it as a victory.  However, many people in the real estate industry, including yours truly, believe that overly restrictive zoning regulations greatly impact the cost of new home construction resulting in increased home prices and less affordable housing.  Couple the increased costs along with the reduced density permitted by overly restrictive zoning and you have a real impediment to the development of affordable or “work-force” housing.

Zoning regulations first came about in the U.S. early in the 20th century first around 1908 when Los Angeles adopted municipal zoning and land-use laws.  In 1916 the city of New York passed a comprehensive zoning code as well.  Other municipalities followed suit and, according to the Cato report, 68 additional municipalities had adopted zoning by 1926.  In 1926 the U.S. Supreme Court, in the case, Village of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co., 272 U.S. 365 (1926) ruled that “If they are not arbitrary or unreasonable, zoning ordinances are constitutional under the police power of local governments as long as they have some relation to public health, safety, morals, or general welfare“.  After the Supreme Court decision, zoning regulations exploded around the country and, just 10 years later, another 1,246 municipalities had adopted zoning.

Today, while much of the zoning, and the people that created it and enforce it, are well intentioned, in many cases it goes well beyond it’s original purpose of “health and human safety”.  It is common for zoning and land use regulations to include minimum lot sizes that severly limit the development potential of the land thus driving up the cost of the housing.  In addition, it’s common for zoning to include design requirements and features, driven by the personal preferences or ideology of elected and appointed officials with nothing to do with health or human safety, thus further driving up the cost of new housing.

It’s not just zoning and land use regulations however that are keeping new homes from being built at a faster rate in St Louis.  There are other regulations that negatively impact new home construction and drive costs up such as the clean water act and similar environmental-related regulations which have caused the costs of lot development to more than double over the past few years.

  

 

Mortgage Interest Rates After Peaking In May Are Staying Down Near April Levels

Today, Freddie Mac, through their Primary Mortgage Market Survey® revealed that for the current average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is at 4.52%. which is just a slight decline from a week ago when the rate was 4.53% and the same as the week before that.  After 30-year fixed-rate mortgages hit 4.66%, the highest rate in 7-years, back in late May, they have been trending downward a little, which is good news for the real estate market!

30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Average – 2000 – Present

(Click on Chart for LIVE chart with current data)30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Average - 2000 - Present

 

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.


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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!  

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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

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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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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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